This article is for women thinking about scheduling their babyís birth.
More and more births are being scheduled a little early for non-medical reasons. Experts are learning that this can cause problems for both mom and baby. If possible, itís best to stay pregnant for at least 39 to 40 weeks.
There are lots of important things happening to your baby in the last few weeks of pregnancy. For example, your babyís brain and lungs are still growing. Thirty-nine weeks gives your baby all the time he needs to grow before heís born.
You might not have a choice about when to have your baby. If there are problems with your pregnancy or your babyís health, you may need to have your baby earlier. But if you have a choice and youíre planning to schedule your babyís birth, wait until at least 39 weeks.
If youíre planning to schedule your babyís birth, print out this article and take it with you to your next checkup. Ask your doctor or certified nurse-midwife (CNM) the questions below.
Why Babies Need Time
Hereís why your baby needs 39 weeks:
Why Scheduling an Early Birth Can Be a Problem
The March of Dimes and obstetric provider groups advise that you wait until at least 39 weeks to induce labor or have a c-section if it is needed. Wait this long unless there are medical problems that make it necessary to have your baby earlier.
Questions to Ask Your Provider
If you doctor or CNM recommends delivery before 39 weeks:
About inducing labor
Editorial Policy |
Link Policy |
Contact Us |
© 2009 March of Dimes Foundation. All rights reserved. The March of Dimes is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.