Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
Read more »
When labor begins on its own, pregnancies are considered full-term anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks. Between 41 and 42 weeks, your pregnancy will be considered post-term, and you may be a candidate for induction because studies show an increased risk of complications then. “Around 42 weeks is when the risk of problems increases,” says certified nurse-midwife Mayri Sagady Leslie, C.N.M., M.S.N., a clinical faculty member at Yale School of Nursing in New Haven, Conn.
Doctors’ increasingly frequent decisions to induce labor instead of waiting for nature to take its course have played a significant role in the rise of preterm births over the past two decades, according to new research.
My son was born seven days past my due date, and I remember those last weeks as unceasingly uncomfortable, characterized by the sensation of a bowling ball bouncing on my cervix and the conviction that this baby was never going to be born. All this, plus the perennial conversation starter: “No baby yet?” (The only appropriate response to which is to tear the speaker’s head off and the pickle it, because your stomach is too squished with baby to be able to really eat much.)
I remember being asked how far along I was and responding, miserably, truthfully, “Ten months.”
I’ve been on a toot for years about the overuse of Pitocin (aka oxytocin) for unnecessary inductions and augmentation of labor. My concerns have focused on what it does to Mom’s labor and our ridiculous c-section rate, but also on how it has led to an outrageous number of babies being born accidentally premature.
You probably know at least one mom who used Pitocin—a brand name for synthetic oxytocin —to induce or augment labor. But now, a new study has pregnant women concerned that the commonly used labor hormone could adversely affect their baby’s health.
When it’s time to deliver your baby, you’ll want the most current information dictating how your OB-GYN or midwife handles your birth.
Most everyone agrees that evidence-based medicine, or practices shown in high-quality studies to be best for moms and babies, should rule in labor and delivery rooms.
Why are babies born at around 40 weeks of gestation? Experts have long suggested that moms must pop by then, otherwise, the baby’s head would grow too large to traverse the birth canal.
You may be planning a natural birth, but there are times when your health-care provider must intervene for health and safety reasons. Or you may find that standard hospital practices often include medical interventions. In either situation, it’s important that you be involved in the decisions related to your care. You can do that by asking questions and openly communicating your desires to everyone in attendance.
There’s an article in the news this week that absolutely breaks my heart. A woman in Texas was induced at 38 weeks so her husband could meet his baby before he died. It was their fifth child and he had cancer. After a successful vaginal birth, the dying man was able to hold his daughter a couple of times. A few days after she was born, he slipped into a coma and died.
In the U.S. today, about 4 percent of babies are breech at full term, which means they’re in position to exit the uterus feet- or butt-first rather than headfirst. Before 1959, virtually all such babies were safely delivered vaginally; today, most are born by Cesarean section.
Ask any mom whose pregnancy went into extra innings: Right around your due date, the phone calls, emails and texts start coming: “Is anything happening?” “What does the doctor say?” “Wellll????” Playing the waiting game during the last few weeks of pregnancy is hard, but it becomes especially difficult when 40 weeks turn into 41 . . . or 42. But the first thing to know is this: Your due date is just an estimate. In fact, only 5 percent of babies are born on theirs.