{ 157 comments… read them below or add one }

Mali January 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I just want to say that with my last pregnancy my doctor wanted to induce at 39 weeks due to “big baby”. I was induced for this reason for my first pregnancy and my DD was 7# 4 oz! All the research I did and the perinatologist said that ultrasound is not accurate for weight. My last pregnancy lasted 41 weeks and 5 days and I am so glad I let my DS pick his birthday! The labor was much easier and it was fun waking up knowing it was time. I made an informed decision and I wish more women did.

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ilka January 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I looked it up recently, and the main factor is that statistically, after 42 weeks the risk of adverse outcomes for both baby and mom doubles. That is a large risk. Doctors want healthy babies too. Midwifes can’t take on liability. Induction is just as with any other intervention has it’s right time and place and like with any other intervention it is routinely used in cases it is not necessary.

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Mrs. BWF January 24, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Hi Ilka,

Can you please give your source for that info?

Thanks!

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hari August 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm

we learn that in university here, in Argentina too. But we also learn risks are placenta getting old or amniotic liquid getting less. That all can be seen on a doppler study if there are doubts. Love to all!

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Emily D. January 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

There’s a HUGE difference between inducing at 42 weeks and inducing at 39 or 40 weeks. Yes, the evidence shows that statistically speaking (in other words, it isn’t predictive for any individual pregnancy, but instead is predictive within a population) the rate of complications increase after 42 weeks. That’s why most midwives will transfer care at that point, because a gestation beyond 42 weeks goes outside the realm of normal, and midwives are experts in normal birth.

However, so many of my clients (I’m a doula and a student midwife) start receiving pressure to induce from 39 weeks on, it’s unbelievable. The average gestation for a nulliparous woman is 41 weeks and 3 days, so you’d think that doctors would wait until 42 weeks before they start discussing induction. 42 and 0/7 is the first day that is considered postdates, according to ACOG. That is the first day that induction should be considered, when mom and baby are both doing fine.

The issue is complicated further when you have a mother with previous healthy pregnancies that went postdates. In those cases, even midwives who would transfer a nullip at 42 weeks will usually continue care, because that tells them that this particular mother just gestates longer. I don’t know if there’s been an academically rigorous study that shows that the risks of going postdates are equal for a multip with a history of healthy postdates pregnancies, but anecdotally I’ve never met a midwife who considers that a high-risk situation.

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Amanda March 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I have read this about “undesirable outcomes” as well. However (and it’s a big however)… don’t forget that in order to accurately compare risk for births prior to 42 weeks and those after 42 weeks, you would have to adjust the numbers a lot. So FEW babies are born after 42 weeks in the US that the “risk” may be severely overinflated. Whereas the number of babies born prior to 40 weeks makes some risks look “statistically insignificant” the same numbers are obviously going to be artificially high when you look at a smaller population of individuals.
Regardless of mathematical issues with analysis of “risk” past 42 weeks, the truth is that most inductions are, as you said, not done out of medical necessity at all. And that’s the real problem.

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Alyssa April 10, 2014 at 8:42 am

Here are the actual statistics for stillbirth in the last weeks of pregnancy (I’m sorry I don’t have a link, these were taken directly from my birth doula training manual):

Stillbirth rates from a Canadian study (each is out of 1,000 births):
37 weeks – 5.1
38 weeks – 2.5
39 weeks – 1.6
40 weeks – 1.2
41 weeks – 1.4
42 weeks – 2.0
43 weeks – 5.2

You can easily see that while the rate does rise after 40 weeks, the number at 42 weeks is less than that of 38 weeks, and the rate at 37 and 43 weeks are nearly the same! The rate at 41 weeks is actually *less* than that at any of the weeks prior to 40 weeks! Yet, many women are being told to induce at 37-40 weeks gestation to save themselves the risk of this happening.

I do agree that there is a time and place for everything, including induction. However, it is very risky to induce when a woman isn’t even overdue with no medical reason to do so, especially if she is not 100% sure of her date of ovulation (and since most women do not chart, most don’t know the exact date). Remember that the baby is the one who initiates labour when the lungs have fully matured (there is a protein in surfactant which is what is secreted in the baby’s lungs at maturity that triggers labour) so there is a very real risk of baby not being ready to be born until labour begins naturally. Some women simply take longer than others to grow a baby, others have different cycles than the typical 28 day cycle and some ovulate earlier or later than most. SO many factors to be treating all women the same, don’t you think?

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Tania January 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

The experience is different for every woman. I went 6 days past my due date with my third. He ended up being 10 lbs., 9 ozs. So, unfortunately, I experienced my first c-section with my 3rd baby.

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Kaila March 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

A large baby doesn’t necessarily warrant a c-section however.

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Tania G December 20, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Exactly my middle child, oldest daughter was 10lbs 3.6oz and was 40 weeks and born vaginally with spontaneous birth, my youngest was born at 38 weeks and weighed 9lbs even, vaginally with spontaneous birth. My big babies were so much easier to birth than my first, my son, who weighed 8lb 3.6oz born vaginally after 36 hours of hard labor- You’d be amazed at what your bodies are capable of! :)

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Rachael March 29, 2014 at 9:56 am

My mother birthed an 11 lb. 1 oz baby without assistance. Big babies do not = c-section.

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Leslie May 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

Agreed. I went to 41 weeks and 1 day with my last baby and had a med-free vaginal birth of my 11lb 8oz baby boy. No tearing, no issues at all with either of us. This was my 5th child. Big babies (thankfully!) do not always equal c/section.

Lisa September 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

My niece delivered a 11 lb 6 ounce baby girl vaginally at 41 weeks 2 days no drugs no complications, this was baby number 5 perfect birth

Jen S September 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

My smallest baby was my c/s, born at dates, at 6 lbs 8 oz (she got her shoulder in the birth canal instead of her head when my water broke). My biggest baby was 10 lbs, at 41 wks, born at home.

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Aimee January 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I went into labor at exactly 39 weeks with my first. I have a strange uterine condition that doesn’t allow me to deliver naturally, so I’ll be having another C-section. Knowing that my first came at 39 weeks and that my uterus is more likely to kick my babies out early than keep in them in extra long makes me more comfortable with the idea of scheduling a section at 39 weeks this time around.

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Karla January 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

I thought I’d add a few links on the current recommendations on inductions. Some ladies may find it useful in their research, I know I have.

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789241501156_eng.pdf
(World Health Organisation)
http://publications.nice.org.uk/induction-of-labour-cg70/guidance#induction-of-labour-in-specific-circumstances
(National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004945.pub3/pdf/standard
(The Cochrane Library)

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Audrey March 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

Thank you for this information, Carla!

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Dr. Megan Heimer J.D., N.D January 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Great blog post and I could not agree more! You are right on. I love the book “Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering” by Sarah Buckley (a physician who delivered all 4 of her babies at home). In her book she lists research against inducing and also states that 42 weeks is normal gestation AND the “risks” we have been led to believe that exist for going over 40 weeks are founded on flawed science…if any and are practically non-existent! In fact, the risks are far greater with induction at 42 weeks. She also discusses ultrasounds and their lack of accuracy (and risks), “big babies,” and why it’s best to let your baby bake until its ready. A great read for ANYONE wanting to do research in this area.

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Beth March 7, 2013 at 11:57 am

I had a really good idea of my conception date- and they kept telling me I was wrong. I watched her due date bounce from early November, to late October, to mid November (which is what it should have been).

She was a big baby, yes, but also had a fluid enlarged kidney that made her abdomen huge (which threw a lot of the results off the chart). I went with my conception date, and fought hard to keep it that way. She was born at 40 weeks and a few days – made me very happy.

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Tara March 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

This hits so close to home!!! I had a doctor give me a vaginal exam at “40 weeks” by her count, 39 weeks 2 days by mine. I wasn’t dilated or effaced. Without another word she opened the door and yelled down the hall asking a receptionist if she had a c-section slot open for me for the following Tues, (it was Thursday so just a few days away!) I asked her what was wrong. What changed? Why was I all the sudden being given the eviction notice for my baby who was otherwise fine. I’m not even due yet! The c/s was scheduled for the day I considered 40 weeks, based on knowing EXACTLY when she was conceived and knowing I have long cycles. I told her all of this and her response: You are 40 wks by our standards. It doesn’t matter how long your cycles are or when you ovulated. We use 28 days to keep everything uniform among our clients and to make things easier (FOR WHO?!?!) Without dilating or effacing you are showing us your body isn’t going to go into labor. Some women just can’t. You need a cesarean because your body will just hold onto the baby and it isn’t safe for either of you….. I informed her politely that I wouldn’t be consenting to a cesarean based on pre-labor dilation at 39 weeks. She gave me pamphlets on therapists and told me I should contact someone to discuss my issues with a cesarean birth as well as anesthesia dept at the hospital to ease my concerns (what?!). Needless to say I stormed out. Didn’t bother rescheduling my follow up. I received a call that night from a very nervous secretary who said she wanted me to come see another dr next week. I agreed. She then went on to tell me it had to be by Tuesday. I asked why it needed to be by Tuesday and she awkwardly went on to tell me, “well the obstetricians have a meeting on Wednesday mornings and that’s when they discuss the problem patients so we need to see what’s going on with you before then” LOL. I’m now labeled a problem patient for not having a c-section for no reason. I agreed and came to the appointment Tuesday- MY DUE DATE! I was 80 percent effaced and 1 cm dilated. My water broke that evening and I VAGINALLY delivered my daughter 36 hours later. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reflected on this story, thinking of how close I came to undergoing a c/s for NO reason. I was in labor the evening after I would have had my c-section. I thank God I had enough knowledge and trust in myself and God that I went against my doctors orders.

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Kim March 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Great story! Good for you for standing up for yourself and being a “problem” patient. ;)

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Carol March 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

Good for you Tara for being assertive! That sounded like such a disempowering experience. It makes it seem like women’s bodies are not to be trusted! I guess to be fair though, it may be that some obstetricians had a bad outcome with post dates and perhaps they never want that to be repeated, especially when they know that a baby will be quite okay if delivered at 38-40 weeks. That’s where it’s important that mothers can make their own informed decisions

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Naturally Curly March 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

At my 39.5 wk appt, I was not effaced or dilated, and the baby hadn’t dropped into the birth canal. My OB told me though I was full-term, I had a 85% chance of a c-section if she induced me within the next week. She knew I was terrified of having a c-section. I went into labor naturally 3 days later and stalled at 8 cm, and ended up having an emergency c-section (not the horrible experience I was expecting, thank goodness.)
My baby’s head was measured at 15.75″ (8.5 lbs) and would never have fit through my pelvis. My OB said she’d never seen such a big head. I didn’t have a duola or a midwife and I’m glad I didn’t try to go through labor at home or in a birth center. If I had lived a few hundred years ago before safe c-sections were available, we likely would have both died in labor.
Sometimes modern medicine isn’t so bad. But doctors are not all interchangable. Make sure you have an OB that is on the same page as you next time.

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Tammy May 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I had a 10lb 4oz baby at home, (accidental unassisted birth) with an unmolded 15 inch head. No tearing. People have big babies! Don’t let someone tell you you cannot pass a baby through your birth canal with out even being given a chance! She cannot know you could not vaginally birth your baby if you were 8cm and not pushing.

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kelcei May 18, 2013 at 9:40 pm

A baby’s physiology makes it possible to have a big headed baby…. I am small statured, and had my 9 pounds son at home….. His head was 16 inches.

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tori June 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

some people are able to birth big babies naturally, and some women just aren’t. some women have naturally wider hips and some have a skinny stubborn pelvis. two of my cousins were born with heads measuring 19″! my aunt parked for 24 hours while he was stuck in the birth canal before they both started being medically effected by the stress and needed an emergency section; my other aunt pushed him out like it was nothing. I applaud you for being able to birth a baby with a larger head, just as I’m glad that I was able to birth my 10 lb daughter even tho I’m 5’1 and only weighed 105 pre-pregnancy, but some women can’t.

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Lisa-Ann Stafford August 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I also had a 10 lb baby in the hospital with a Midwife, I was 10 day pastmy due date. I was unable to birth her without assitance from a Doctor. My mid-wife literally told my husband to go find a Doctor. I am so thankful that he go her out with the assistance of a vacumn. I am one of those women that is unable to birth a “big” baby without help. My second child, my son, was born at 38 weeks and was bigger than my daughter. I needed help with him too. Now, my third child, my son, was born at 37 weeks and weighing 9lbs I birthed on my own with no help. And my 4th child, a daughter, I birthed on my own too. So there is hope..it just took a few babies for my body to adjust to delivering my big babies :)

Lisa June 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Babies heads mold & pelvic bones move. A friend had a baby with a 16 inch head vaginally, at home. I had a baby with a 15 inch head vaginally, at home, despite a previous cesarean and diagnosis of “too small to ever give birth. I’m only 5′ & have a very small frame (my 11 year old has far bigger hands than I do!). None of my babies ever dropped before labour; the OB with the first used that to “prove” he was “too big”.

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Kellie March 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

Stalling in labor is very common. An OB will call it FTP (failure to progress) and rush a woman to a c-section and say her baby is too big. A midwife calls it NAP (natural alignment plateau) and allows mom to try different positions to overcome the plateau as long as baby is doing well. It only becomes FTP is baby’s health begins to decline. The ONLY way you can know if a baby won’t fit through your pelvis is to push, and to push for several hours. Only then can it be determined. Not by ultrasound or feeling around. Ina May discusses this and describes how even the best technique for measuring is still not a sure-proof indicator of pelvis size vs. head size.

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Maggie June 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm

I was just reading that and did a double-take that 15.75 was supposed to be so terribly big that of course no one could birth it. My first was an 8 lb c/sec, and after that, I birthed a 10 lb and later a 9 lb baby, both with bigger heads, vaginally and unmedicated, at home.

I felt more able to cope with the whole situation, after that first cesarean, because I believed it was truly necessary and unavoidable because she was frank breech. When I found out that that did NOT make cesarean necessary, and that frank breech is not the great danger I was told it was, I was really upset.

In time, I learned many things they don’t seem to tell women, such as that our pelvises actually separate (that’s why we get pubic separation pains when the cartilege softens) in front so as to be able to swing open like saloon doors, if necessary, to let a large head through. Our pelvises are not rigid like a basketball hoop, but they flex and open!

Babies’ heads also have movable plates in the skull, so that they can change shape, elongate and become smaller in circumference as the skull plates overlap and shift. That’s why some babies have those long, cone-shaped heads at birth, and later they round out again. Our pelvises are not rigid like the rim of a basketball hoop, and babies’ skulls are not rigid like a basketball.

It really sets us up for intense emotional turmoil, when we resolve feelings about something being necessary, and then find out months, or even years later, that we were misled, and then have to process all those feelings over again. But it’s still worth it to find out the truth.

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Kim September 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Naturally Curly, the issue is not with the head. The bony plates in the skull are free-floating at birth, designed so that the head can be molded by the vagina as the baby passes through. So, a baby with a very large head will simply be molded into a serious “cone head” (long and skinny), given enough time. The only issue I know of, with very large babies, is with the shoulders. The risk of shoulder dystocia (where the shoulders become stuck in the pelvis, preventing the baby from being born) is actually about the same between large babies and average-size babies, but this is what many doctors are afraid of, with the birth of a large baby.

Now, I don’t know your particular case. Perhaps there really was an issue that would have prevented your baby from being born vaginally, and perhaps you simply misunderstood the doctor, or perhaps the doctor focused on the head size out of fascination, or, who knows what. I am not judging your decision on a c/s. Obviously, you are fine with it, and feel it was the best choice for you and your baby – and that is ultimately what matters. I just wanted to point out the biology involved in birthing a baby with a large head, for other’s information.

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Amy December 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Good for you for sticking up for yourself! I had a similar issue. I have longer cycles so with my 3rd baby I estimated a due date around February 10th. The “official” due date changed a few times then stayed at January 30th after an ultrasound. Well the 30th came and no dilation or anything, so the dr had tests done which all came back normal. He still wanted to schedule an induction in a week. The night before the induction I stayed up crying about being induced. I did not want to end up with a c-section. Luckily my water broke and I delivered my dd the day of the induction, February 7th at 9lbs 4oz. I still feel she was born on time.

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Jen January 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I truly appreciate this story, Tara. I’m guessing that you are a “problem parent” with your child’s pediatrician, too, as you advocate for her. ;) ha! Of course, given your experience with an OB, you likely screened your ped carefully.

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Sara March 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm

My 4th could have been a nightmare if I were working with a regular OB, but I was planning a homebirth with a CNM. According to Naegele, my due date was Dec. 10, but by date of conception it was Jan 2! He was born on Jan. 6, 10 lbs. 2 oz., and so fast that she wasn’t there for it. I birthed his huge shoulders by myself!

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Tara March 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I find all this really interesting, but I had a slightly different situation. I’m a first time mom and my son is now 7 months old. Anyways, I really wanted to go into labor naturally and have a vaginal unmediated birth. Everything looked good until 36 weeks. I was suddenly measuring small and they were concerned that the placenta wasn’t working right. I was sent to an ultrasound specialist who diagnosed my baby as being gestationally small and It was scheduled for me to be induced at 39 weeks. I ended up having to get a C-section due to failure to progress (I got stuck at 4 cm dilation). I’m still really disappointed that I wasn’t able to have my natural birth :( I know my body just wasn’t ready and I still wonder if the induction was really necessary.

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Kacyelise March 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Hi there does anyone have a calculator for a EDD based off your personal cycle etc. that could be used I would like to as for my pregnancy issues I feel like this could answer a long ignored question of mine…

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Jennifer March 7, 2013 at 10:39 pm

My last birth was at 42w5d. I didn’t see a huge issue, because my midwi4 was making sure I had biophysical profiles done often. He was perfectly fine, as was the placenta. And he was a large baby, to boot. 11lb. 7oz. Easiest birth out of the three I have had. Trust your instincts.

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Lanae March 19, 2013 at 7:57 am

The interesting part, for me, in reading articles like this, is that my personal experience with due dates is so different than what is postulated here. My 4 babies all came naturally from 3 weeks to 1 1/2 weeks early. So, my average time being pregnant was 38 weeks, which would then mean my babies were technically born at 36 weeks gestation … then, if 42 week pregnancies should be considered the norm, then my babies were technically all preemies, being 5 to 4 1/2 weeks early under that premise ! However, as some say and I agree, babies come when they are ready but also when mom’s body is ready, too. I think my body handled pregnancy as long as it could and then said, baby is big enough and ready enough. My first child, a boy, was the earliest and smallest at 5 1/2 lbs, but all three of the others were 6 lbs 10 oz (the last baby, a girl, was one oz more). So, my personal logic is that my babies could have been big babies had they been more ‘full term’, but they were born when my body considered them full-term, I guess. I agree that doctors do not need to get so antsy and should be more patient with supposedly overdue babies and I agree that due dates are not exact. It seems mine were not, at least according to traditional logic, but going in the direction of early rather than late. However, I did have regular cycles … not 28 day ones, but 26-27 day ones then, and I generally knew the moment/time of conception, too, and didn’t think my due dates were too far off. Anyway, I never had to deal with post-term/post-due date babies, but it is sure not the same for everyone.

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Jessica May 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I had my daughter at 41.6, and I’m thankful I wasn’t induced or anything because she was only 6.6 lbs.. and I enjoyed my extra week and 6 days of pregnancy:)
I hate unnecessary inductions.

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Bethany Hunt May 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I so agree with this. I was not induced but had a cesarean at two weeks before my due date because my baby was suppose to be ready to come. She ended up having difficulty breathing because she was early. My next baby I knew when I ovulated and knew that it was later than was supposed by the EDD so decided I would at least fight for “my” date if I had to have another cesarean. When I was able to have a VBAC, sure enough, he was right with my due date.

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Debra May 19, 2013 at 6:23 am

What do you personally do if a pregnant mama is past 44 weeks gestation? What if she is over 44 weeks and still feeling movements as usual?

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marilyn LaChester June 29, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Big babies don’t mean C-section. I myself being my moms first baby was due around the 10 the of June .This was back before Dr. Jumped to induction I was Born June 27th at 9 lbs 15 oz. Natural. My Dr. With my first son induced me early due to health reasons. About 2 & 1/2 weeks early. Not only was it a long miserable labor.I was induced at 6 am on the 21st of April and fully dilated at about 1050 pm April 24th and had emergency C-section at 1140 pm. He was 8 lbs 7 oz and the c-section was due to my son heart rate slowing and 3 seconds after his birth his heart stopped! The shocked him and he’s a healthy 16 year old. But early induction my body and baby were not ready for labor. Something to think about when your at the end and want it over. Also some Drs will induce because of busy schedules and lots of patients. Control so there not overwhelmed with to many in labor at once.

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alyce June 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

I find this very interesting. I just delivered my 5th baby yesterday and have never ever been suggested an induction until 10-14 post EDD. I know in the private system they induce at week 38/39 and I can never understand why. I would much rather go into labour naturally than being induced.

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Amanda June 29, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Who are you to judge doctors for wanting women to deliver between 38-40 weeks? What are your credentials to accuse the healthcare professionals that they are doing it out of “fear” and “control”?

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Maggie June 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

I guess this was posted before it became the new standard, to recognize that non-medically indicated inductions before 39 weeks were actually not recommended. The same OBs who believed that 38 weeks was perfectly full-term enough for convenience inductions, now say 39 instead, due to that change in recommendations. Only thing is, they don’t talk about how before that came out, they were insisting 38 was just as good. Go figure.

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Michaela June 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Michel Odent is an obstetrician. Great article!

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Brittany July 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

I find this VERY fascinating and frustrating.

My first daughter was breech (one leg in the birth canal against the cervix, one up by her ear under my ribs) and I wasn’t dilating or thinning (I also got convinced to induce– I was naive about the situation) and ended up with a cesarean (the only thing I never wanted in labor.. I was hoping for a vaginal birth). She was 8lbs 5ozs. They convinced me at the time that she was “stuck” and wouldn’t turn (I wonder how true that was now)…

Here I am 2 and a half years later, pregnant and due 3 years after that cesarean. I’m DETERMINED to have a vbac (or at least try for it)… My doctor is willing to let me try, but briefly mentioned something about induction so he could be there– I plan to refuse induction.

Here is my main question– if I never dilated or effaced last time by 39 weeks (still was hard, high, and thick), and this would be a vbac, how far should I be able to go without dramatically increasing my risk of uterine rupture? My doctor said at 38 weeks if I’m not even a little thinned or dilated, they’ll start considering a cesarean at 40 weeks. But I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with that.

Any ideas or opinions on this would be great! (And sorry for the long post!)

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Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

If I were in your situation and wanted a vbac I would refuse induction until I was 42 weeks. (41 at the earliest). That’s me though. Hope you are blessed with the delivery you want.

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Melissa August 22, 2013 at 2:55 am

Brittany, I had exactly the same situation. My first was breech with her left leg up by her ear. At 36 weeks I was told she was stuck and couldn’t be moved due to low fluid levels. I was scheduled for a C-section a few days later but went into labour naturally the day after my ultrasound. I was rushed off for an emergency C-section at 36.5 weeks.
For my second pregnancy I wanted a natural birth. After my first consultation with a Dr I decided to look for other options for giving birth. The Dr told me I could have a trial labour as long as I was hooked up to a fetal monitior and didn’t labour for more than 12 hours. After a lot of research I opted for a home birth. I found a fabulous midwife who does lots of vbacs and she was confident I could birth naturally. And that I did! I birthed my son at home at 40 weeks and 1 day.
Do some research on uterine rupture, its not all as scary as the doctors make it sound. Your uterise wont explode unexpectedly. There are signs to look out for if it looks like it might rupture and you have time to get to a hospital for a C-section if that is the case.
Research, research, research! So that you feel confident in your decisions about this birth.

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Samantha May 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

I’ve had 3 babies, born at 41w2d (induced, ended in c-section), 42w2d (scheduled cs, I refused induction), and 43w0d VBA2C. I NEVER dilate until I’m in labor and then dilation is quick. With my first I was 0% and 0cm hard thick cervix. Same with my 3rd at 42w6d. I went into labor and within an hour I was at 8cm and 80% efface. Some women just don’t dilate until it’s time. Keep you safe from infection ;)

Also, induction with VBAC has a higher chance of uterine rupture than going post dates. Post dates doesn’t change it. But pitocin does.

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Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

I really hate the notion that babies are given one single date to be born and anything before or after that is considered irregular. Babies come when they are ready! Pretty sure we have been delivering babies fine since pretty much the dawn of time and never had concrete due dates until very, very recently. My husband even was commenting on people we know and see in the media and whatnot and said “it seems to me that a lot of women go way over their due dates before delivering” and I said to him something to the effect of, that’s because the 40-week model based on a 28-day cycle in every woman is generalized and false.

I seem to be pretty lucky in that while my official “paperwork” of updates every time I go to my OB for pre-natal appointments has me about 2 days ahead of “my” date (based on when I knew I ovulated), my OB seems to be very flexible with the dates. I have a “range” of dates right now as to when would be healthy to deliver, and he told me at our last appointment that he wouldn’t even consider inducing me until I was at least a week overdue, and then we would sit down and have a discussion about how am I feeling, how is the baby doing, things like that. He seems to be very focused on allowing me to have a natural birth, which is probably because I indicated to him that I wanted that from very early on. It helps to make your wishes clear to your doctor, but it also definitely helps to have an OB who has an open mind about his patients.

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Kenni August 21, 2013 at 10:51 am

I’m so against induction. With my first 2 kids I was really young and didn’t know much about being pregnant and giving birth, so I trusted my doctors opinion. With my first I was give multiple due dates, and in the end the dr went with July 27th. He sent me in on July 28th to be induced and I was in excruciating pain for 18 hours before I delivered. With my second I was considered high risk because of low amniotic fluid. I was induced at 39 weeks. They tried for 3 days to induce me and the whole time I was there I have different doctors coming in every 12 hours giving me different opinions because my doctor was too busy to come in and see me. By the 3rd day nothing was happening, just mild contractions, and a doctor came in and decided that I needed to be sent home. I refused because when I went into the hospital in the first place it was just for an ultrasound and they were the ones that scared me into getting induced in the first place because they said my baby was at risk. I told them I wouldn’t leave the hospital without my baby. My doctor finally came in to see me and decided to give it one last attempt and an induction and thankfully 7 hours later it worked. When I got pregnant with my 3rd I went to a different doctor and the first thing I told him was I refuse to be induced unless it was completely necessary, thankfully he agreed. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I went into labor on my own, exactly 40 weeks from my conceptions date. By far the best experience ever. I was having contractions around 10pm and by 12 they had gotten closer together, I wasnt in pain but decided to go to the hospital anyways and was 3cm. 3cm was always so painful for me during my first 2 labors because my body was being forced to do something it wasnt ready to do. By 5 am I was at 5cm and still barely feeling any pain. 7 am I was at 9cm and was feeling the pain but still nothing compared to my inductions and by 7:34 I delivered my healthy beautiful baby girl. Best labor experience ever! Sometimes doctors aren’t always right and I’m glad with my last pregnancy I decided to do things my way.

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Shay August 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Love this and I love my (male) OB who is a definitely a midwife at heart. Ive had 3 children so far, and only the 1st was born close to their EDD. My second was born at 42+1. And my most recent child was born at 43+6! My OB was monitoring me with the non-stress test from 42+3 and on, and trusting my body and baby. Baby was born at a healthy 7lb 3.6oz. The placenta DID show some calcification, but nothing to make me scared or not trust myself or OB the next time around.

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Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Based on the date of ovulation and thus conception, I knew my son’s due date was technically three days later than I was given. I was due 4-28 but knew technically it was 5-1. My doctor’s weren’t going to induce me until I was over 41 weeks but thankfully my son decided to be born at 38 weeks 3 days actual gestation. And he was 9# 1 ounce. Every baby’s time is different.

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Kat August 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

My boy was born at 42 weeks! Im a first time mum – i did natal hypnotherapy throughout my pregnancy n labour – i clued up alot bout all things – chose to be monitored n not induced! Everything was fine with my boy – he came later that day – within 36 mins -a unplanned home birth but amazin! If u actually ask the doctors for proof of the risks for bein overdue they actually cant show u any proof! I think its a load of bs too – when they say bout ur placenta not workin – why would ur body nourish ur baby for 9 months yet ‘when u get to a certain date’ it will stop?! Its not goin to jus stop workin cause ur past ur due date when infact due dates r jus an estimate! My labour was all natural n i was so relaxed it was the most amazing experience of my life!

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Stephanie August 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Thank you for this post! I was 41+5 with my first and I’m SO THANKFUL that he stayed it that long. Labor was fast and furious 2.5 hours total and he was 8lbs 9oz. I never even considered induction and trusted that he would choose his birthday, not my OB.

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Tennille October 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Thank you so much for this post. I’m 13 days overdue today. I’m feeling a lot of pressure from the outside world for him to be born. I want him to be safe and I do not think Pitocin is safe! Thank you for affirming my gut feeling to trust my body.

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Dina December 21, 2013 at 1:05 am

I gave birth to my first child through a c-section after 34 weeks (depending on my due date)
I was watching TV in my living room when suddenly i felt like dropping something out of my vagina. That was bleeding.
The doctor said that the placeanta has seperated and the baby is choking for oxygen .
So i had an emergency c-section which i thank god for. Because I would have lost my precious if it wasn’t for it.
Now I’m carrying my second child (32 weeks). And I’m just afraid that something similar could happen again.
I wished to have a natural birth this time (my last ceserean was 7 years ago) but my doctor still believes it’s risky. So I guess I’m gonna be having my next ceserean in a couple of weeks . Wish me luck .

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Jen January 1, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Yes! Both of my sons came naturally at 37 and 38 weeks respectively. We were all completely off on my dates for my second son (ovulated way late) and he was born on his supposed due date at what we thought was 40 weeks but then when we looked at him and the midwife examined him we realized he was physiologically definitely a 37-weeker. If I had been included “a couple weeks early” he would have been born at only 35 weeks. So glad I have always been of the opinion that nature knows best and the baby will come when ready as my great grandma said!

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Maggie January 1, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Yes! I conceived via IUI with my wife so we know our dates, and our baby was at the end of week 43! We did herbal induction, and I had to transfer to the hospital as my water broke and that clock started, but my son was perfect at just under 8lbs and we were both healthy up to the end; I sincerely believe he would have come on his own about five days later. My Mom and Grandma both had negative c-section experiences after prolonged labors, and I now feel I may just carry to 44 weeks! This blog was a tremendous comfort at that time. Want to add, the hospital delivery nurses were all non-plused by my being “late”…and we had a medicated, vaginal birth and 10 apgar.

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Oliando January 2, 2014 at 1:29 am

I had my first birth after two surgeries – 7 hour labour easy, no pushing just one huge fetal ejection reflex, he was ‘over due’. My son was 11lb 12 or 5.34 kilos, 45+3 and born at home with a true knot in his cord.
My first baby was induced at 40+10, led to c-section and I got an inverted T scar (normal lower seg, then a cut all the way up the middle of my uterus to the upper seg) Second baby cut out at 39 weeks because I was so “high risk”. I know my risks, stats, facts, options, chances, rights and laws. It took me two failed efforts in the medical system to know and do better. I have an ultrasound from 5 weeks pregnant, so my dates with the 45+ pregnancy are spot on.
I know a woman who went to 46+ weeks with her daughter and a handful of women who went to 44+ weeks.
We try to collect the birth stories now on our facebook group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/245805305503648/?fref=ts

Stay strong, get informed. You might be surprised what the truth is.

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Skye m January 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I have a question for anyone who may know just out of curiosity. I had my daughter right at 39. My water had started leaking but didn’t break completely my baby hadn’t dropped yet and I wasn’t even slightly uncomfortable so they finished breaking my water and gave me pitocin to make me start contracting. Just curious if that was the best choice or if it would’ve been easier if my body just did everything on its own time.

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Lydia March 29, 2014 at 8:14 pm

My water started leaking out one night at 38 weeks. I couldn’t feel the contractions but they showed up on the monitor. They wanted to give me pitocin but I continued to refuse. Labor did eventually get going on it’s own, slowly at first and then really picked up. I definitely believe it was easier on me and my baby this way. Relaxing even for most of it! We were at the hospital for 18 hours before she was born. Doctors are so quick to give pitocin, whether to induce or speed things up.

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Maria March 29, 2014 at 10:04 am

With my daughter my edd based on my last period was 5/21 but it got changed to 6/2 bc she measured small only at the first ultrasound then she measured 2. Weeks ahead. My doctor and I both belIeve 5/21 was the correct edd. She was finally born on 6/10 @43 weeks! Abd I was induced my bp abd he were dangerously high. My daughter had numerous issues at birth die to get size 9 lbs 1oz 22 inches I’m very petite.

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Audrey March 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

I had a lovely Doctor who agreed that if the placenta was healthy and I was feeling good, that the pregnancy should be able to run its course. And it did. I delivered at 42 weeks, naturally, drug free, and exactly as planned. Pays to do some research and find practitioners who really, really get it. :)

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Jynice Hummel March 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

I think women should be left to birth their babies when their bodies say it’s time, as long as it is not an extreme prematurity issue. I have always been told my due date is about 2-3 weeks after it actually is. I am 5 “2 not a big girl at all and hence my babies (4) of them have never been more than 7lbs. at birth. I know how far along I am and of course at birth they are always estimated to be overdue……… I know my body and my baby, it should be more natural thatn medical, after all we are not sick we are pregnant.

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Mari May 19, 2014 at 11:08 am

When I read this information about letting babies come when they are ready, I wonder if anyone has any research to share about babies that come early on their own.

My mother gave birth to all 3 of us early. We were all healthy- no nicu stay at all.

I gave birth to my son at 36.5 weeks. He was totally healthy and fine. We must just “cook them fast”, if you will.

My worry is that, now that we know I may go into labor early, the hospital/OB will try to stop my labor when it’s not necessary and possibly cause some kind of damage to me or my baby.

Obviously, I don’t want a baby born too early or underdeveloped, but I don’t want drugs to stop my labor and cause complications.

I’m just curious about any research that may have been done about healthy, “early” deliveries.

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Amber September 15, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Once you hit 36 weeks, if you go into labor on your own no one will try to stop it. This is because 36 weeks is basically the “safety” point, where a baby with no other medical issues present is not likely to require a nicu stay. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, if your body & baby are ready in that range of what is considered safe but still preterm (prior to 39 weeks), you should be allowed to birth naturally.

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Amy May 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

birthing a big baby…no matter what the head size or weight actually weighs little on if you can have a successful vaginal delivery. Positioning matters a lot…so does the ability to move around freely during labor. It’s going to be really hard to properly labor when you are confined to a bed…and have an epi preventing you from getting up. Good ole gravity and ability to move freely during labor can make or break your successful vaginal delivery regardless of baby size. And don’t even get me started on the constant baby monitoring and ability to not eat or drink for hours on end is in no way going to be truly conducive to the most successful vaginal delivery. Does it happen, well, sure…all the time, but rest assured (and let’s not kid ourselves here) that ANY intervention has it’s side effects on labor. In my opinion ANY doctor who even talks about small pelvis or big baby as reason for any interventions should be questioned and not trusted because such an argument can’t really be supported.

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kate May 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I’m so frustrated I don’t know exactly when I conceived. My period had been MIA for four months when the doctor told me I was 7 weeks. My cycle has always been crazy. It can come every two months or be one month apart. I’m anxious I’ll be pushed into something I don’t want because I’m not sure of how many weeks I am.

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HappyGirl May 19, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I’ve read lots of interesting stories above. Some seeming to try to boast or brag, others with disappointment. My overriding thought is: Who cares? Why? I’ve had 2 induced babies with epidurals and they are perfect. One just qualified Gifted and Talented at school, the other is in preschool. Why does it matter how they were horn? Guess what? It doesn’t! You should never, ever, ever feel disappointed in your child’s birth. You have a child. You were chosen by God and blessed to be a mother.

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Maggie June 28, 2014 at 11:37 pm

It mattered to me how mine were born, because it matters to me when I consent to medical treatment based on partial or false information, or feel pressured against making my own informed decisions. Birth is very personal, just like sex. Some women feel intense loss and disappointment, if they are unable to conceive a child, and it would be as callous to tell them that all that matters is that they got their adopted child, and deny their right to mourn the loss of biological motherhood, as it would be to tell women that the physiological act of birthing, should be irrelevant to them.

It’s ok to me if how you birthed didn’t matter to you. I hope it’s ok to you, that it does indeed matter a lot, to a lot of other women. :)

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Steffanie August 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I did everything to naturally induce my labor.
I was induced 3 weeks ago, I was 42 weeks ( I know when he was conceived). Labor was 32 hours. I was stuck at being dilated at 8.5 for 6 hours and my wAter was broken for over 24 hrs.
Sadly I went Into shock around the 31 hr mark and had to ask for a c section. They said my shaking was normal, but I ended up with a fever of 103. I couldn’t hold my husbands hand in the OR and hand to have my arms tied down, due to my uncontrollable shaking. My son was healthy but I stayed in recovery for almost 5 hours as they watched me. Had the same episode the following evening, fever And shakes. I don’t wish what I went through on anyone. I barely remember seeing my son after he was born and was so out of it I couldn’t hold him or do skin to skin for 6 hours after he was born.

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Jaye August 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

I would just like to say – I am all for gestating until 42 weeks unless there is a problem. For example I recently had the horrifying experience of taking care of a mom who lost her baby that was alive the day before because she refused a foley bulb induction at 43 weeks. And also, 40 weeks is adequate for dates. I’m not trying to argue, but make sure you actually have medical knowledge about what you’re feeding people before you post things. I’m glad your babies turned out healthy, but not everyone has your story.

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Mrs. BWF August 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

That is so sad. It happens at 37, 38, 39, 40 weeks gestation as well and is always a tragedy. Each woman definitely needs to weight the risks and benefits for her and her baby along with her partner and care providers.

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kim n August 25, 2014 at 11:50 pm

My friend chose a scheduled c-section on third baby because second baby did not survive birth due to his size. The psychological mindset of the mother is also important in the safe delivery of the child. I thought this blog did not judge any kind of birth and respected every choices. Never judge based on your personal experience, there’s only one of you.

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Mrs. BWF August 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

We don’t and we do and good for her having her birth without fear. :)

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Erin Gattuccio August 26, 2014 at 12:29 am

At 38 weeks I went into the hospital because my son was showing signs of distress. I was monitored all night long and so was my son, he never showed signs of distress again. All was fine. I kept asking to just be induced while I was there. I was told to at least let him get to 39 weeks, 40+ preferably, to let him “cook” a little longer. My doctor knew, based on research and scientific proof, that he was safer on the inside than on the outside. What she, myself and stats didn’t know was that just 2 days later his heart would stop beating. Had I gotten my way my son would be here right now keeping me awake at a precious 4 months old. Instead my son is here, in an urn, keeping me awake through heartache.
If we are successful again, the next one will be induced at 38 weeks to be on the safe side.
Sure statistics may say to do one thing vs another but it doesn’t apply to everyone. What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. I say listen to your body and instincts….it sucks being the smaller number they weigh against the higher number when it comes to statistics.

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Katharine August 28, 2014 at 8:22 am

I was induced at 41wk6d as I had developed gestational thrombocytopenia. Might have let things go a little longer and my obgyn was willing to go with what I felt was right, but I decided to go ahead and be induced anyway. It was more convenient for my family for us to have the baby then. I had been 3 cm dilated for over a month. Sometimes I wonder if it was a selfish decision, especially since my son ended up slightly asthmatic for his first year of life.

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Abigail September 13, 2014 at 12:22 am

So thankful for a Doctor who has 4 children of her own, and delivered each one naturally, so when I finally met her, my 1st comment to her was “I will not be induced” she assured me that she doesn’t encourage that, and we are having this baby when she is ready!

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Lisa Cohen September 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm

When I became pregnant with my twins 8 years I was told that a) I would be having a c-section and/or b) that my twins would be born naturally premature…so I stayed far away from the doctors opinions, advice & instructions despite the fact that 1 baby was breach..I did what I thought was best…I laboured at home & arrived at the hospital 8cm dialated @ 39 weeks and gave birth naturally…as I predicted the breach baby would turn himself around once the other guy was born, and my theory was correct…everything was perfect..for me & my sons.. though the hospital staff was operating in panic mode..we were fine because I trusted my maternal instincts. G-d chooses who will bare the fruit of the earth and puts upon their heads wisdom that surpasses all human knowledge.

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