As of August 2011, March of Dimes has taken a stand that having inductions and cesarean sections for non-medical reasons before 39 weeks is not in the best interest of baby. Here is why…
Babies born too early may have more health problems at birth and later in life than babies born full term. Here’s why your baby needs 39 weeks:
- Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get all the time they need to develop.
- He is less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth.
- Babies born too soon often are too small. Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small.
- He can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after he’s born. Babies born early sometimes can’t do these things.
Inducing early for non medical reasons can cause unnecessary problems for mother and baby.
- Your due date may not be exactly right.
- Inducing labor may not work.
- A c-section can cause problems for your baby.
- C-sections can cause problems in future pregnancies.
- A c-section is major surgery for mom.
*For more info on these you can visit the March of Dimes article here.
If your doctor or midwife is the one pushing induction or an early scheduled cesarean, you can discuss the following:
- Is there a problem with my health or the health of my baby that may make me need to have my baby early?
- Can I wait to have my baby until I’m closer to 39 weeks?
About inducing labor
- Why do you need to induce labor?
- How will you induce labor?
- Will inducing labor increase the chance that I’ll need to have a c-section?
- Why do I need to have a c-section?
- What problems can a c-section cause for me and my baby?
- Will I need to have a c-section in future pregnancies?
“Waiting for the birth of a child is an exciting and anxious time. Most women give birth between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy… A postterm pregnancy is one that lasts 42 weeks or longer. Women who are having a baby for the first time or who have had postterm pregnancies before may give birth later than expected.” ~ACOG