When you think of a full-term pregnancy, what comes to mind? Did you know that there’s been a recent change in “full-term” terminology? Let me explain, but first a little background of our late-term story.
I remember my pregnancy with Alea like it was yesterday. It was 40 weeks and 6 days of waiting and impatience and just dying to meet my sweet little girl. Throw in nausea and vomiting for almost my entire pregnancy, a little bit of sleeping discomfort and oh the struggle of leg shaving! Those last couple of months and especially those last couple of weeks are so uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t change them for anything.
Alea was born on April 3rd, but come March I was just ready to be done. I was over being pregnant. I honestly started trying all those “old wives tales” to try and induce labor and nothing would work. No matter how many squats I did, how many laps I did walking around the block or how much spicy food I ate, Alea stayed put!
And she actually wasn’t born until 6 days after her due date!
(She’s been a stubborn little stinker ever since, too!)
Let’s talk a little more about the changes in definition to the “full-term” terminology. As many of you know, in the past, a baby born anytime between 37 weeks at 42 weeks was considered “term.” Now, that’s changed a little. Now, pregnancy at 39 weeks gestation is considered full term. They’ve also provided different “term” names for each weekly stage after 37 weeks. See below:
Why the sudden change, you might ask? Well, research shows that babies who stay in the womb longer have better results and fewer health concerns after birth. During those last 3-4 weeks, babies’ lungs, brain, and liver are all finishing their crucial development process. A baby born when these vital organs are still in development could suffer health problems after birth or throughout life as well as learning disabilities down the road. Babies born before 39 weeks have an increased risk of spending more time in the neonatal intensive care unit and tend to have problems with breathing, feeding and thermoregulation.
It may be uncomfortable those last few weeks, but waiting until 39 weeks to deliver (as long as it is safe for mom and for baby), can drastically improve your baby’s health at birth and beyond! It’s worth that discomfort you’ll endure. Trust me!
What can you do with all of this information?
First take a minute to let it digest. It’s a lot to take in, but do your own research as well. Check out the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development initiative and read-up more about why this change has occurred and what it might mean for your current/future pregnancies.
What do you think about the change?
What “term” did you give birth to your little?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Know Your Terms Initiative.