This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting – and frightening – times in your life. Especially for new Moms who don’t know what to expect, or one that might not keep up to date on all the new profound research that’s been discovered recently. There’s a lot of decisions for expectant Moms to make. One important decision that we can all agree on, is when possible, to carry the baby to full term. But did you know that time line has recently changed??
The NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has researched and shown that babies born before 39 weeks are at risk for some major health problems –such as blood infections and learning disabilities.They also are more likely to spend their first days in neonatal ICU and have problems with feeding, controlling their temperature, and even breathing.
In the past a baby would be considered term between 37 and 42 weeks; now 39 and 40 weeks are considered full term. Babies born in weeks 37 – 38 are considered early term, and babies born in week 41 – 42 are late term.
By waiting to deliver until at least 39 weeks in a healthy pregnancy, you will give your baby the time they need to grow. The lungs, liver and brain go through a crucial growth period between the 37 – 39 weeks of pregnancy.
When I was pregnant with my first child I was induced several weeks early. I had a very healthy pregnancy, but was having a hard time with swelling (my feet somewhat resembled an elephants foot, if that gives you an idea of the pain I was dealing with). Though my daughter was born without any issues right away – we noticed she was having difficulties with breathing, and getting constant ear infections. At 5 years old my daughter was wheeled back into the OR for surgery. The pain of watching her go through all these development issues far outweighed the pain I felt with my swelling during pregnancy. If I had known, or been made aware of the increased health risk that delivering early could have caused my baby, I would have endured the swelling and pain for a few more weeks.
Though sometimes there is a health risk to the mother or baby and planned deliveries before 39 weeks are necessary, waiting until full term at 39 weeks is in the best interest of your baby.
Be sure to make yourself familiar with the new terms so you and your health care provider can talk about what is best for the health of you and your baby.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Institutes of Health.