Each of us is different; which is so special as it makes us individuals. It is therefore a strange idea that all our baby’s will choose the exact 40 week gestation to enter the world. For reference, 280 days = 40 weeks = 9 months 6 days. It is a long time but hey you are growing a complex human baby! Your baby needs all this time during pregnancy to grow and develop and although it might seem tempting to be induced, especially during those last few weeks, inducing labour is associated with increased risks including prematurity, caesarean surgery, haemorrhage and infection.
A 1999 study of over 17,000 spontaneous deliveries stated that due dates are more accurate if we add 282 days to the last menstrual period instead of 280.
This is known as Naegele’s Rule, after a German doctor who published the method in 1806. Naegele did not arrive at this method very scientifically!
When considering being induced it should only ever be for medical reasons – not for convenience! Allow your baby to let you know when he/she is ready to emerge and here are a few reasons for you to consider going the full distance:
- Savour the journey – soon you will meet your baby
- Let nature take over – there are fewer complications and risks for both you and your baby through natural birth
- Birth a brainier baby – at 35 weeks your baby’s brain is only 2/3rds the size it will be at term
- Set her thermostat – your baby will better regulate her temperature when born at term
- Boost breastfeeding -term babies more effectively suck and swallow than babies born earlier
- Delight in those kicks and flips – marvel at the miracle of the life you are growing.
- Enjoy your convenient excuse for every mood swing and crazy craving. Let others do the shopping for you just a while longer
- Indulge in “we” time before you’re a threesome or more!
- Relax! Babies are usually so much easier to care for in the womb
- Snooze when you can – what sleep you’re currently getting is actually quite a lot compared to the interruptions ahead
- Massage remains a must – ask your partner to help ease your aches
- Make the best possible birth experience; don’t rush it!
OK your turn to come up with ways to cope with those later weeks; we would love to hear them visit us on Facebook or Twitter.