…According to Rob Stein writing in The Washington Post, for some reason, babies are rushing their due dates.
…The percentage of tots born slightly early--like a week--has been increasing for more than a decade and is now a record.
…In fact, these over-eager types have pushed the curve so a normal pregnancy is now 39 weeks instead of 40.
…A combo of factors seems to account for this. Mothers are older, meaning they may not hold a pregnancy as long.
…Defects and problems are being discovered before birth and because care of preemies has improved so much, they may take the baby early to treat him or her.
…Predictably, some docs say all this is good—deliver the baby, treat it, save it.
…Others say skipping those last few days in the womb can produce more jaundice, breathing, and feeding problems.
…Some researchers say long-term developmental problems can develop if babies don’t “bake” enough.