Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Don't be too quick to deliver

Laura Landro, WSJ, Mar 1, 2011, says obstetrics groups prefer a baby stay inside for 39 weeks at least, but mothers and doctors sometimes push a point and schedule earlier deliveries.

It is loosely believed that two weeks either side of the due date is “term.”

But now there is evidence that even a few days short of 39 weeks can cause problems.

Early deliveries can mean more C-sections, too, with more risk and more cost.

Infants at 37 to 38 weeks face problems with brain development and function, which can lead to behavioral and emotional problems down the road. The cerebral cortex at 34 weeks is only 53% of its size at 39 or 40 weeks.

Finishing touches to the liver come in the last days. Even if lungs are developed, early delivery results in more respiratory problems.

Babies born before 39 weeks don’t suck as well and may not stay awake long enough to eat. Babies born before 39 weeks also can have vision problems.

Without a good reason, babies should never be delivered before 39 weeks—according to many doctors.

Some hospitals even forbid it without a good reason.

Employers are urged to disallow this in their health plans.

You know a really bad reason to induce? To get your baby’s birthday on the upcoming 11-11-11 date.

Really bad.

Let the baby bake a while longer.

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