Why to Wait Until 40 Weeks

We know. You’re sick and tired of being pregnant—and we can probably guess the reasons why:

  • You probably feel huge (but we promise, you look great!).
  • You can’t find a comfy position to sleep.
  • For that matter, you’re uncomfortable all the time, no matter what.
  • It’s way too hot to be pregnant (no matter the time of year).
  • You’re pretty sure that little bun is finished baking, anyway.
  • You just want your little one on the outside, instead of the inside, so you can kiss that tiny nose and those tiny toes.

You may even be tempted to schedule an induction or a C-section to get baby here a bit early. It’s so hard to be patient, but there are lots of reasons to sit back and relax and wait for those 40 weeks (all of those 40 weeks!) to crawl by:

  • Believe it or not, your little one is still growing, even though it feels like there can’t possibly be any growing room left.
  • Of babies whose mommies choose for them to be born between 37 and 39 weeks, 25 percent have to spend several days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  • Early term babies have a harder time feeding, which could have a permanent impact, especially if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • At 35 weeks, your baby’s brain is just two-thirds the size it’ll be at 40 weeks. And the longer baby “bakes,” the lower the risk of learning disabilities and behavior problems.
  • Because baby’s lungs are one of the last things to develop, those last two weeks can make a huge difference. In fact, babies born at 37 weeks are three times more likely to have breathing problems than those born at 39 or 40 weeks.

And, on a different topic … induced labor tends to take about three hours longer (and hurt more) than when you wait for your own body to decide when it’s time. Hang in there, Mom. Your little one is worth the wait!

For more information, register for our free Understanding Birth interactive course.