6 reasons to not rush the delivery of your baby
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had patients or friends who are pregnant and who’ve told me how they are so over being pregnant and they just want to deliver already—sometimes weeks before their due date has even arrived! While I’ll totally commiserate with them when it comes to their swollen feet and achy backs, I am usually pretty straightforward in my response: be patient, and let your baby come when he or she is ready. Here is why.
1. I’ve actually got 40 reasons for you. The website Healthy Mom and Baby has a wonderful list of 40 reasons why babies need their full 40 weeks of development in the womb. Reasons like at 35 weeks, your baby’s brain is only 66 percent developed should snap you back to reality when you hit that mark and think an elective delivery would be no big deal! Read through all of these, and if this list doesn’t have you convinced, read it again!
2. You’re not even considered full term anymore until 39 weeks. We used to say full term was once you were 37 weeks pregnant, but that definition was changed in November 2013 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). You are now only considered “early term” at 37 weeks of pregnancy and “full term” when you hit 39 weeks. This was done because we now have better information that shows that babies born before 39 weeks do not do as well as those who are born after. They have more medical complications, such as trouble breathing. Because of this, ACOG changed the definition of term pregnancy and recommends against elective deliveries before 39 weeks (if your labor starts on its own at 37 weeks, however, it is not stopped since the goal here is to avoid elective deliveries, not natural ones).
3. For every pregnant woman who is so over it, there’s another one who would do anything to be in your shoes. Unfortunately, I’ve delivered lots of babies who showed up way too early and were far too small to survive outside the womb or who lived but have severe medical complications related to prematurity. I’ve also had many a patient with infertility who would give anything to have her own pregnancy complaints. Realize how lucky you are to not only be pregnant but have avoided a tragically early preterm delivery. While complaining on social media about wanting to just be done at 37 weeks is just your innocent form of venting, it can ruin someone else’s day when they are reminded of their own losses or inability to get pregnant.
4. Realize that once this baby is here, it’s all gonna change. This means if you are a first-time mom, enjoy all the things you might not be able to do for a while once baby shows up! Eat at that fancy restaurant, get in some couple time and nice dates, and be the boss of your schedule. And if you’ve already got a little one underfoot, treasure that time with them because this is the last time your only child will have you all to herself.
5. Take advantage of the pregnancy perks as long as possible. OK, I can totally agree with you that I can’t wait to get out of maternity clothes and back into my normal pants. But I can be on board with the strangers who hold doors for me and the offers of a seat in crowded places when my huge belly becomes obvious. Listen, not all of pregnancy is bad—enjoy the perks as long as possible!
6. Inductions are not always fun. It’s one thing if there is a medical complication and your baby needs to be delivered early, but it’s another if you want to sign up for an induction just so you can be done being pregnant. We know that inductions can take days and carry more risks, such as an increased need for having a C-section. So try and be patient!
So what happens if you are pregnant, a few weeks from your due date, and you are totally over it and just want to meet your baby already? Be patient. Know that you are not alone. Eat some ice cream and get a pedicure. But realize a few weeks is the blink of an eye when it comes to the lifetime you are about to spend as a mother. Then eat more ice cream.