Birth in the Know

What’s the Latest a Baby can be Born?

Fear of pain in childbirth

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines a full term pregnancy as one that lasts between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days. After that time, a baby is considered post term.  Side note:  both of my babies were born around 42 weeks, perfectly healthy.

Is there a point where a baby is past their “due date”, and a mother must be induced or have a caesarean section to get the baby out?  Many years ago Moms were given a window of time for when their baby could be born.  Moms today are fixated on the exact date they are given. Babies are born when they are ready, and there are some instances where it is safer for the baby to be born than for the mother to stay pregnant.  Preeclampsia is one of them.

How do I know if my baby is okay?

I would say, “That’s a better question to ask.”  Just because you haven’t given birth within the ACOG specified time frame doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your baby. The nonstress test (NST) is one way to check on your baby. It is not invasive, and places no stress on your baby, as the name indicates. The NST measures the baby’s heart rate in response to its own movements. It would be better to get an NST before saying yes to induction or cesarean-section, both of which have their own set of risks.

You can also count kicks to see how much your baby is moving.

According to Count the Kicks, it’s important to count the kicks because when there is a change in how many it could be a sign of distress. You can start counting the kicks daily during your third trimester, then you’ll know what’s normal.  You’ll have a baseline and any change will be noticeable.

Your EDD is an estimated due date, and isn’t an exact science. You may be feeling tired, and ready to meet your baby by the end of your pregnancy. That’s normal. I’d encourage you to be patient, keep up with your prenatal care, count the kicks. Your baby will be born at the right time, in the right place with the right people.

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