The Importance of Giving Birth After 40 Weeks of Pregnancy

In the last few years, it has been seen that many women opt for giving births early due to many non-medical reasons for example: to reduce the risk of a big baby etc. But this is a worrying trend which can lead to a gamut of increased health risks and problems for both the mother and the baby.

Even a week can make a lot of difference in the growth of the baby towards the end and can lead to many positive changes.  There are many reasons why giving birth after a pregnancy period of 40 weeks is considered ideal for both and the following are the major ones:

importance of giving birth after 40 weeks of pregnancy

  • Those babies who are born after 40 weeks of pregnancy are better able to swallow and suck because by this time, the muscle development is a lot more improved. This sucking and swallowing in turn helps the baby to breastfeed better which also affects the bonding between the baby and the mother.
  • Those babies who are born after 40 weeks have a little bit of extra fat and due to this; they are more equipped and more capable of controlling their own temperature. This is another benefit of giving birth after 40 weeks of pregnancy.
  • During the last 5 weeks of pregnancy, the brain development accelerates by a large factor and this must be allowed by letting the pregnancy stretch till 40 whole weeks.
  • Babies who are born after 40 weeks of pregnancy are less likely to suffer from various illnesses such as jaundice, seizures, respiratory problems, hearing problems, low blood sugar, cerebral palsy and others.
  • Another reason why a pregnancy must be allowed to stretch for 40 weeks is because babies born after 40 weeks have lesser chance of suffering from behavioral problems.
  • On comparing with babies born after 38 weeks, the babies born after 40 weeks have been seen to score better at standardized tests.
  • Most babies who are born before 40 weeks ahave a higher chance of being readmitted to the hospital and this is also one reason why one must wait for 40 weeks to complete before giving birth.
  • Waiting for 40 weeks to complete is great for the mother and for the birth of the baby because this means that the mother won’t have to go through induced pain, which can hurt a lot. Moreover, induction also poses increased risk for the mother and the baby and it is best to avoid it.
  • Allowing labor to start naturally also decreases the likelihood of having complications and interventions. Moreover, being induced can also increase the length of the labor.
  • Babies who are born before a time period of 40 weeks are less able to stay awake long enough for taking a full feed.
  • It is a fact that more than half the babies born between 37 and 39 weeks have a higher chance of being admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.


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