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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

When is it safe to have your baby?

By December 28, 2009

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In an pregnancy that is perfect normal and healthy, there seems to be some confusion on the part of women as to what constitutes a "safe" time line for giving birth. This really stood out to me:

"In response to, 'What is the earliest point in pregnancy that it is safe to deliver the baby, should there be no other medical complications requiring early delivery?' 51.7% choose 34-36 weeks of gestation, and 40.7% choose 37-38 weeks of gestation, while only 7.6% choose 39-40 weeks of gestation."

The truth is that a 75% of women couldn't even correctly give the answer for the definition of full term. The authors of the survey have concluded that women really don't know what full term is or when it is safe to deliver a baby. These perceptions are probably involved in the high rates of elective inductions, despite the fact that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has declared 39 weeks the bare minimum for elective deliveries because of safety factors for the baby.



Women's Perceptions Regarding the Safety of Births at Various Gestational Ages. Goldenberg, Robert L.; McClure, Elizabeth M.; Bhattacharya, Anand; Groat, Tina D.; Stahl, Pamela J. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 114(6):1254-1258, December 2009.

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