Why the Last Weeks of Pregnancy Count


In the old days we thought all babies did
fine. 35 weeks was the same as 39 weeks. We now understand that that’s not true. Studies
are now showing that those last three weeks are very important in the baby’s development.
Now it may not be as critical as the development that is occurring earlier, however, it still
is very important for the vast majority of children who are in that range. The baby’s
brain at 35 weeks weighs two-thirds of what it’s going to weigh at 39 weeks. I tell
moms that the incubator which is their womb or their uterus is far better than an incubator
in the intensive care nursery. And every week that the baby spends longer in the uterus
is far better than a week in the incubator the neonatal intensive care unit.  While
that’s very important early in pregnancy – like let’s say 28, 29, 30 weeks –
it still is valid up until 39 weeks.  Because those babies still need to grow and develop
their brains, their lungs their livers, their muscles, their coordination.  There always
can be certain medical indications for early delivery. The baby may show signs of distress,
the mother may be having some issues like significant vaginal bleeding as an example,
which may make the doctor worried but its important that you as a patient understand
that you have a say in this as well. Patients really need to take charge of their pregnancy
because it is your pregnancy. It’s important to remember that you are an equal partner
in this and if you have concerns and those concerns have not been addressed adequately,
you need to bring those concerns up to your doctor or midwife to ensure that they understand
where you’re coming from. They say the two greatest days in a man’s life is the day
he gets married and the day his first child is born.  I spend most the days of my life
dealing with couples who have one of the greatest days of their lives. 

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