A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that every day and week of pregnancy is critical for baby's development. In a news release about the study, Children's National Health System reports:
"During the third trimester -- the final 13 to 14 weeks of gestation -- fetuses' brains grow exponentially, and the body shifts energy to the brain to accomodate the neurological growth spurt. As the brain size increases four-fold, it develops critical structures and connections that will be relied upon for life."
This new evidence adds to the large body of information and research we have that continues to reveal just how important it is to allow labor to start on its own and for babies to choose their own birthdate. By doing so, you ensure that baby gets as much time as possible to grow and develop. Even babies born a week or two before 40 weeks can be impacted by complications related to prematurity. Learn more about the importance of "going the full 40" from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses website.
Throughout the month of November and on World Prematurity Day (Nov. 17), Lamaze will be sharing resources across all of our channels (Facebook, Giving Birth with Confidence, Twitter, Science & Sensibility) on preventing prematurity and avoiding the interventions, like induction, that can cause complications of prematurity. For now, I leave you with this excerpt from one of my favorite Lamaze articles on due dates:
"Remember: Your due date is an estimate of when you will give birth, not a guarantee. If you are “overdue,” just count it as more time to establish a bond with your baby, to prepare mentally for motherhood, to discuss your partner’s role during the birth and to ready your home for your baby’s arrival. Consider telling family and friends that you are due “sometime in May” rather than on a specific day in order to prevent a daily barrage of phone calls near the end of your pregnancy. Trust that your baby will know when the time is right for his big debut. It will be worth the wait for everyone."