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Dr. Lauren Nicola had many reasons to plan the birth of her baby at 39 weeks.

The former Cretan medical student was finishing her residency, taking the boards, moving to Oregon for a new obstetrics and gynecology program, just as she was her son.

But most importantly, it was the healthiest thing to do for her newborn William.

“My husband and I initially chose a 39-week program because, frankly, I did not think I could get pregnant, work for more than 40 weeks, or work on my own,” she said. “A residency schedule of working more than 80 hours a week can carry a pregnant body.”

There are a number of reasons in which a woman may have induction. It stimulates uterine contractions to achieve vaginal delivery before the birth begins on its own. The provider may recommend induction due to maternal health problems (infection, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or other medical conditions). Sometimes inductions are just selective decisions.

Nicholas said that over the past four years, he has seen planned conscriptions become more and more common in childbirth, rather than focusing on the traditional 40 weeks of childbirth.

Dr. Robert Bonebrake, a specialist in maternal and fetal medicine at the Methodist Hospital Perinatal Hospital, sees no downside as long as the baby’s parents are comfortable with the idea.

While the practice may differ from physician to physician, this is what he discusses with most of his patients.

Studies show that the risk of stillbirth is at its lowest point in 39 weeks, and inductions do not lead to a higher risk of stillbirth as previously thought.

“If you are 40 weeks old, the risk of stillbirth begins to stabilize, to creep a little,” she said. “You are waiting for something to happen that you want to avoid.”

This is especially true for older mothers.

The idea of ​​pushing your baby at some point in your pregnancy dates back to the days when babies came on time. Nowadays, it is less common for mothers to spend more than 40 weeks waiting for health risks to increase.

“The suggestion is not to go before 39,” said Bonnebreck.

Moms do not need to worry if this is not something they have discussed with their own doctor or they want to go all 40 weeks. Bonnebreck said that everything will probably be fine.

But if the baby is not on time, induction will probably be considered.

“You have to balance where they are – their desire to experience it, balancing it medically,” he said.

Nikola said that it is nice when all the planning works.

But baby William had to be pushed for 37 weeks because of high blood pressure. It was a surprise, he said, but he was confident with the delivery team.

“It can be quite shocking for some moms who are offered a surprise medical induction, but we have to take into account that it is either recommended for the health of the mother, the baby or both,” she said. “The most important thing is that you have a healthy mother, a healthy baby at the end of the road.”


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