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Risks of Early Delivery

The Top 5 Risks of Early Delivery

It's common knowledge that pregnancy lasts nine months, but the reality is that a normal full term goes about 40 weeks long. Of course, not all pregnancies follow that time frame, like the case with Kim Kardashian, who gave birth to a baby girl on June 15, four weeks ahead of her expected July 11 due date. Sometimes delivering early is necessary for medical reasons, but in general, doctors and organizations stress the importance of waiting as long as possible if you can help it. Find out why, starting with these top risks that come with inducing labor ahead of schedule.

  1. Hindering development: Much of baby's development happens in the last few weeks of pregnancy. The lungs, liver, and brain, for example, continue growing between 37 and 39 weeks.
  2. Immediate difficulties: Babies born early may also need more medical attention. Some concerns include having trouble breathing and sucking or swallowing; they also have a higher chance of needing to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  3. Long-term health effects: Deliveries that happen before 39 weeks come with a greater risk of long-term effects. Cerebral palsy, special educational needs, and, in some cases, even death have occurred as a result.
  4. Increased behavioral risks: According to statistics, children born at 37 or 38 weeks as opposed to later on in pregnancy have a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  5. Complications for mom: Having an induced labor increases the need for a C-section, which comes with its own set of risks like infection and the likelihood that mom will need another C-section in the future.
Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
SallyBackhaus SallyBackhaus 3 years
With my first, the doctors told lie after lie trying to scare me into scheduling a section then scheduled an unnecessary induction hoping for "failure to progress". Unfortunately, I was too ignorant then to tell them "No, we'll wait until baby is ready" and was too far into transition (They thought I was still stage one and just a weenie and wouldn't check even though my husband begged for an hour.) to ignore the lies that scared me into an epidural. Luckily, she took matters into her own hands. By dates she was 6 days "late"; by ultrasound, they hadn't been able to make up their minds; by neonatal assesment, she was two weeks early; and based on my family history and personal cycle length, she could have been happy in there for another month. For my second, I got a midwife, a lot of research, and some assertiveness. She came on her own when she wanted to and didn't take two weeks to eat and sleep normally like her sister did.
missnanny missnanny 3 years
Unless there is a medical reason for doing so, we should let nature take its course. Too many try to make it "convenient" to have the baby early. I call that selfishness.
CarolMorrisey CarolMorrisey 3 years
I am appalled at the number of doctors who casually induce labor for convenience. My daughter's ob offered to induce her right around the due date, but she refused and had him at home about a week later, with a lovely midwife, when he was ready. Inducing labor is harder on both mom and baby, resulting in more need for pain medication (which is bad for the baby too), more fetal distress, and more hemorrhaging afterward. There is no excuse for messing with mother nature! Babies come when they are ready, and due dates are often wrong. We need to be patient. By the way, no woman should have another cesarean just because she had one before. I had one (unnecessary) section, then 3 VBACs (vaginal birth after a cesarean). Vastly better!
KimberlyWagner79571 KimberlyWagner79571 3 years
I had my 2nd child in 2006. He had to be delivered by c-section because my daughter was born c-section in 1998. His due date was 9/03/06. I had him 8/21/06. that is just about 2 wks early. I got to pick the day. I wanted to have him on 8/30/06, because my daughter was born on 11/30. The dr was busy that day and we agreed on 8/21. He was born weighing 7lbs 5 oz (perfect weight) while I was in recovery, they came and told me that they had to put in incubater because he had gone blue on them. He stayed there all night with oxygen. I didn't get to hold him, the next day tried to reduce his oxygen but he didn't handle it to well, so they ambulanced him to Columbus Children's Hospital. That night his lung collasped and they had to insert a tube. He had to stay in there the next week and got out 8/30/06. They said that he probably would have been o.k. if born at least a week later. SO people even the last 2 weeks are that important. My daughter was born almost 2 weeks late, so didn't have that problem. Hated to see my little boy in the hospital with all those tubes attached to him and poking him with needles. He is fine now and no problems with his lungs, but it is soooo important
joeysnotoriogirl joeysnotoriogirl 4 years
those are just risks they don't always happen sometimes when labor happens early and mom gets to the hospital it's too late for the labor to be stopped. ask Linda Gray her only daughter was born 4 months early due to severe complications needing many surgeries over her childhood but is now a thriving adult
katherineduke1371882792 katherineduke1371882792 4 years
I had my first baby boy on Febuary,13th,2013. It was my first pregency and im only 21 years old. I was suppose to have him March 27th orginally and he came a month and hald early. i was in the hospital a week trying to stop him from coming so soon and i had him at exactly 34 weeks on the dot. If i had not of gone to the hospital i would of had him at 33 weeks. It worries me because i only bled for exactly a month after febuary 13th. i stoped on march 22nd. now its been 3.5 months since i've had my period ? should i be worried ??? im not breastfeeding or stressed out. I already had an irrgeurlar cycle before i got pregnant and just would like to get a period to know i can still have one and be fertile to concive again.
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