When I'm pregnant I tend to seek out other pregnant women. There's something to be said about going through pregnancy with others, something somehow reassuring about not doing it alone. No matter how crazy my husband may think I am, or how hormonal, I know there are ladies out there crying over the same silly, ridiculous things that I am. They have the same fears, hopes, and dreams. It's...nice.
For the most part I read their postings and can understand where they are coming from. Maybe it's just been a bad day. Maybe the pregnancy is getting to them. Maybe things really are that dire at the moment. But sometimes...
Well, I've finally made it. We're full term now.
What's that? Full term is 37 weeks? Not so! While that may have been true when I was pregnant with my previous children, I found out this time around that they have recently changed the definition of 'term'.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Obstetric Practice Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, I did not hit "full term" until today, at 39 weeks.
Early term: 37 0/7 weeks through 38 6/7 weeks
Full term: 39 0/7 weeks through 40 6/7 weeks
Late term: 41 0/7 weeks through 41 6/7 weeks
Postterm: 42 0/7 weeks and beyond
So what does this mean? For some of us, nothing really. Women who have uneventful pregnancies with no complications and no need for inductions will just keep chugging along (as I have done) until that baby comes on their own... or until your doctor/midwife feels that that risks outweigh the benefits.
Personally I would love to see this cut down on the number of doctors who give in and allow unnecessary inductions. While I would never expect a mother to carry a child when it is unsafe, and I totally agree with medically necessary inductions, I grow frustrated when I hear about women who choose to give birth early solely out of convenience. As a mom I expect to be uncomfortable for my child. If necessary I would die for my child. I can't imagine giving birth before my child is ready just to ease my own discomfort.
Again, I am only referring to inductions that are NOT medically necessary. I have known many women who have been induced early because the health of the mom and/or baby was a concern. Just because we want baby to stay in does not mean it is always the best option. I myself was induced with my son because he was very overdue and there were concerns about his health and the placenta.
I've often heard that inductions can lead to an increased chance of needing a c-section, and perhaps that alone has been enough to deter me from early inductions. Sure, I hate being uncomfortable, but I'm not trying to have major surgery if I can avoid it. Of course if you wait around long enough there will always be a new story to back up the other side.
Last year a meta-analysis showed that women who were induced were not more likely to need a c-section. In fact, they were 12% less likely to need one. However, it should be noted that this was only seen in women who were term or post-term, not women who were induced preterm.
Doctors can also assess a woman's Bishop Score to get an idea of how likely the woman will be to give deliver vaginally after being induced. Some doctors will not induce at all if the score is not high enough.
So maybe inductions aren't the terrible, horrible thing that so many want to believe. Maybe they do serve a great role when necessary.
...But I still hope this kid shows up on his/her own, hopefully sooner rather than later!
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