If you don’t have any health issues during pregnancy, it’s best to carry your baby for at least 39 weeks or until Your Child tells your body that it’s time.
Your Child’s brain, lungs, liver, and other vital organs are still developing in the last weeks of pregnancy. Babies born too early may develop more health problems at birth or later in life.
Reasons for your baby to stay in the womb
These are the reasons why your baby needs 39 weeks in the womb:
- Important organs, such as the brain, lungs, and liver, need time to develop; for example, the brain develops fastest towards the end of the pregnancy — Your Child’s brain at 35 weeks of pregnancy weighs only two-thirds of what it will weight at 39 to 40 weeks
- Your Child is less likely to have health issues, such as breathing, vision, and hearing problems, after birth
- Your Child can add more weight in the womb — babies born at a healthy weight find it easier to stay warm than babies born too small
- Your Child will have learned how to swallow, suck, and stay awake long enough to eat after birth — babies born early may not be able to do these things
- Your Child will have a lower risk of developing health or learning problems later in life than babies delivered before 39 weeks
Your Child knows best when it’s time
A 2015 study conducted by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Centre suggests that as Your Child’s lungs mature, they release two proteins into the amniotic fluid.
These proteins induce an inflammatory reaction in the uterus that initiates labor. Thus, in most cases, the baby will likely decide when it’s time to come out.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (5 January 2019)