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“Term Pregnancy” Re-defined by U.S. OB-Gyn GroupsHopes to encourage doctors and women to prefer spontaneous labor over elective labor via C-section
It has been found that the earlier a child is born, the higher his risk for conditions such as those involving his respiratory system, newborn sepsis, as well as hypoglycemia. Babies differ in terms of their level of physical and mental development, depending when they are born.
Related article: Does Induced Labor Put First-Time Moms and their Babies at Risk?
“I think it just brings clarity to physicians that these five weeks are critical and that you should not deliver a patient electively before they go into labor spontaneously on their own unless there is medical, maternal or fetal indications of a delivery,” says Dr. Mari-Paule Thiet, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, in an interview with healthland.time.com.
Adds Jeffrey Ecker, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, “We are not saying deliveries before 39 weeks should be a ‘never’ event, but we are saying there should be a conversation. Spontaneous labor set off by the baby is sign that the baby is really ready to be born.”
• October 22, 2013. Alexandra Sifferlin. “New (And Hopefully Improved) Definition of Term Pregnancy” healthland.time.com
• October 22, 2013. Kim Painter. “’Full-term’ pregnancy gets a new, narrower definition” usatoday.com
• October 25, 2013. Ashley Hayes. “Definition of ‘term’ pregnancy changing” edition.cnn.com
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