After carrying a baby for nine months, you are certainly anxious to see your little one. It’s becoming increasingly common for mothers to request an early delivery date or to try to choose when they deliver their baby. Some want […]
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Moms, Know the Risks before Requesting a Delivery Date

by Jill Taylor on January 31, 2014

in Pregnancy

duedateAfter carrying a baby for nine months, you are certainly anxious to see your little one. It’s becoming increasingly common for mothers to request an early delivery date or to try to choose when they deliver their baby.

Some want to induce labor or schedule their appointment for convenience or other reasons, but there are risks involved with choosing your delivery date.

“We typically don’t recommend choosing a delivery date,” says Joseph Fernandez, MD an Obstetrics and Gynecology physician at Scott & White Healthcare. “The best chance for a woman to deliver vaginally is for her to go into labor on her own.  We may have to induce for a variety of medical reasons including some logistic circumstances, but the criteria are strict on elective inductions.”

Dr. Fernandez is the Division Director of Ob/Gyn at Scott & White Round Rock 302 University Blvd Clinic and stays up-to-date on the latest studies and procedures regarding child birth.

Final Stages of Development

During the last few weeks of your pregnancy there is still a lot of growth and development that takes place. If you have your baby electively induced before 39 weeks, Dr. Fernandez says your baby may miss out on the final stages of development within the womb.

“The last systems to develop are the pulmonary and neurological systems,” says Dr. Fernandez. “The longer the pregnancy goes to term the more likely the lungs will be mature and the suckling reflex and temperature regulation will be mature and function properly.”

How Long is Too Long?

You may agree that it is best to go into labor on your own, but as the days pass by you may wonder just how long you can hold on.

The risks of going overdue don’t usually take effect until about one to two weeks after the due date. Dr. Fernandez says the risks of going overdue include placental dysfunction and the increased risk of meconium stained fluid, this may cause respiratory issues for the newborn.

Scheduling Induction

Labor Induction is the process that causes a pregnant woman’s uterus to contract and to start labor.  Other medications may be used to soften or “ripen” the cervix to get it ready for induction. Labor is not typically induced before 39 weeks of the pregnancy unless there is a medical or obstetrical reason with the mother or baby.

“We try not to induce unless there are medical reasons to do so,” explains Dr. Fernandez. “Our role is to encourage a woman to go into labor naturally and giving herself the best opportunity to have a successful vaginal delivery.”

This is assuming of course, that you have a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy. If you’re at risk or if you’re nervous about being induced, talk to your doctor about your concerns.

“I try to individualize the discussion and explain in straightforward terms the reasons why we induce and the risks associated with induction of labor. If a mom is doing well and there are no complications, we would like for them to go into labor on their own, says Dr. Fernandez.

Healthy babies are worth waiting for! See more articles about pregnancy—before and after.

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