Every pregnant mama I know has done a little happy dance once she hits 37 weeks. For me, it was in large part being outside the danger of preterm labor. I was never at risk for it, but of course it’s nice to not have to worry about it. But I know that for myself, as well as many other mamas out there, it’s the idea that it could be any day now.
Any day now until pregnancy is over and you meet your new baby. Because once you hit 37 weeks, you could safely go into labor. That means you’re going to soon, right?
The vast majority of women (who are allowed to go full term without interference) won’t meet their babies for at least another month. The average first time mom gives birth at 41 weeks and 1 day. Second time (or more) is 40 weeks 5 days. Of course average means that there are plenty of deliveries both early and late of that mark, but it also means you shouldn’t bank on an early delivery unless you have a very medical birth in mind.
Our Bradley Method instructor had a great example of why inducing isn’t wise without a clear medical need. She said that you never know exactly when a baby is ready to be born. Let’s say you’re one of those mamas that has a long gestation (like my friend who was due right after me) and your baby is ready at 42 weeks 5 days. You decide that you’re just done being pregnant at 39 weeks, well within the range of what’s considered okay by most professionals for induction. That means your baby is born a full MONTH before they’re ready! Sure, not “premature” by the medical standard, but that baby can still end up with all the same issues.
Pregnant mamas, I know it’s tough to wait. I know it sucks being pregnant. I know you just wait to hurry up and meet that baby! But just wait. He or she will come when they’re ready. We can’t speed up the process. Just try to be patient (and tell friends/family to leave you alone!) and you’ll meet them before you know it!