The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has sponsored this post in an effort to educate consumers and healthcare providers on new gestational age terminology.
If you’ve had a baby, you probably associated 37 weeks pregnant with being “full term,” or any time between 37 and 42 weeks being “term.” I worked with birthing centers for both my babies, and because 37 weeks was considered term, that was the point in pregnancy I had to reach to deliver with them.
We all know that the longer a baby can stay in the womb, the better chance it has of being born healthy. Research has shown that between 39 and 40 weeks 6 days is the best time for a baby to be born, in cases of a healthy pregnancy. Of course, when babies decide to come early, sometimes there is no stopping them, but waiting, if possible, gives your baby the time he or she needs to develop. That is why the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has started the Know Your Terms Initiative.
The Know Your Terms Initiative was put together in an effort to educate health care providers and consumers about the importance of new gestational age terms and allowing babies to develop in the womb as long as it is possible and safe for them to do so. Pregnancy is now considered “full term” in weeks 39 and 40. Babies born in weeks 37 and 38 are considered “early term,” and in week 41, “late term.”
Knowing these new terms is important for anyone expecting a baby, or planning a delivery, so you can discuss what is best for the health of both your baby and yourself. Whenever possible, waiting is best!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Know Your Terms Initiative.