The 39 Week Campaign from the March of Dimes encourages women to carry their baby to full term, if both mother and child are healthy. Inductions before 39 weeks can be medically necessary, but in the last decade the number of non-medically necessary inductions has more than doubled.
While you may be eager and excited to meet your baby, infants are not fully developed until 39 weeks. Babies born even a couple weeks early can be at risk for serious health problems. For example, at 35 weeks an infant’s brain is only two-thirds of the size it will be at 39 weeks. Aside from risks to the child, non-medically necessary inductions can carry risks for the mother as well, including stronger, more painful contractions or infection. In addition, it can double your chance of needing a C-section, which can take 4-6 weeks to heal.
If your pregnancy is healthy, experts recommend that you carry your baby 39 weeks to do all you can to try to prevent any health risks. Remember, healthy babies are worth the wait. For more information on the 39 Week Campaign and the March of Dimes click here.