Huge Benefits to 40 weeks

By Alexis Vance, FOX 10 News – bio

The latest research is out for expectant moms, and it shows there are big benefits to staying pregnant for a full 39 weeks.

Those last weeks of pregnancy, they are the hardest, any mom knows that. But doctors now saying they are also some of the most important.

“The message here is to let labor begin on its own, certainly if your pregnancy is healthy, let it begin on its own,” says Sheila Sjolander, Arizona Dept. of Health Services.

A new initiative is happening at health departments across the country. If you’re having a healthy pregnancy, then keep that baby in the oven 39 weeks.

March of Dimes research shows in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, the size of the baby’s brain almost doubles.

Babies born early are more likely to have learning and behavior problems, feeding problems, and have a higher risk of dying of SIDS.

“Having babies born even just a few weeks early, they are at higher risk of lots of different developmental problems, vision, hearing problems, learning disability and cerebral palsy,” says Sjolander.

Prematurity is the leading cause of infant death in Arizona. Almost 13 percent of babies born in Arizona are premature.

Some things that lead to a premature baby — smoking and obesity. But some moms are scheduling their deliveries.

“What we are trying to avoid here is moms wanting elective inductions or elective c-sections because they have a special date in mind or their families visiting at a certain time.”

The majority of hospitals and doctors in Arizona have pledged to not deliver babies early unless medically necessary.

So what is the goal from all of this? To reduce premature babies born in Arizona by 8-percent over the next 2 years.

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