Originally Posted by mediumcrunch
Postmaturity can't really be diagnosed until after a baby is born.
Signs of postmaturity are: no or little vernix, creases on the baby's palms and soles of feet, dry skin, long finger nails....some may have longer hair and in more severe cases (rarely seen anymore) the skin is stained yellow or green from meconium. In the more severe cases the baby will also seem to have their skin hanging a bit as they have lost weight in utero due to the placenta not functioning as well and they use up the fat stores they had. The placenta also shows signs of aging-some of which can be seen on ultrasound but aren't definitive until observed after birth.
In my experience babies who gestate longer tend to be more alert and have longer spells of quiet and alert too.
The difference between a 37 weeker and a 42 weeker in ease of waking to feed, suck, alertness, head and neck strength etc.....can be really significant. *NOT* saying all 37 weekers are lethargic and all 42 weekers are strong and vigorous but just stating my personal observations.
A lot of this applied to my DS. He had signs of being postmature, even though he was born 40w2d. Absolutely no vernix, anywhere, and very very dry cracky/irritated skin. Poor little one, it took almost a month for the skin on his hands and feet to look soft and normal. DS was 7 Ibs 15 oz, but 2 weeks earlier we were guessing his weight (by feel per midwife, not US) to be around 9 1/2, so I do wonder if he lost weight and if my DD was off. Ds was extremely alert from the get go, and able to hold his head upright from birth. Started breastfeeding within 10 min, perfectly.
I did choose to be induced, by having my membranes stripped 40w1d, but not because we suspected postmaturity. I did it because I had prodromal labor for almost 2 weeks prior, with contractions strong enough to keep me from sleeping. I was so exhausted, and I was planning on having a natural labor, I knew I needed as much energy as I could save. I was fearfull of the prodromal going on much longer, and making me more and more sleep deprived. (natural labor was succesfull btw, but once it started 'moving' finally, took 31 hrs)
I dont regret choosing to have my membranes stripped, my labor was so long and hard (posterior) I dont know if I would have made it through if I had even a few more days of little to no sleep. I also did a lot of researching beforehand (during the prodromal labor) so I knew the risks.
On the other hand, I do know SO MANY women that induce just because they are 'tired of being pregnant' or 'want to see the baby' or bc the OB said they can at 38/39 weeks. Only one of these women had a valid reason (Pre-E) None of the other women I know IRL that chose to do this researched the risks at all, and I know bc I asked them point blank. They thought I was full of BS when I told them they should look further into it, bc anything that an OB says to them is written in gold. One of them had 'proof' of this afterwards, as after she was induced (early, 38w) via Pit, baby went into distress and she was sectioned. Baby spent 4 days in NICU. She made a point of telling me how lucky she was that she had such a great OB that saved her babies life. I just let that go, and said yes, I was very glad the little one was ok, because I was. But you all know what I was thinking.
I'm all for freedom of choice, I just think that if you are taking the responsibility upon yourself to make a choice like this, it should be a responsible informed choice, via doing research/reading etc. Sadly, thats just not the case with most of the people I know.