How to Keep Baby Inside until 40 Weeks? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 03:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think that my question really has an answer, but I want to try and ask anyway.

I had my DS 1-2 weeks early, and my DD 3-4 weeks early. I would like to have more children, but do not like the looks of where this is headed.

Is there anything I can do to prevent this? (I am thinking bed rest for the last trimester?)

Also, is this my 'pattern' now, or do I have a decent chance of not going early?

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#2 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 09:03 AM
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Do you know why you went early before? I think that would make a difference on how you can prevent it in the future.
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#3 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 09:10 AM
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I'm not a midwife or even doula but from personal experience I had contractions from week 23 on due to recurrent bladder infections. I had to work at the time as dh was in school full time and I was our insurance. I was however 50% effaced at 28 weeks and knew that I needed to do something. The dr. gave me medicine but I only had to take it twice. I had taken Hypnobirthing classes at 20 weeks (kind of early) and used those techniques to slow or stop the contractions. I worked out at work schedule of 30 hours a week, put my feet up at work and tried to stay as relaxed as possible there and then would come home and completely rest at night, feet up, minimal movement. When I felt contractions coming on I would put on some music and go into my deep relaxation.

I'm not saying this will work with everyone but it worked in my situation. I had the recurrent bladder infections and just a plain irritable uterus.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 11:00 AM
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I would agree that finding out why you went early (especially the 3-4 weeks - the second baby) would be important for this question.

Also, assume bed rest for the last 6 weeks would not be entirely out there. At least a very reduced schedule. No carrying anything heavier than your dinner plate! Rest a lot, feet up, etc. Not a lot of long walks, no housecleaning (oh darn....), no sex.

To pattern: my first two were each six days early. Figured that was my pattern - boy, was I surprised to go 11 days late with #3! So you may be surprised too....
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#5 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 11:06 AM
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Forgive me, but how do you know you gave birth 'early'?

How was your 'due date' calculated? Due dates or even due weeks are notoriously wrong. Even with the notoriously inaccurate sonograms.

Did you care provider do a gestational age assessment after birth? If so, how many weeks was that estimate?

I'd be very cautious about assuming you are giving birth early without some strong evidence of that. If you were induced, then forget about 'early'. It's a given.

If you had true pre term labor and were a worrisome number of weeks away from the guesstimate of due date, then water is critical (uterus is irritated and tends toward pre term labor contrax upon dehydration) and reasonable rest are good. Bedrest hasn't been proven to be that effective for pre term labor but obstetrics continues to use it as the standard recommended practice.

A bit OT, but please, do not put your feet up or have your knees higher than your hips toward the end of pregnancy as your babe is moving into birthing position. That's one of the fastests ways toward non optimal fetal positioning, especially posterior presentation. Pelvic rocks, cat important!
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#6 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Why I think I went early-
Hmmm... Wouldn't it be great if I hadn't, if it was just a mistake from the health care providers?

With DS, he was a hospitial birth. My water broke what they said was 1.5 weeks short of 40. I went in and they put me on pitocin. He was born 6 lbs 4 oz. and very healthy. (Both DH and I are small people, so a think a small baby is to be expected.) They calculated the due date from "about" when I thought was LMP was, and from a few ultrasounds.

With DD, I had a home birth. I knew when my LMP was. I saw a group of great midwives and a doctor (who homebirths her own babies) early on. The Dr. gave me an early ultrasound. She and the midwives came up with due dates for me that were exactly one week apart. DD was born 3.5 weeks early by the midwives date. But I think the Dr. had me going the week earlier- can't remember! My water broke again, and DD was born perfect at 6 lbs 2 oz, but she had a very weak suck and not nurse without an SNS until she was 4 months old.

The Dr.'s with DS spent a large ammont of time going up in me to their elbows to pull my placenta piece by piece. They then said I had a heart shaped uterus, which meant I wouldn't ever be able to push, and could possibly be the reason for being early.
But it never showed up on any ultra sounds, and with DD I found I can push very well!

So, I have no idea. That's why I asked you ladies!

No one ever did a gestational age assesment. That would have been a good idea.

It is a very interesting idea that I did not actually go early. Expessially with the exception of DD not nursing, they were both born perfectly fine, breathing and everything.

Maybe I should just take the last six weeks off anyway. I can definitely handle relaxing and music and no housework for a little pre-baby moon.

edited to add: I also nursed DS through DDs pregnancy. But that doesn't matter, right? As long as you can have sex, you can nurse from what I have read. It never caused me to have contractions or anything.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 02:13 PM
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I would highly suggest reading "Expecting Trouble, the myth of prenatal care in America" by Thomas H Strong.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 05:10 PM
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Although you may have a pattern try not to worry too much.
#1 was born at 38 weeks 6 lbs 8 oz
#2 was born at 37 weeks 5 lbs 12 oz
#3 was born at 40 weeks 8 lbs 8 oz

Now, I had quite a bit of time between #2 and #3 but I had been told I would never carry a baby to term by an OB :
Your diet may or may not help. My MW believes that the high protein diet makes for a stronger placenta and membranes. Not sure on the scientific proof of that but it worked for me

Good luck,

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#9 of 9 Old 06-14-2003, 09:07 PM
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the brewer diet (like they talk about in bradley classes) is built on the high protein theory as I recall. Hydration, no infection. Bedrest is not really helpful, perhaps if you're having early dilation. Unless you have a very stressful or strenuous job that involves a lot of standing. Lying is not the issue, and can create its own problems (ask me how!) - just standing less and resting more. Sleep when you are tired, work when you can. Get help with your kids the last few weeks if you need. BTW 38-42 is I would not call a 38.5 weeks babe "early". It may be just right for you! And pay attention to your and drink when you're having more contractions. You know better what's going on that a practitioner who sees you weekly or monthly. It is important to know the symtoms of preterm labor and treat them seriously, but I also don't think medicating someone post 37 weeks is a needed either.

I had a 5lb 5 oz babe at 36 weeks after a very troubled pregnancy from 23 weeks for me, that was a success.
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