What week is considered full-term? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering what week is considered full-term? 36 or 37?

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#2 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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From what I've read and heard, most sources seem to say full term is 37 weeks. However, many insurances will cover midwives for deliveries 36 weeks and on. I'm not sure if that means they consider 36 weeks full term or if the risks just drop off enough after that mark. FWIW, my mom seems to think full term isn't until 38 weeks. ?? Sorry this isn't definitive, I think it largely depends on whom you ask ---

Here's hoping for a full 40 for you also!
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#3 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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Ds was born at 36w6d and not considered premie. He had no problems, came home after less than 24 hours in the hospital. The only "problem" was that he was small (5 lbs 12 oz) so we had to buy premie diapers and premie clothes.
My doc at our rural, remote hospital will deliver babies at 36 weeks. She'll consider it at 35 weeks, depending on the circumstances. Before 35 weeks they'll definitely transport to a better equipped hospital. She said between 35 and 36 weeks babies can appear mature enough, but then wind up having trouble breathing.
I didn't really get a definitive answer from her when I asked her the same thing last week. Although she did answer what I really wanted to know, which was when do I stay here, and when do I get a helicopter ride

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#4 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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I deliver at a small hospital, too and since I am PG w/ twins I have asked several questions on when babies will be "okay". There is no definate answer, but 37 weeks for singletons is considered full term. My hospital will deliver possibly at 32 weeks if there may not be time for a transfer, but baby may need to be transferred up to the 34 week mark if he/she needs on a ventilator or something. It depends on how the baby is doing, and generally after 34 weeks baby is mature enough to be able to breathe w/o a vent (according to my OB, but they may need an oxygen tent which they can do here). Between 34 and 37 weeks it depends on how big baby(s) is, and how well their breathing is, sometimes babies are kept for oxygen tents or bili-light treatment, ect. Generally if I make it to 37 weeks, we will all be able to go home unless one baby has breathing troubles.
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#5 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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in my neck of the woods, it's 37 weeks ~ my local hospital can't take me before then, nor can my midwife legally attend a homebirth.
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#6 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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37 in every book I've read. It's also the threshold for use of my birthing center.
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#7 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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When I was working L&D, which was only a bit more than a year ago, we considered term to be 38 weeks. Everything I've read since then says 37, but I don't feel comfortable with that. My midwives will deliver at home as early as 36 weeks, but will be hyper-alert for respiratory difficulties.

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#8 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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36 was minimum for my first mw to attend a homebirth. I should ask my current mw what she would do.....my own comfort zone would probably say anything after 36 weeks.

However, I have to disagree somewhat with the statement:

Quote:
I know that at least 40 is the ideal and that is what I am hoping for!
Some of us simply "cook" babies faster than that. I've never gone past 38w4d, and my smallest baby was 8lb, 7 oz! The other 2 were over 9 lbs! There is just such a wide range of what is normal, that I don't think it's accurate to say "at least 40 is ideal" No, what's ideal is for the baby to come when the baby is ready!

Anyway, since I tend to go "early", I would be less likely to worry about a 36 week baby than I would if my pattern was to go at 42 weeks, KWIM?

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#9 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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The hospital nursery I worked in considered 36 weeks full term.
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#10 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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Quote:
know that at least 40 is the ideal and that is what I am hoping for!
That's not true. The avg. is anywhere from 38-42..and within that timeframe nothing is more "ideal" (although I am sure most people would prefer to go earlier....who wants to be prengant an extra month. ).

Both my girls were born all on their own at 38 weeks 4 days and they were totally, completely healthy, no problems whatsoever. Going 38 weeks is just as "ideal" as going 42 weeks.

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#11 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies for your answers! I really appreciate it!!

I am starting to get very excited getting ready and I was just thinking about when the term "full-term" was considered.

I really am unsure what the "ideal" time is besides when the baby is ready to come into this world..... I just thought 40 was.... I am sorry if I was wrong with that statement.

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#12 of 15 Old 07-29-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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My Ob says that 37 is full term, but they won't stop labor that starts after you hit 34 weeks. But my hospital also has a stage 3 NICU. It's a county hospital in a smallish town, but it affiliated with a nearby city university hospital and children's hospital.
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#13 of 15 Old 07-30-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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The birth center I wanted to use last time wouldn't take you unless you were 37 weeks. I was 35w 6d when my water broke so I had to go to the back-up hospital. DD was 6lb. 7oz. but did have some preemie issues and was in the NICU for 6 days.
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#14 of 15 Old 07-30-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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I just asked my MW this question, and she said they consider 37 to be full-term.
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#15 of 15 Old 07-30-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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I've always heard 37.

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