How early is too early? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-08-2011, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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So, I know the 'magic numbers' are supposed to be 38 weeks to 42 weeks. That's the 'ideal' time to deliver. 


A person in labor at, say, 20 or 25 weeks would definitely have a medical situation that needed attention of one kind or another.


If a hospital-birth mama went into labor at 36 weeks and 5 days, though, they probably would let her deliver, and then just tend to the baby if there were problems. Am I right? Do correct me if I'm not.


So here's my question: if you were planning to UC, how early would you consider to be a danger, that if you went into labor you'd seek medical assistance, or cancel your UCing? I mean, 38 weeks might be considered the magic number, but really there's not a magic number. It's unlikely that baby'd be less healthy born at 37w 5d than 38w 2d, right? And you might be off on your dates, too, and what you're calling 37w 5d might be 38w.


What if you were in labor and only 37w? Would you call a doctor or midwife? Or trust that your body chose the right time?




I'm at 36w 2d right now. I'm not in labor, but I've started having these mental images and thoughts- if I was, what would I do? I know I've started dilating, but I also know you can sit at 3cm for weeks. All my babies (3) have come closer to 38w than 40w so far, and I imagine this one will be similar. I do not have a doctor or midwife or insurance, though I have been to a OB just once, at around 6 months, when I did briefly have insurance.


So it's got me thinking- if I went into labor, would I go to the ER, and at what day would I feel like I was far enough along that I wouldn't feel the need?


I don't really ave an answer, so I was wondering what other moms would do in the same situation.


(Obviously if it happened, I'd make the best decision I could for myself and baby at the time, so don't think I'm asking you guys to tell me what *I* should do. I'm just looking for thoughts on what others would do.)

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#2 of 7 Old 07-08-2011, 09:13 PM
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For me personally I'd have no problem delivering at the gestation your at.  My daughter was born in a hospital at 35wks6days with no issues and was almost 8lbs, they didn't try and stop labor when i got to the hospital at all.



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#3 of 7 Old 07-09-2011, 01:33 PM
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I agree with Kami, that I wouldn't have any issue going ahead with my homebirth plans at 36+ weeks along.  And I know they're actually now calling term 37-42 weeks, not 38 anymore.  My cousin just had twins at 35 wks 5 days, they were both in the 6ish lb range, and required nothing more than a little blow-by O2 for the smaller baby for a few hours.  They all went home less than 48 hours later, c-section and all. 


I'm always late, so going so early that I have to consider if the baby's lungs are well-developed enough is kind of foreign to me.  I think if I was having signs of impending labor at 35ish weeks, I'd either see my OB (a friend who is no longer practicing), or a midwife who attended one of my previous births who's been very willing to help me in anything I need.  If I was going into labor at 35-36 weeks, I'd want an attendant there who has access to oxygen, just in case.  37 weeks and beyond I'd feel OK about.  Again I say, that's just me though. 

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#4 of 7 Old 07-09-2011, 03:36 PM
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I seriously thought 37 was the "magic" number, since THAT is considered a pregnancy to term.

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#5 of 7 Old 07-09-2011, 08:00 PM
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I was ok with before 27 weeks (home miscarriage) and after 36 weeks. In between there, I would get help.


I know that, today, a lot of micro premies -- as young as 24 and 25 weeks -- can be saved, but i have ethical qualms with that *for my family* (no comment on other families and their choices).


But, it's really about where *you* feel comfortable. :)

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#6 of 7 Old 07-09-2011, 09:02 PM
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I posted this in my DDG a few days ago when we were discussing something similar:

"Personally I would give birth at home from about 36wks on, which seemed to be the general consensus on another board I'm on. For me, that might vary some depending on my location from a hospital. We have a firehouse/Emergency services just a minute from our apartment, and I know they could make it here with a minute or two if baby was having breathing difficulties. If help was over 10 mins away, I might reconsider and wait until 37 wks instead.

I was reading in my midwifery book last night that "babies' lungs are are almost always mature by 34 wks, but the 37 wk cutoff simply includes a generous margin of error in calculating the EDD."

Mama to a adoreable August '11 baby and two great dogs
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#7 of 7 Old 07-12-2011, 12:32 AM
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Right, babies' lungs can be mature as early as 34 weeks.


What I did was listen to my babies.  They told me their lungs were mature at 35.5 weeks.  I had already decided earlier in my pregnancy that if I went into labor before 35.5 weeks, that I would go to the hospital.  (Quite ironic.)  I ended up having them at 36 weeks, 3 days.  They had no problems whatsoever.

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