Date and way of birth – What would Baby choose?

If your pregnancy is healthy, it is best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks.

Staying pregnant to full term, or 40 weeks, is one of the best ways to give babies enough time in the womb to grow and develop.


What is considered a full term vs a prem baby?

  • A preterm baby is when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • An early term baby is when a baby is born between 37 weeks and 38 weeks of pregnancy
  • A full term baby is when a baby is born from 39 weeks of pregnancy through to 40 weeks
  • A late term baby is a baby born at 41 weeks
  • A postterm baby is a baby born at 42 weeks and beyond


A baby’s brain at 35 weeks of pregnancy weighs only 2/3 of what it will weigh at 40 weeks


Why baby wants to stay in utero, if he is healthy, till at least 39 weeks of pregnancy

  • Preterm birth is a concern because babies who are born too early may not be fully developed. They may be born with serious health problems. Some health problems, like cerebral palsy, can last a life time. Other problems, such as learning disabilities, may appear later in childhood.
  • A baby born before 39 weeks has an increased risk of breathing problems.
  • A baby born before 39 weeks is more likely to experience low body temperature and low blood sugar levels.
  • A baby born before 39 weeks is more likely to experience feeding problems.
  • Babies born early have more learning and behaviour problems in childhood than babies born at 40 weeks.
  • Preterm birth can prevent growth and development from happening inside a baby’s body during the final weeks of pregnancy.


Each week of pregnancy matters even those last few weeks. Make every week count and give your baby his best start in life.

A booked caesar (non-emergency) implies absence of labour and should not be performed before a pregnancy length of 39 weeks (unless medically indictaed). Infants not exposed to labour have a greater risk of respiratory problems which may be life-threatening as well as complications of prematurity such as hypothermia (low body temperature) and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) which may also be life-threatening.  The absence of labour puts the foetus in a precarious position because no physiological adaptation took place to effect a successful transition from intra- to extrauterine life.

The foetus initiates labour which marks the point of optimum functionality – including the brain.  Respect for this “decision” places the newborn infant in the least precarious position for perinatal complications. The second best scenario for the foetus is not to be delivered before 39 weeks.

Ensure you attend childbirth education classes so you can truly make informed decisions about your pregnancy, birth and parenting experiences.

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