Saturday, January 31, 2009

Every week counts

What I find amazing about this article is that a baby's brain gains 50% more mass between weeks 35 and 39. I didn't know that! And this article explains well the reasons why I think induction is a very risky procedure.

About the placenta deteriorating past 42 weeks, I personally think that when a placenta does get to the point that it can't sustain a baby, it signals to the body to go into labor. Then once the baby's out, we notice that it's starting to deteriorate. I don't think it's a sign that the baby was in too long at all but a sign that it was in just right and that the placenta and mom's body were communicating well. From my own personal experience, Margaret was well past 42 weeks (and there's no question as to the dates) and the placenta showed no signs of aging- no calcification at all. It was a very large, very healthy placenta, all in one piece. And if we thawed it, I could give you proof. :)

I think we forget that each mom gestates differently and that 40 isn't a magic number- some moms will repeatedly go "overdue" because that's how their bodies work. Had I given birth to Margaret at 37 weeks ("term" by some opinions), she would have been a month and a half early. That would have been like a 34 week baby to a 40 week gestating mom- definitely on the dangerous side.


  1. I love this article, all except the part about the placenta deteriorating. In my own research, age has nothing to do with calcification, and no science has ever made a link between calcification and stillbirth. The highest predictor of placenta deterioration are lifestyle factors in the mother, specifically, smoking, drug or alcohol use, or certain untreated conditions, such as severe diabetes mellitus. Basically, there is no such thing as "old placenta."

  2. That is an interesting article. I agree that inductions seem to be a little too prevalent. I know there are risks for pre-term babies, although I might add that I was born at 32 1/2 weeks (not induced) and then graduated valedictorian of my high school and with honors from college. So, while my brain may have been small at birth, I don't think my IQ was affected too badly (who knows, maybe if I had been full term, I would have graduated summa cum laude... :)

  3. I'm so glad you shared this!! I was watching a baby story the other day (I don't think I will again, it's too depressing!) And a woman was being induced at like 35 weeks for some non-emergency reason and her doctor said (I quote) "That's plenty of gestation." I was like "ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME?!!" I was annoyed and turned it off! I wish women would get more info and not be so impatient! Sorry, this is a sore subject for me! :)

  4. My sister-in-law had her baby induced at something like 39 wks, 3 days, and went around saying that her baby was coming "Premature". I almost punched her, bc her baby was due 3 days after mine was supposed to be born, and he had already been born for over 2 months. So, people so eager to get their babies out drive me nuts. Our bodies will tell us when our babies are done baking!!!

  5. WOW---I actually just posted about induction on our blog. My sister was just induced today, and she's not even a week past her "due date"...the doctor decided at her appointment to induce her. I don't think it was any kind of emergency either---my sister has just been progressively dialating, and the doctor thought she should be done. Makes me really upset.


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