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Since I am up in the middle of the night :)

If your due date is for 40 weeks, why is it considered 37 weeks full-term? Why are there so many pregnant women who "need" to be induced at 37 weeks because they are uncomfortable or for whatever reason?
I am not bashing... I have been asking myself this question over and over and can't come up with a good answer, so maybe you can help me.


Asked by reflect1light at 3:35 AM on Dec. 17, 2008 in Pregnancy

Level 7 (200 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I believe 37 weeks is considered FT because they always assume that dates are possibly off anyway. Most women really don't know when they conceive and it throws most Drs for a loop if you say "I chart and I got pg on day 18 so I'm due ___". Even with my 6th the dr still trusts the u/s more than me - and I do chart. What's funny is that the u/s was correct exactly to my date this time! LOL As for why someone "needs" to be induced... only if your bp is elevated, baby is in distress, or some other actual medical reason should you be induced. Otherwise just hold on and the baby will come soon.

    Answer by GrowingMama at 3:41 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I was induced at 37 weeks because I was so uncomfortable. The Dr. didn't really agree with me and thought I should hang in there, but I just couldn't do it. Thank Goodness we did I am not a big girl and I had a 9lb 3oz baby. The Dr. actually said I was overdue after she saw my babys skin.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:38 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • well...37 weeks is considered full-term because the baby is "fully cooked" by then and can sustain itself outside of the womb without intervention. It is true that 40 weeks is a full human gestation but you must remember that due dates are just estimates. No one can say for certain when conception occurred exactly. By 37 weeks, many women are actually FURTHER than that so birth is completely acceptable.

    Voluntary induction is a choice that is made to women more and more these days. I believe it is a personal decision and to each their own. I personally would not want it as I know that artificial induction via Pitocin (and other drugs like it) can make labor much more difficult and painful.

    Answer by MammaMia72 at 3:40 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • Oh I understand about the due dates being off, etc. I went 41 weeks by my u/s dates with my son and when he was born they said he looked like a 38 weeker, but he was a 10 on the apgar and and weighed 8,4.

    Answer by reflect1light at 3:43 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I actually went into labor at 37 weeks and when she was born, I had several nurses look her over and tell me she wasn't 37 weeks, but more like 35. She was 6 lbs 14 oz but her skin was very pink and there were markings on her feet that one of the nurses told me was an indicator of her gestational age. Also her genitalia were not completely closed either. Another indicator. She did fine, but I knew the dates had to be off. She could have handled another week or two. A lot happens in those weeks I guess. Theres nothing inherently wrong with induction, but just as long as the doctor is comfortable with it. Most wont do it just because we are uncomfortable. My doc said 39 weeks was all she would do. I had all but 1 of my babies before then on my own.

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:50 AM on Dec. 17, 2008

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