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For Expectant Families… your “Due Date”…

Hi everyone! Happy New Year!

I have been very very busy over these past months and I’ve spent very little time on the computer….. many of you have had the same situation. Thanks to all of you who keep checking my blog anyway!

I’m here now to talk about one of my big concerns.

Your due date…

Every single year around the holidays, we have a surge of elective, social induction requests.  Here are some comments we occasionally may hear each year around this time on an L&D unit:

“Please, please induce me so I can have the baby and be home for Christmas…please!”

“I’m only 2 1/2 weeks from my due date anyway so I’m ready…”

“I can’t have this baby on Christmas day..I just can’t…you HAVE to help me!!”

“I’m so tired of being pregnant and I have so much to do…can’t you do SOMETHING and make me have this baby today??” (37weeks)

“I really really need another tax deduction this year… ” (heard quite often!)

“Please do something so this baby is born by the end of December…I’ll even have a C/S if you want.”

“Can you induce me while my family is all here?? Please??”

Young pregnant women~ Please don’t do something crazy for a special delivery date.


Please educate yourself about the risks of induction and the risks of late preterm births.


“A little patience now adds up to long-term health benefits for your new baby.”

I have received this following information from the Mother-Friendly childbirth community.

I felt it was well worth sharing……..

This is an excerpt from a newsletter from the CIMS ~ Coalition for Improving Maternity Services.

Please read, check out their website link above and the other resources listed below the letter.

Thanks so much!

“For Expectant Families

What you need to know about your due date and late preterm birth

A little patience now adds up to long-term health benefits for your new baby.

You’re not alone if you’re secretly (or openly!) hoping that your baby will get here sooner rather than later.  But when it comes to your due date, it’s important to understand what it represents, what it does not represent, and the potentially serious consequences of agreeing to an induction or c-section before your baby is ready to be born.

Mayri Sagady Leslie, CNM, MSN, clinical faculty at Yale University School of Nursing, recently penned an insightful post for Lamaze International’s Science and Sensibility blog.  In “Beyond Due Dates: How Late is Too Late,” we’re reminded that, despite widespread belief that EDD stands for ‘due date’, it actually stands for ‘estimated date of delivery’!  Mayri writes, “No matter what you call that date on the calendar, it is nothing more than a formula derived from statistical averages which says that sometime within a range of 4-5 weeks your baby will probably be born.  Smack dab in the middle of that range is one of days on which the labor may start.  Yet when it comes to dates in our life, few take on more significance than this one.”

Appreciating this fact is something of considerable consequence when it comes to the immediate and long-term health of your baby.  There is mounting evidence that only the baby should have the right to choose her/his birthday.  Two recent reports add to this evidence.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics recently reported a 20% increase in the nation’s late preterm (34 to 36 weeks ) birth rate from 1990 to 2006.  The report also cites alarming increases in the number of late preterm births among births for which labor was induced as well as among births that were delivered by c-section.  The report cautions, “…it is becoming increasingly recognized that infants born late preterm are less healthy than infants born later in pregnancy.  Late preterm babies are more likely than term babies to suffer complications at birth such as respiratory distress; to require intensive and prolonged hospitalization; to incur higher medical costs; to die within the first year of life; and to suffer brain injury that can result in long-term neurodevelopment problems.”

March of Dimes 2009For the March of Dimes, prematurity is an extremely important public health issue.  The March of Dimes launched a multimillion dollar, multiyear campaign in 2003 to prevent premature birth and raise awareness of its serious consequences.  Last month, the March of Dimes released its annual Premature Birth Report Card.  Sadly, for the second consecutive year, the U.S. earned only a ‘D’ grade, “demonstrating that more than half a million of our nation’s newborns didn’t get the healthy start they deserved.”

We know you’re anxious to meet your baby.  It’s perfectly understandable too if you’re just plain tired of being pregnant.  We just want to remind you that a little patience now adds up to long-term health benefits for your new baby.

Learn more:

  • Beyond Due Dates: How Late is Too Late” by Mayri Sagady Leslie on Lamaze International’s Science & Sensibility blog.
  • Born a Bit Too Early: Recent Trends in Late Preterm Births” a NCHS Data Brief from the CDC.
  • U.S. Gets A “D” For Preterm Birth Rate” press release from the March of Dimes.”
  • 9 Comments Post a comment
    1. Very nice! This is an important issue for me too!

      January 7, 2010
    2. After my first child was born at 34 weeks, I would never want to risk that experience again.

      Also, I find it kind of ironic that someone would want to have the baby because they have so much to do. It’s true that being pregnant is cumbersome, but no matter how big I got it was still easier to do stuff pregnant than with a newborn. Those little dears keep you BUSY!

      January 7, 2010
    3. There’s a certain kind of dense-ness that comes with being a first time parent. I can appreciate it because I’ve been there. Not specifically this situation, but others for sure, where I thought I knew something but it turned out I didn’t have a clue. I loved being pregnant and neither of my daughter’s were born around a holiday and I didn’t have relatives fly out to be with me who might have tight schedules, but I can see how this might happen to other new moms to cause the flurry of panic though. A very important pice of information though. Thanks for this Melisa!

      January 7, 2010
    4. Kristi #

      So true. I was lucky to have a very sympathetic NP as my medical caregiver during my pregnancy who listened when I told her that I have long cycles, otherwise I would have been assigned a due date that took place when my son was only 37 weeks. I also had an induction offered to me on my due date since my family was going to be in town the following week and the Doctor assumed I would want to have him beforehand. I declined, and was induced for pre-eclampsia right before my family arrived anyway, but my cervix was much more favorable than it had been when induction was initially offered. There’s something to be said for delaying when there is no medical reason for induction!

      January 13, 2010
    5. Barbara #

      Just FYI the link for “Beyond Due Dates: How Late is Too Late” by Mayri Sagady Leslie on Lamaze International’s Science & Sensibility blog.” isn’t working. Would love to read the article if you can get the link up.

      January 18, 2010
      • StorkStories #

        Sorry barb, i just fixed it! Thanks for stopping by and for the heads up!

        January 18, 2010
    6. This is really a great post for expactant mums. My sister inlaw ended up having a c-section. She wanted the baby to be born on the 12-12-12 however the only time she could be booked in was 14-12-12. They had to give her a c-section though due to complications with birth. If only you could pick and choose when your child would be born with no risks.

      January 22, 2014

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