Date of Birth – Your choice or Baby’s?

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#12 Small Talk 2019 

Do you choose the date, or does your

There is no
doubt that if you are having a healthy pregnancy, it is best not to give birth
before 39 weeks. However, a lot of women are choosing to have an “elective”
C-section. Personally, I am against elective C-sections as I feel that when a
baby is ready to be born, he or she should dictate the moment! But that is my
personal view and so in this blog I will endeavour to express some reasons for
allowing your pregnancy to go its full term.

What is considered to be “full term”?

The simple
answer is anytime between the 39th and 40th week of your
pregnancy. At 41 weeks the baby is considered to be “late term” and a “post
term” baby is born at 42 weeks or later.

Why wait at least
until you are in your 39th week?

  • Babies born preterm may not be fully developed
    and may be born with serious health problems. Cerebral palsy, one health
    problem, is one which will last a lifetime. Other problems such as learning problems
    may only become evident in later childhood.
  • Breathing problems are more likely to occur if
    your baby is born too early.
  • Low body temperature and blood sugar levels are
    also more evident in babies born before 39 weeks
  • Feeding problems can also occur in babies born

From the above, it is evident that each week of pregnancy is
important for the various stages in your baby’s development. Every weeks counts
to give your baby the best start in life.

Still want an elective

You may not want to experience labour and will therefore,
book a caesarean section. The date you or your doctor suggests for your
elective C-section should preferably not be before your 39th week of
pregnancy – no matter how inconvenient this might be to either yourself or your
care giver!! In a normal vaginal delivery, the baby initiates labour as this is
the point of optimum functionality, including development of baby’s brain.
Whether one has a normal delivery and waits until the baby initiates labour or
whether you choose a date by having a C-section, respect for the optimal  development of the baby places the newborn in
the least risky position for complications after his or her birth.


It is definitely better for the baby that a pregnancy lasts
at least until the 39th week. Of course, sometimes this is not
possible, either as a result of the mom’s health or because of foetal distress.
Luckily in these modern times, medicine has advanced so much so as to be able
to offer preterm babies the best chance for life and normal development. But,
If you have the choice, rather wait until after your 39th week to
reduce all the possible complications which may occur prior to this “magic”

Stay healthy and have an uncomplicated birth!

Yours in lifestyle newborn photography


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