40 Reasons To Go the Full 40

Nobody likes to be rushed–especially babies!

Your baby needs a full 40 weeks of pregnancy to grow and develop.1 While being done with pregnancy may seem tempting, especially during those last few weeks, inducing labor is associated with increased risks, including prematurity, cesarean surgery, bleeding and infection.2 Labor should only be induced for medical reasons—not for convenience or scheduling concerns.3 Baby will let you know when she’s ready to emerge. Until then, here are 40 reasons to go at least the full 40 weeks of pregnancy:

Finish Healthy & Well

  • End right by starting right—keeping all of your prenatal appointments helps ensure a healthier ending4
  • Savor the journey—soon, you will meet your baby
  • Let nature take over—there are fewer complications and risks for both you and baby through natural birth5
  • Recover faster from a natural birth than cesarean, which is major abdominal surgery that causes more pain, requires an extended hospital stay and a longer recovery6
  • Birth a brainier baby—at 35 weeks, your baby’s brain is only 2/3rds the size it will be at term7
  • Set her thermostat—baby will better regulate her temperature when born at term8
  • Boost breastfeeding—term babies more effectively suck and swallow than babies born earlier9
  • Delight in those kicks and flips—marvel at the miracle of the life inside
  • Enjoy your convenient excuse for every mood swing and crazy craving
  • Nourish your body—a healthy diet and breastfeeding may help you lose the baby weight10
  • Let others carry the groceries, mail, packages just a while longer
  • Indulge in “we” time before you’re a threesome or more
  • Sport your bump—as your belly increases, so do your chances of getting a great seat almost anywhere

Manage Your Risks

  • Eat healthfully—indulge occasional cravings without remorse
  • Give baby’s development the benefit of time since you may not know exactly when you got pregnant
  • Let baby pick her birthday—if she decides to emerge after 37 weeks, there’s no need to try to stop your spontaneous labor
  • Skip an induction—which could lead to cesarean—by waiting for labor to start on its own
  • Reduce your baby’s risks of jaundice, low blood sugar and infection by waiting until he’s ready to emerge11
  • Build your baby’s muscles—they’ll be solid and firm, and ready to help him feed and flex at term
  • Maximize those little lungs—babies born just two or more weeks early can have twice the number of complications with breathing12
  • Ignore people who say an induction is more convenient. Nothing is convenient about longer labor and increasing your risk of cesarean13
  • Respond to requests to speed baby’s birth with the facts that inductions often create more painful labors and can lead to cesarean surgery14
  • Let others do the heavy lifting—and the extra housecleaning
  • Splurge on pedicures—or ask a friend to do them for you, especially when you can’t see or touch your feet
  • Relish in the fact that right now you’re the perfect mom—your healthy pregnancy habits are growing baby the best possible way
  • Finish healthy—more time in the womb usually means less time in the hospital

Enjoy This Time

  • Relish parenting—right now, you know exactly where your baby is and what he’s doing
  • Snooze when you can—what sleep you’re currently getting is quite a lot compared to the interruptions ahead
  • Massage remains a must—ask your partner to help ease the aches
  • Enjoy nights out without paying for a babysitter
  • Indulge in shopping without the added responsibilities of the baby in tow
  • Redecorate your house around your nursery’s theme
  • Prop up your paperback—your burgeoning belly peaks at just the proper reading height
  • Make the best possible birth experience; don’t rush it
  • Write a personal healthy reason—if it gets baby a full 40 weeks of pregnancy, it deserves to be on this list

1. New York State Department of Health
2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
4. National Partnership for Women and Families
5. American Society of Anesthesiologists
6. Mayo Clinic
7. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
8. Journal of Perinatal Education
9. Pediatrics, An Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics
10. National Institutes of Health

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