I'm a little confused ladies...I know I should know this, but some of the mums on my birth board are talking about being full term in a couple weeks, at 36 weeks! I know we generally talk about full term being 40 weeks also, so what the heck is it? I know there's 2 weeks counted in there that you're not actually pregnant if you count from LMP, but I'm so confused about this full term thing. Can anyone clarify for me?
What joysiloo said.
-Becca, mom to Jacob (5-3-2003) Zach (6-20-2006) Zoey Jane (2-6-200 Alex (8-11-2011) and Emma Grace (due March 2014)!!
I think that midwifery studies are actually showing that the "average" pregnancy length is a lot closer to the 42 week mark than traditional american doctors would like to think/say. But yes, according to my doctor, term is 37 weeks. If I were to go into labor 35-36 they might not stop it even though our hospital prefers 37 weeks. Any thing over the 40 week mark is "over term" according to my doctor and induction might be discussed at that point.
Janelle and Brad 8-25-01
Yes, it confused me a little when I was in nursing school and they were telling us that "full term" is 3 weeks before the due date.
I know of ladies who are taking castor oil at 37 weeks because, by golly, they are "full term" (no medical necessity for induction or anything). Yikes, I'm not that brave.
37 weeks is still considered "term", but a lot of more recent studies have shown that 37 weekers STILL tend to have more of the "late preterm" problems than those born at 38 weeks and beyond.
That's why ACOG started not being supportive of elective c-sections and inductions prior to 39 weeks gestation.
I've always heard/read 37 weeks is considered full term, even though it's before your due date. I wish there was more of a range that included after your due date though. For example, if being "full term" was considered anywhere 38 weeks to 41 weeks or something like that. Instead of being considered "overdue" or "late" immediately after that one day that no one really knows is completely accurate or not. Sorry I got kind of off topic there... just my thoughts on it .
Neither my pediatrician or my midwife have ever referred to my DS as preterm/premature and he was born at 36 weeks, whereas they did with my other two (34/35 weeks). I don't know if it's different since I have a history of going early but my midwife has always been pretty clear that our 'goal' is 36 weeks. That's the point I can deliver at my hospital of choice and that is the point that if I were delivering at the big hospital they don't have the NICU team in the room for the delivery. I wouldn't take castor oil at 36/37 (or 38 for that matter but getting to 38 weeks just doesn't seem likely at this point) weeks but going into labor on my own at 36 weeks I wouldn't be too worried either.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
36 weeks is darned close to term, but not quite there. Probably the reason that they dont really mention it is that *most* 36 weekers do just fine, go to the regular nursery, breathe ok, and have minimal issues eating. SOME 35 weekers do OK and some need NICU, and 34 weekers are NICU/special care admits pretty much anywhere.
Late preterm issues are generally:
Higher rates of respiratory distress at birth due to lack of complete lung maturity.
Not being able to eat effectively (the suck/swallow/breathe coordination is a LATE development)
Being little (weight wise) and cold (as in needing an isolette to maintain body temp)
Higher risk for issues like infection, jaundice, low blood sugars, etc.