11:34 AM EST, March 2, 2011
Those of you who've been reading my various online writings for some time know that when it comes to "medical" vs. "natural" regarding childbirth, I a) think we tend to get way too worked up about the whole subject and b) think slamming the medical professionals who deliver our babies can be pretty detrimental, since modern medicine - without a doubt - has done a lot of good things for our collective health. Whether you're talking about a healthy pregnancy and childbearing experience, or something else.
Like, remember smallpox? Yeah, scientists and doctors got rid of that nonsense.
I'm digressing in a big way.
Point is, I wanted to post a very interesting piece published in the Wall Street Journal about a push for pregnancies to last a full 39 weeks (pregnancies generally last 40, which - digressing again - is a really long time, right? maybe go buy your pregnant wife, girlfriend or partner some flowers, ok?) as planned C-sections are sometimes scheduled earlier than that. Recent studies have shown that even delivering a few days shy of this 39-week mark can sometimes lead to health problems.
Not that I'm trying to scare you or that, C-sections aside, you can plan when your baby is going to show up of his or her own accord, but I think this is the kind of sensible and well-researched information it's helpful to know when you're talking to your doctor or midwife. Ensuring your own concerns are heard and addressed can definitely make the birth experience a happier one for new parents.
On another note, I mean, would I like the baby I'm currently pregnant with to show up a couple weeks early? I can't deny that I've daydreamed about that very event, especially when I'm straining like a beached whale trying to get the glass of water I keep on my bedside table. But it's nice to be reminded that when these little ones are taking their time, it's because there are important things going on in there.