“Don’t Rush Me” campaign cautions pregnant women against birthing before baby is ready
Increasingly, more women are asking to have help in scheduling when their baby may be born. Whether out of fear or for the sake of convenience, inductions and cesarean birth have become so common that many women now see these labor interventions as “normal”– but they’re not.
Natural birth is best
What experts know is that for almost all women spontaneous natural labor and birth are the healthiest and best ways for a baby to enter the world. But more importantly, experts agree that that inductions and cesarean surgery—unless medically necessary—put a mother and her baby at increased risk for lifelong health consequences. Cesarean birth is major abdominal surgery.
To educate these moms-to-be, AWHONN's Healthy Mom&Baby
magazine is proud to announce the launch of the "Go the Full 40
" campaign. This educational campaign is designed to help women understand the many reasons it’s important for a mom to carry her baby to term. Through 40 reasons – some serious, some fun—Healthy Mom&Baby
is busting the myth that it’s OK for babies to be born just a little early. In fact, babies need the benefit of a full-term pregnancy.
While birthing one’s baby early may seem tempting in the final weeks of pregnancy, it’s not without risks. Inducing labor is associated with prematurity, cesarean surgery, hemorrhage and infection. Babies born before 37 completed weeks of gestation are at risk for breathing problems, feeding issues, jaundice, low blood sugar and problems stabilizing their own body temperature.
The "40 Reasons to the Go the Full 40
" are divided into three different categories. Some key examples include:
1. Finish Healthy and Well
- Let nature take over – there are fewer complications and risks for both you and your baby through natural birth
- Birth a brainier baby — at 35 weeks your baby’s brain is only 2/3rds the size it will be at term
- Boost breastfeeding — term babies more effectively suck and swallow than babies born earlier
2. Manage Your Risks
- Give your 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 and stop your spontaneous labor
- Ignore people who say an induction is more convenient. Nothing is convenient about a longer labor and increasing your risk of cesarean
3. Enjoy This Time
- Relax – babies are usually so much easier to care for in the womb
- Shamelessly wear comfy, stretchy clothes
- Postpone changing the eventual 5,000+ diapers the baby will use
"Babies need a full 40 weeks of pregnancy to grow and develop. Labor should only be induced for medical reasons – not for convenience or scheduling concerns," said AWHONN CEO Karen Peddicord, PhD, RN. "The baby will arrive when she is ready to emerge. Until then, women should consider these 40 encouraging reasons to bring their pregnancy to full term."
The "Go the Full 40" campaign is featured in the current issue of Healthy Mom&Baby
, in its iPad app, and on its website via GoTheFull40.com
. There, women will find additional information on carrying a healthy pregnancy to term.
For women who have a medical reason for needing a cesarean birth, it can be a life- and baby-saving surgery. In fact, leading experts at multiple organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, American College of Nurse Midwives, and the American College of Obstetricians (ACOG) agree and advise women that choosing a cesarean birth should only occur when a healthcare provider thinks that “cesarean delivery promotes the overall health and welfare of the woman and her fetus more than vaginal birth,” say the experts at ACOG.
And experts also agree that an induction or cesarean surgery should never be scheduled before a pregnancy is at least 39 weeks unless medically indicated.
Go the full 40 weeks
We know that most pregnant women, as they reach the end of their pregnancy, are so ready to have their baby be born, but baby is saying “Don’t Rush Me.” Which of the 40 reasons do you think will motivate women most to "go the full 40" with a pregnancy? Please go to GoTheFull40.com
and share your choices with us.
AWHONN encourages nurses and other healthcare providers as well as mother/baby advocates to share this campaign with women. Post a link to the 40 Reasons article on your website and share the link through your social media channels. You can also download a printable, reproducible version of the 40 Reasons article by clicking here