Don't Induce--Smart Babies Choose Their Birthdays

Don't Induce--Smart Babies Choose Their Birthdays

As you may know, all seven of my babies have decided to be born at between 42-44 weeks of gestation.  I’m so grateful to have been in a position to honour their timelines.

But gosh, this is very hard to do in a culture in which we’re programmed into rushing and busy-ness literally before we’re even born!

It’s a rarity to find a woman who isn’t convinced that there is a reason to submit to induction—whether via a pitocin drip, or through bizarre and counterproductive at-home induction rituals involving climbing the stairs, castor oil, a plate of curry, or prescribed sex.

Sadly, despite the fact that the idea that babies who gestate longer are at higher risk of calamity is based on flawed and out-of-date science, the notion persists that babies are too dumb to figure out when to be born, and women are still pressured into evicting their babies from the womb prematurely. 

This is such a shame, because as Kimberly Noble (et al.) found from her extensive 2012 study of 128050 babies, those born at 41 weeks had better math and reading skills on average, than those born at 37 weeks, and that by grad three, children who were born at 37 weeks were a third more likely to have serious difficulties reading, and a 19% chance of having problems with math, compared with those children who were born at 41 weeks.  

 Now, goodness-- take this with a grain of salt! There are so many variables! If your baby was born early (spontaneously or otherwise) take heart.  I share this information simply because this research should give us all pause when it comes to *elective* induction (the real purpose of which, to my mind, is to serve doctors' timelines, and surgeons' pocketbooks--not the wellbeing of mothers and babies). 
When I encounter women who bemoan their long pregnancies, my response is always:
What a smart baby you have!  How wonderful that he or she is staying in the safest place for as long as possible, ensuring that his or her lungs are fully developed, and their brain best prepared for life on earth. What a lucky mother you are to have such a healthy little one, who will be born at the perfect time. Enjoy your last few hours, or days, or weeks of pregnancy. 

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