New Definitions of “Term” for Pregnancy

A pregnancy is not full term until 39 weeks, according to new American guidelines


 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recently created new categories to describe the length of pregnancy when a baby is born. Instead of describing all pregnancies between 37 and 42 weeks as “term,” this is now broken down to:

Early Term (37 weeks and 0 days to 38 weeks and 6 days)

Full Term (39 weeks and 0 days to 40 weeks and 6 days)

Late Term (41 weeks and 0 days to 41 weeks and 6 days)

Post-term (42 weeks and beyond)

Their main goal: to reduce the number of women who have labour induced before 39 weeks without medical indications. Many doctors had previously believed that the outcomes were the same for babies born any time after 37 weeks, so they did not hesitate to induce at this stage. However, research confirms that babies born before 39 weeks may have additional challenges. The authors of this new statement recommend that labour only be induced (or a Caesarean section planned) before 39 weeks if there are real medical indications.

Of course, there are natural variations in the length of pregnancy: some women will spontaneously go into labour at 37 weeks and others at 42 weeks (or beyond). What these definitions may do is help hospital staff be aware that your 37-week baby may need extra help with breastfeeding, for example.

The Canadian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has not changed their guidelines at this point.

 

 

New On the Baby Post

 

You May Also Like...

 

Sign up for weekly updates

Subscribe to Babypost's weekly pregnancy newsletter to receive updates on your baby's progress, contests, articles and more!

 

Don't show this again

Privacy Policy
 
 
Register For Our Newsletter Contests Video

Latest Comments

Start Here: Introductions

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm

gabriellir 8 months 1 week ago.

Start Here: Introductions

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm boo

gabriellir 8 months 1 week ago.

Start Here: Introductions

Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I'm getting sick and

lavinal62 8 months 1 week ago.

Product Recalls Attention

HarperCollins Publishers recalls Two "That’s Not My…" Children’s Books

HarperCollins has recalled That’s Not My Reindeer and That’s Not My Santa kids’ books due to possible mould contamination

Joe Fresh Recalls Striped Quilted Baby Jackets

Due to a choking hazard, Loblaw Companies has recalled Joe Fresh Baby Jackets

Costco Recalls Kirkland Signature Brand Quinoa Salad

Costco Wholesale Canada has issued a recall of the Kirkland Signature brand Quinoa Salad because of reported illnesses.