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Wait—baby’s gonna gain HOW much more weight?!? Plus, tips to help you avoid unwanted labor interventions.
Years ago, the medical world would have considered Baby Natural to be “full term” this week. But because of too many unnecessary inductions and c-sections, “full term” now falls between weeks 39 and 41. Simply put: Babies generally do best when they choose their own due date. 😉
Do know that if baby were born this week, he would most likely thrive. Plus, if your water broke or you are showing other signs of labor, you could try for a full-on natural delivery at this point!
Some mothers will need to be induced, but be sure to talk to your doctor about your Bishop Score. And see if you can try some natural induction tactics first. And if you're among the 10% of mamas who do need to give birth via c-section, you can choose a Gentle Cesarean to recreate many of the same benefits of natural, vaginal birth.
But let’s get back to baby. He is still about 20 inches long and about 6 1/2 pounds, and still gaining about an ounce each day. (Are you doing the math in your head? Yes, believe it or not, they’ll probably gain well over a pound still before they’re born. And, yes, your body can handle it!)
Baby continues to plump up, with fat accumulating in all the right places to make him perfectly squishy—just in time for his birth day.
By week 37, most mamas won’t gain much more weight, as you're losing amniotic fluid, and baby’s growth is slowing down.
I remember not gaining a pound for the last month and being concerned, but my midwife said I was all good, measuring right on track, and doing great. I still don’t understand how it was possible for my belly to get BIGGER and not gain weight, but I’ll take it.
All told, I gained about 40 pounds with my first child and 35 with the second. If you’re gaining a little more than that, don't be concerned, as every body is different in how it responds to pregnancy. My sister-in-law, who is slim but tall, gained a whopping 60 pounds with her first child. And she bounced back to her pre-baby weight pretty quickly. So don’t worry if you’re measuring a little differently than the averages. Your body knows what it's doing!
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Every woman wants the best possible labor, delivery, and birth experience. For most of us, this means avoiding unnecessary labor interventions, especially if we want a natural childbirth.
Some people might think that there's no harm in a few labor interventions to "move things along." However, each and every unnecessary intervention puts you at a much greater risk for more—and increasingly risky—interventions.
Having said that, each birth is unpredictable. Despite my desires, I did end up having a "hit of Pit" (Pitocin) with my first birth. It ended up helping, and probably prevented me from a forceps or c-section delivery. But the point being, we want to use birth interventions judiciously, avoiding unnecessary interference.
Here's more info on common labor interventions—and how to avoid them.
Dig deeper into these hot topics for your 37th week of pregnancy!