Embracing the Wait: Understanding the Temptation of Early Labor

Explaining why waiting to your due date is important

Ron Robinson, DC, CACCP

Ever found yourself eagerly waiting for a delayed delivery, be it a pair of shoes or a bundle of joy? The anticipation can be both exciting and challenging. In the realm of pregnancy, the temptation to induce labor a little early often arises, but is it worth it? Let’s delve into why embracing the wait can be more beneficial for both mom and baby.

Understanding the Temptation of Early Labor:

The desire to expedite labor at 38 or 39 weeks is real, especially when discomfort, sleepless nights, and the yearning to finally meet your little one take center stage. It’s a familiar feeling – waiting anxiously to bid farewell to pregnancy’s challenges.

The Real Deal:

However, the suggestion of initiating labor early might not paint the full picture. Labor isn’t just a mechanical process; it’s a complex dance involving the neuroendocrine systems of both mom and baby. While the baby may be anatomically developed, spontaneous labor activates key neurologic areas, crucial for optimal brain function and development. Studies even hint at potential connections between these activations and conditions like autism spectrum disorders.

Why Wait? Five Health Reasons:

1. Shorter Average Labor Times: When labor starts naturally, the average duration is generally shorter, offering a smoother birthing process.

2. Reduced Risk of Birth Intervention: Natural labor is associated with a decreased likelihood of requiring interventions during the birthing process.

3. Lower Risk of C-Section: The chances of undergoing a C-section are diminished when labor commences naturally.

4. Enhanced Bonding: Natural labor fosters better bonding between mom and baby, promoting improved breastfeeding, sleep, and reduced postpartum depression.

5. Increased Likelihood of Natural Birth: Opting to wait increases the probability of experiencing a natural birth, which carries numerous health benefits for both mom and baby, including fewer respiratory issues, better digestion for the baby, and a strengthened immune system.

The Bottom Line:

While the temptation to jumpstart labor may be strong, embracing the wait emerges as a healthier choice for both mom and baby. Those extra days contribute to a smoother journey, fostering better outcomes for everyone involved.

Wishing you a pregnancy filled with health and vitality,

Dr. Ron