Pregnancy is LONG
The anticipation that kicks in once you've hit 36 weeks is REAL. A lot of pregnant women are pretty uncomfortable by this point, and just ready to have their baby in their arms. But (per ACOG guidelines) it's really and truly best for your baby to wait until 39+ weeks to deliver, barring medical necessity of course.
In 2013 the meaning of "Term Pregnancy" was redefined as the following:
Early Term: Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days
Full Term: Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days
Late Term: Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days
Postterm: Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond
Research has shown that the last few weeks are incredibly important to baby's development
- Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get the time they need to develop.
- He is less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth.
- He has time to gain more weight in the womb. Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small.
- He can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after he's born. Babies born early sometimes can't do these things.
And last but not least, your due date may not be correct!
Because every woman's cycle is different.
Because every conception isn't timed.
Because every baby is different.
Approximately 1 in 20, or 5%, of babies are born on their "Due Date"
Odds of …
- being called to “Come on down!” on The Price is Right — 1 in 36
- getting away with murder (assuming you aren't Steven Avery) — 1 in 2
- living to the age of 100 — 1 in 3
- going into labor AND delivering on your due date — 1 in 20
Yes, there is a chance.
But don't be discouraged if your due date comes and goes, and even if another week passes - not only is that okay, but it's normal!
For more information: March of Dimes articles related to Full Term gestation