Risks of baby at 40

Babies born only a week early are at higher risk of a host of serious health problems from autism to deafness, research has shown. They suggest that deliveries should ideally wait until 40 weeks of gestation, because even a baby born at 39 weeks – the normal timing for elective deliveries these days – has an increased risk of special educational needs compared with a baby born a week later.’ But Professor Andrew Shennan, an obstetrician at St Thomas’s Hospital in London, said the risks of leaving elective C-sections to 40 weeks should be studied. The professor, who is also a spokesman for the baby charity Tommy’s, said: ‘The relationship between early birth and later problems in life, such as special educational needs, is well established.
More research is required.’ The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that waiting until 40 weeks to perform an elective C-section also carried risks, and therefore was unlikely to be better for the baby overall.
Obviously, waiting longer would not apply to these women, who have hard evidence that their baby or their own health is at serious risk. And 41 per cent of babies are born at between 37 and 39 weeks – a figure that is on the rise, largely because of an increase in nonemergency or elective caesareans.
Inductions add risks when sometimes there were none.An important fact to remember is that reaching 40 weeks of pregnancy in itself is not a sign of danger.

Professor Pell, of Glasgow University, stressed that women having planned caesareans shouldn’t panic about the increased odds of special needs, because the chances of any one baby being affected are very low. If it’s truly necessary for your baby to be born early, find out if it would be safe to wait until you are as close to 39-40 weeks as possible. This sucking and swallowing will aid breastfeeding, which will in turn build a strong bond between you and baby.
Although the operation can be a lifesaver, it carries well-documented risks for mother and child. A premature baby is more likely to suffer from jaundice because his liver may not be fully developed. Seizures — premature babies have an increased risk of seizures during their first few days of life. Premature babies are at risk of low blood sugar because they may not have had time to build adequate stores of glycogen.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, one of the biggest risk factors is premature birth (less than 37 weeks). Electively induced labor more than doubles the risk of c-section compared to spontaneous labour. A recent review of 90% of US birth records found that it’s also more risky than vaginal birth. They mould and shape so the baby can be born.But sounds like you had a wonderful labour, which is fantastic.

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