One of our core principles at Drs. Goodman & Partridge, OB/GYN is that mother and baby safety are far more important than the personal convenience and comfort of physicians, hospital staffs and individual patients. It's tough to be near term in pregnancy, and every day can seem like a miserable century, but we are proud of the fact that we never let a physician's vacation plans or the hospital's convenience obscure what we have long known: babies and moms do better when pregnancy is allowed to go to at least 39 weeks. It is appropriate for babies to deliver earlier in the case of premature labor (when the labor can't or shouldn't be stopped), spontaneous labor between 36 and 39 weeks, some medical conditions, a rare condition where the placenta covers the uterine opening late in pregnancy, and a an even rarer type of previous Caesarian section where the uterus was cut crosswise.
Believe it or not, nature can very often handle the late-pregnancy miseries on its own. While only one third of first moms go into labor on their own before the due date, it is very rare that any go more than 7 – 10 days past the due date. Two-thirds of second (and subsequent) moms will go into spontaneous labor before their due date, and almost all of the rest during the following week.
So keep your chin up, late pregnancy folks – there is hope! We will continue to do everything we can to give you and your baby the best care possible.