Today, more and more healthy pregnant women are opting for Cesarean delivery over natural births, and many of them are scheduling the all-important procedure to take place before their newborns have reached full-term. Despite the widely held understanding that a healthy full term pregnancy should last about 40 weeks, recent studies have found that as many as 36 percent of elective C-sections now occur before 39 weeks.
Research published by the New York Times in August 2011 revealed that this trend has led to an alarming increase in health complications for both mother and child in elective pre-term deliveries. Complications may include respiratory distress, infection, and low blood sugar, among other things. Such problems are likely caused by insufficient development of vital organs like the brain, lungs and liver that typically occurs in the 39th and 40th weeks of pregnancy.
This research confirms what natural birthing experts have been saying all along: When possible, deliver naturally. Your body is the best judge of when you're ready to give birth. So listen to your body. It will ensure the best for both you and your baby.