My second baby was born on the day I reached 42 weeks of pregnancy. After a really rough time breastfeeding my first baby when he was born by induction, I was determined to let baby #2 come on his own schedule (as long as he was staying healthy inside!). It was worth the wait. He was born ready to breastfeed and everything went much more smoothly.
Of course this is just one story, one experience, but it wasn’t unique to me. Babies that come before they’re all the way ready – even just a week or two early — are much more likely to have breastfeeding problems. Breastfeeding depends on active participation from the baby. It’s a lot of work for mothers to keep breastfeeding going while they wait for their near-term preemies to mature enough to feed effectively. These little babies also more likely to have other problems. This new release from the CDC, Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States, says that premature births play a significant role in US infant mortality.
Delivering babies just because the calendar says they should be ready makes for a tough transition to life on the outside. As lousy as those last weeks of pregnancy can be, it’s really worth waiting until babies are ready to be born.