Health: New Definition For When It’s Best For Baby To Be Born

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Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3 and The CW Philly 57’s Emmy Award-win...
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By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a new definition on when it’s safe for a baby to be born. Early might be easier, but not for the baby. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the new meaning for term delivery.

Sienna Stein weighed five pounds, twelve ounces when she was born Sunday morning.  Little, but healthy.  Her mom Lisa went into labor right on time 39 weeks, two days.

“She is doing wonderful.  Couldn’t be any better, and I feel incredible actually,” said Lisa. She had what is now being called a full term pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is redefining term pregnancy. It’s no longer between 37 and 42 weeks.

“There’s been a big push to avoid elective deliveries before 39 weeks. It’s dangerous to the babies,” said Dr. David Ufberg, a Lankenau Medical Center Obstetrician. He says early scheduled deliveries, might be convenient, but those babies have an increased risk for a variety of problems, including breathing difficulties.  ACOG now says a full term pregnancy is between 39 and 40 weeks.

“I think it’s a great idea. I think the longer they stay in there the better.  I think it’s good,” said Lisa. This is Lisa’s second baby, neither was scheduled, but her first was early and intensive care for ten days. 

“Luckily he turned out wonderful,” said Lisa.

Experts say planned deliveries before 39 weeks should only be done when medically necessary. The new report says babies born between 39 and 40 weeks have the best health outcomes compared to those delivered earlier or later.

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