What are the risks of delivering after 42 weeks? — The Bump
Natural Birth

What are the risks of delivering after 42 weeks?

I hear this thrown around all the time. But my friend was living in the UK for many years and she said that the "magic" number there was 44 weeks. 

I've heard that after 42 weeks, the placenta can start to deteriorate. But after my OB told me that if I have to have a CVS it must be on the L&D floor because of the risk of something happening...and then I looked it up and the risk is 1 in 30,000, I'm very skeptical when doctors start talking about "risks".  So what are the risks and how "risky" are they?

If I've start to consult Dr. Google too and I came across this tidbit: 

A study in Nottingham, England found that, of women at 40 weeks, 65% labour spontaneously within the next week. Of those at 10 days over their dates, 60% will enter spontaneous labour within the next 3 days.

 

Re: What are the risks of delivering after 42 weeks?

  • Check out Henci Goer's book The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. There is a whole chapter on it in there, complete with references to the medical studies.
  • That is not true in the UK, at least anymore. They will induce anyone at 42 weeks who has not gone into labor naturally, I had my son there and was induced the evening of 42 weeks and born the next day.
    DS 02.10.2008 * DD 04.05.2011

    [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/jhzsar.jpg[/IMG]
  • Loading the player...
  • Link

    Key passage:

    Pregnancy that continues beyond 42 weeks is associated with risks to the fetus and the mother.

    Risks to the fetus

    Stillbirth or neonatal death ? The incidence of stillbirth or infant death is increased in pregnancies that continue beyond 42 weeks. However, the risk is relatively small, with only 4 to 7 deaths per 1000 deliveries. By comparison, the risk of stillbirth or infant death in pregnancies between 37 and 42 weeks is 2 to 3 per 1000 deliveries.

    Large body size ? Postterm fetuses have a greater chance of developing complications related to larger body size (called macrosomia), which is defined as weighing more than 4500 grams, or about 10 pounds. Complications can include prolonged labor, difficulty passing through the vagina, and birth trauma (eg, fractured bones or nerve injury) related to difficulty in delivering the shoulders (shoulder dystocia).

    Fetal dysmaturity ? Also called "postmaturity syndrome," this refers to a fetus whose growth in the uterus after the due date has been restricted, usually due to a problem with delivery of blood to the fetus through the placenta.

    Meconium aspiration ? Beyond term, the fetus is more likely to have a bowel movement, called meconium, into the amniotic fluid. If the fetus is stressed, there is a chance it will inhale some of this meconium stained amniotic fluid; this can cause breathing problems when the baby is born.

    Risks to the mother ? Risks to the mother are related to the larger size of postterm infants, and include difficulties during labor, an increase in injury to the perineum (including the vagina, labia, and rectum), and an increased rate of cesarean birth with its associated risks of bleeding, infection, and injury to surrounding organs.

     

    image
    Mucho likes purple nails and purple cupcakes
  • The incidence of stillbirth or infant death is increased in pregnancies that continue beyond 42 weeks. However, the risk is relatively small, with only 4 to 7 deaths per 1000 deliveries. By comparison, the risk of stillbirth or infant death in pregnancies between 37 and 42 weeks is 2 to 3 per 1000 deliveries.

    In raw numbers, this doesn't  seem like a huge difference.  Pretty rare for 1000 deaths.  But that's 2 or more times as many babies who die.  2x the death rate would be too much for me.  I've been the wrong side of statistics too many times!

    I'm curious about these studies and how sure they are on dates.  How many babies at "42 weeks" are really just dates that are off?  It's really not unusual for women to O a good week after CD14, which would set your EDD ahead when really you were delivering a 41 week baby, KWIM?  I wonder how sure they are on EDDs on these studies (though you'd hope that's something they'd control for in a study BASED on EDD)

  • image schoolsoutbride:

    In raw numbers, this doesn't  seem like a huge difference.  Pretty rare for 1000 deaths.  But that's 2 or more times as many babies who die.  2x the death rate would be too much for me.  I've been the wrong side of statistics too many times!

    Totally agree!

    I can't get to the underlying studies that article was based on, but it does make a comment that accuracy of dating is important when determining if a pregnancy is truly postterm.

    image
    Mucho likes purple nails and purple cupcakes
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards