The risks of scheduling your delivery

Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains the risks that are associated with planning the delivery before the term date, while the baby is still developing
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The risks of scheduling your delivery

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Parents often ask, what is a term pregnancy? A term pregnancy is when your baby has reached the completion of the 37 weeks. So at 38 weeks, you are now a term infant. And that is really important because as an expectant parent, you can prevent prematurity. Many parents often, because of a choice, an exciting time in the family, sometimes plan the delivery before 38 weeks. And that's something that should be avoided. As a matter of facts, the March of Dimes has had a huge campaign in the last year to prevent prematurity, especially those babies who were born just before 38 weeks. The reason why it's so important is that even at those gestations between 36-37 weeks, your baby is at risk of complications, complications with their brains. 37% of your baby's brain may be still developing in the very latest stages of pregnancy. Cutting a couple weeks from your pregnancy can damage your baby's brain. Doctors and family must therefore do everything in their power not to deliver a baby before their term date.

Philippe Friedlich, MD, explains the risks that are associated with planning the delivery before the term date, while the baby is still developing

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Philippe Friedlich, MD

Neonatologist

Philippe Friedlich, MD, MS Epi, MBA is the Associate Director and Division Chief of the Center for Fetal and Neonatal Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, as well as the Medical Director of the hospital’s Newborn & Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU). Dr. Friedlich is a professor of Pediatrics and Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.   

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