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'Term Pregnancy' Redefined — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 23, 2013

'Term Pregnancy' Redefined

By Kelly Young

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine are discouraging use of the word "term" to describe infants born between 37 and 42 weeks' gestation since there's a wide range of outcomes in infants born during this period.

Instead, the group is recommending the following classification system:

  • early term: 37 weeks through 38 weeks, 6 days

  • full term: 39 weeks through 40 weeks, 6 days

  • late term: 41 weeks through 41 weeks, 6 days

  • postterm: 42 weeks and later

Reader Comments (2)

Mary Bennett,RN ,

Redefining "term" may have the unintended consequence of unnecessarily increasing the number of C-Sections, especially in women experiencing a first pregnancy.
I realize this is anecdotal, but ALL of my daughter's friends are routinely induced. The onset of labor is never allowed to progress naturally, even though it is common for a woman's first delivery to take longer. The OB tells her that it's dangerous to go past 40 weeks (a 6-day grace period isn't much), then schedules mom to be admitted to the hospital for induction, whether or not her cervix is effaced and dilating. Invariably that's a much more difficult labor, requiring more medication, sometimes it doesn't "take", and mom is sent home, scheduled to return the next week to repeat the process.
This greatly increases the costs, too, although the possibility of unnecessary surgery is more of a concern.

dr.r.p.ram M.D Physician, Internal Medicine, jaslok hospital and research centre , mumbai, india

yes i agree that from 37th wk to 42nd wk is long period and there is varieties of clinical out comesare possible.
so the classificatione done is very justified.

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