Q&A: I want to schedule my C-section two weeks early, but don't know if that will complicate the delivery.
I'm due July 20th. My doctor is scheduling a C-section for the 12th. I think it would be nice to have a 4th of July baby. Would that be a problem? Could there be complications delivering 2 weeks early?
Early delivery, be it by induction or by a repeat, scheduled C-section, shouldn’t be any earlier than 39 weeks, unless there are medical reasons that would endanger you or your baby by waiting.
The 39 weeks rule is considered the standard of care and is the earliest time sanctioned by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Any earlier may jeopardize your baby by creeping into immature lung territory. Sometimes you can fudge by a day or two, for instance, to avoid a Sunday or a major holiday. But you’re asking for 16 days early, which is closer to 2 1/2 weeks before your due date.
Your doctor is right about the date and your idea, although a romantic notion to give birth on the 4th of July, isn’t worth the risk to your baby. Also, no doctor would schedule an elective surgery like this on a major holiday because most hospitals are usually using skeleton crews. You do surgery, electively, with the fullest staff you can.
If you were to go into labor on the 4th, this is something different. If it were true labor, your doctor could do a C-section then, because natural events and not medical meddling prompted the delivery.