As long as you and your baby are healthy, it’s almost always better to let labor begin on its own. Yes, you’re uncomfortable.  Yes, you can’t sleep.  Yes, you’re over being pregnant!  But just think about all the things that are happening inside of your body.  There’s nothing more amazing than the fact that you can grow a person.  Hang in there.  Your life is about to change dramatically.  Don’t force baby to come before he/she is ready.  Labor is much easier and healthier and safer if you can just hang in there and wait.

Compare those last weeks of pregnancy to waiting for a chrysalis to turn into a butterfly. In time, they will spin silk and transform into a chrysalis and settle in for what seems like a short sleep. It’s amazing how fast this transformation can take place.  Their tiny caterpillar body transforms from one that crawls on the ground to being able to fly to and fro from flower to flower, above the trees. When you see a chrysalis, it could be tempting to help the butterfly emerge. But, if you help it open and don’t allow this essential struggle for life, you will stop it from reaching its beautiful potential to fly- as its wings need this time and this effort to fully mature.  You will cause harm not help.

Think about all of the amazing transformations that are happening in these last weeks of pregnancy.  They are like the last moments of the butterfly emerging from its cocoon.  They are just as important.

Your due date could be off by up to 2 weeks on either side of your estimated due date.  But if you had an ultrasound between and 11-and 14 weeks of your pregnancy, that may be the most accurate predictor of your due date.  Yet as you get further and further along in your pregnancy, ultrasound gets less and less accurate at predicting size, and due dates.  Ultrasounds are right about half the time and wrong about half the time when they predict a big baby. Although 1 out of 3 U.S. women are told they have a big baby at the end of pregnancy, only 1 in 10 babies is born big – 8lbs13oz. Only 9% babies born worldwide weigh more than 8.13lbs

No matter what size your baby is you, your baby, and your birth will be safer and healthier if you have patience and wait for nature to take its course. See what happens in those last weeks of pregnancy, below.

What happens in those last weeks of pregnancy? BABY


Baby stores iron which needs to last 6 months

Maturing baby + aging placenta = less progesterone produced by mom and more prostaglandins that ripen the cervix.

Baby stores brown fat (aka “good fat”) whose main function is to turn food into body heat.

Warm-up/pre-labor contractions start effacement and dilation

Baby moves deeper into pelvis

Antibodies passed from mother to baby increase baby’s immune function

Baby’s lungs mature and surfactant increases enabling lungs to expand outside of womb

Estrogen and progesterone produced by mom make the uterus more sensitive to oxytocin

Baby’s reflexes of sucking, breathing, and swallowing become more coordinated

Insomnia prepares mother for round-the-clock parenting

Baby’s brain adds connections for balance, coordination, learning, and social functioning

Mother’s protein intake and nutrition extremely important

In the last 6 weeks of pregnancy the size of your baby’s brain doubles.

Your estimated due date can be off by as much as 2 weeks

Babies born early, <40 weeks, are more likely to have more learning and behavior problems

Induction can double your chance of needing a C-section – make sure you have a medical reason (or health problems) for induction