17 answers

36 Weeks Pregnant, off restrictions...Should I Avoid Self Inducing?

I just had my 36 week checkup and I'm "good to go" according to my doctor. She's taken me off all restrictions. My hubby was jokingly saying we are going to have lots of sex and eat spicy food to celebrate (clearly, he's never been pregnant or he would know that sex and spicy food doesn't sound like a good combo)...but the truth is I don't know that it will take much to send me into labor if I really tried.

I've been staving off preterm labor for WEEKS (like SIX weeks) and now I'm huge, and my feet are swollen and I'm in pain and frankly miserable. But at 36 weeks we have NO idea what it will take to send me into active labor. It could be as simple as Thai food and a passionate night with the hubs...but it could be weeks now. I could go to 41 weeks.

What I'm wondering is...do you think it's irresponsible to do something like have sex or whatever (the doctor recommended some good vigorous walks) when it could send me into labor before 37 weeks or "full term"....

Or do you think that if I wasn't meant to go into labor at this point, I won't even if I have sex. It's kind of speculation, really...just wondering what you'd do. I have been up to 2 cm dilated and regressed..did you even know that was POSSIBLE!? Apparently, it is.

Just thinking things through. I feel like my judgment is a little cloudy because I'm so exhausted and uncomfortable. Part of me want to avoid anything that might send me into labor. The other part is SO FREAKING MISERABLE that I'd almost just take my chances with the walking and the spicy food and see what happens. I wouldn't do anything like castor oil, though...and I've already had my steroid injection to mature his lungs since "labor" started so early.

Edit: this is my second child, and this has been a really difficult pregnancy. My son who is now 3 was born just shy of 35 weeks. He was healthy and went home with me but I realize how terribly fortunate we were. I was vigilant and when I had preterm
Labor symptoms the first time around, I was able to at least have the steroid injection. This time we've done a lot to avoid preterm labor despite having contractions 2-4 minutes apart for the last couple of weeks and all of the regular labor symptoms including cramping and diarrhea. And essentially ZERO progress. I've hardly slept. I don't want to jeopardize my baby in any way, but I am cracking up a bit. It's been too much for too long with very little relief. I'm crying easily about basically everything and I'm worried I'm going to be too exhausted for labor let alone the first few days and weeks after he's born.

That said, I'm thinking about what it means to "not try to" but also "not not try to" if you know what I mean.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know you're miserable... but if you can walk around the neighborhood or go to the mall and walk around this will help a lot. I was a 5cm for days & 100% effaced for weeks.

Hang in there

3 moms found this helpful

Rest. Sleep as much as possible.. It is going to be months before you get to sleep through the night.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

If it were me? I would want that baby cooking for a few more weeks. I could barely walk the last month of my pregnancy. I would get contractions any time I did anything, it was awful. BUT, it's soooo much better for the baby to be more mature. It's not just the lungs, it's the baby being fully mature.

6 moms found this helpful

If I were you? Put your feet up and rest or get the nursery together but remember that every day that you are still pregnant you are giving your baby the time to mature. 37 weeks is "full term" and you've already made it this far. I know you're uncomfortable, but I'd avoid rushing it. Definitely keep an eye on the blood pressure - that's what made my sister have an emergency c-section.

5 moms found this helpful

As the mom of a preemie and a 37 weeker, I would strongly urge you to rest and wait for *baby* to decide when he/she is ready to come into the world. Every day that baby stays in utero is better for baby. I know you aren't feeling great right now but this is just the beginning of a lot of sacrifices you will make for the best interests of your little one.

4 moms found this helpful

Every single week of developing inside the uterus counts and is extremely important for that baby. If you intentionally tried to go into labor an entire month early, since that's what you're proposing, and you do go into labor, then yes it would be incredibly irresponsible. You shouldn't have any "progress" toward labor right now since you just got off of restrictions. You worked hard to make sure the baby stays put so why reverse all of that progress? Because you're tired of being pregnant? It's not worth it.

A full term pregnancy is only ESTIMATED to be 40 weeks. Some babies aren't ready until 41 or 42 weeks. Every baby is different, so you ought to wait until your body shows natural signs of being ready.

At 36 weeks, being "good to go" simply means that if you delivered now a month early chances are the baby would be healthy and thrive but there are still plenty of developmental things going on. The baby is doing more than jut gaining weight.

I do know what it's like to have incredibly hard pregnancies. I had hyperemesis gravidarium with each of my pregnancies. I have fibromyalgia that got progressively worse with each pregnancy. My body was and is a wreck thanks to having excessively difficult pregnancies. I went into preterm labor with two of my babies and delivered two of them as preemies. Every day they were inside me was blessed and important to them.

You will likely continue with prodromal labor from here on out, which is normal. But let the baby come when its ready. I'd rather be overly cautious than do something stupid.

4 moms found this helpful

Please rest this week. Keep your swollen feet up. Drink water (64 ounces - not much more than that) all through the day to help flush out the water weight gain you've got. Get all your paperwork caught up, lists of who to call, phone numbers, email addresses. If you have bought the announcements, you should address all the envelopes.

Plan all the meals for when you get back from the hospital. Hopefully you can put some of them together easily and stick them in the freezer, marked as to what they are. Have the layette and nursery ready. Make lists of doctors numbers for the kids, what your husband needs in case of you not being able to help.

Your baby actually DOES need another week to bake. And "good to go" joking by the doctor doesn't mean that you should be doing "stuff" to push your uterus into expelling the baby. Have sex if you can stand it, NEXT week after the 37 week mark.

The lungs aren't the only things that need to develop - babies closer to the 37 week mark have other issues too. Just make sure that you see the doctor once a week at a minimum to make sure your swelling doesn't morph into preeclapsia. That is majorly important.

Good luck,

4 moms found this helpful

I know you're miserable... but if you can walk around the neighborhood or go to the mall and walk around this will help a lot. I was a 5cm for days & 100% effaced for weeks.

Hang in there

3 moms found this helpful

I think you should wait until min of 38 weeks. From the medical standpoint, it's best to wait until that time. You may be miserable, but baby may still have a few things that are finishing developing. Like lungs, preterm babies are more likely to suffer from respritory problems. I don't mean NICU issues, common things like light to severe asthma, lower immune systems, more common respritory infections and allergies. Both of my sisters are nurses, sister in law is a perdiatric RN, there are several doctors in my family.

I, against their wishes, was induced at 38 weeks. My doctor said it was fine as well... My son, now almost 4, has asthma whenever he gets sick, for some reason is prone to getting respritory infections (RSV, Brochitis) over and over. He has problems with his ears as well.

Now that doesn't seem like it can all be linked to premature induction, but several studies show that it is.

The truth is, Doctor's can't 100% see what's going on in there :)

2 moms found this helpful

Rest. Sleep as much as possible.. It is going to be months before you get to sleep through the night.

2 moms found this helpful

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