Mississippi State Department of Health

39 Weeks for Healthy Baby


Thirty-nine weeks or more of pregnancy is the new standard of health for babies.

Why wait? Electing to deliver before 39 weeks means that your baby misses the benefits of full development that take place in the last weeks of pregnancy. Waiting for labor to begin on its own, naturally, means your baby is better prepared to meet the world.


Until now, choosing to deliver as early as 37 weeks was considered safe for the baby. But evidence is growing that babies delivered this early are missing out on crucial benefits in development.

For all these reasons, it's best to wait for at least 39 weeks of pregnancy for labor to begin on its own rather than choosing to deliver sooner.

Talk to Your Doctor

Let your doctor know that you want the best for your baby. Plan for a full-term delivery, and ask about the medical reasons why early delivery might be necessary.

Find Out More


For more information about Maternal and Child Health Programs and the MCH Block Grant, call 1-800-721-7222.

Links referenced on this page
More steps you can take for a healthy pregnancy    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/41,0,376,html ok
Why at least 39 weeks is best for your baby    http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/why-at-least-39-weeks-is-best-for-your-baby.aspx
Video: Worth the Wait    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN_ejTMJqZo
Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/41,0,376,html ok

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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