Can I schedule my baby's birthday and have my baby just a little early?

The last weeks of pregnancy can be uncomfortable, and not knowing when your baby will arrive makes it hard to plan. Many women, and even some doctors, think it is okay to schedule the baby’s birthday a week or two early.  It is not okay.


Babies need at least 39 weeks to develop. You can’t be sure when your baby was conceived, so if you schedule the birth, you may be off by one or two weeks. Generally, when a woman goes into labor on her own after 39 weeks, it’s a sign that her baby is fully developed and ready for delivery. The last few weeks of pregnancy are really important to a baby’s development. Major organs like the brain, lungs, and liver are still growing. Eyes and ears are developing. The baby is learning to suck and swallow. That’s why it’s best to wait until the baby tells you when it’s the right time for a birthday.

Dr. Janet Sullivan
Chief Medical Officer
Hudson Health Plan