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Doctors Give New Definition to Full Term Pregnancy

A doctor's group is changing the definition of a full term pregnancy in hopes of improving the health of newborns.
JOPLIN, MO.--- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine is re-establishing what a full term pregnancy means. Before the regulations were altered, a full term pregnancy was considered to be between 37 and 42 weeks. Under the new definitions, 39 to 40 weeks is now full term, 37 to 38 weeks is considered early term, 41 weeks is late term and anything beyond 42 weeks is post-term. Health care providers say infants brains are still developing before 39 weeks.

"Babies delivered at that time will sometimes have more difficulties with respiratory problems, breathing, learning and hearing when they're delivered before 39 weeks," said Abby Mutic, CNM Freeman Certified Nurse/Midwife. 

The change is to reduce the number of planned premature births. 

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