Why Is a Child Birth at 7 Months Better Than 8 Months?
If we’re being short, blunt, and honest: it isn’t. There isn’t a single advantage for the baby when it comes to giving birth earlier. I have heard these claims lots of times, with some wacko explanations. “Oh, it’s about the cycles of lung development – in the 8th month, a new cycle begins, but it’s totally fine if it rolls out 100% on the outside.”
The thing is – it really isn’t, but there’s a good reason that claim exists and has persisted throughout the years.
Why Is a Child Birth at 7 Months Better Than 8 Months: Where Does This Belief Come From?
You have to remember that not so long ago, there was a time when sex before marriage was deemed a sin, and children born out of one were seen as unholy. So when a woman conceived prior to getting married and would give birth to a perfectly developed, healthy child at 7 months, she had two choices. One was to admit it was actually the 9-month mark, and accept consequences that came along with it; Or keep up the facade and make her family and in-laws believe that she was LUCKY to give birth at 7 months because that – that’s a magical month.
Another similar claim I was hearing is that it’s “better to give birth during odd months of pregnancy”. Again, that has nothing to do with actual medical science. It’s another old wives’ tale created for all those who gave birth at “five ” or “seven” months at a time when premarital relations were unheard of.
Giving Birth at 7 vs 8 Months: What Does the Science Say?
The simple truth is, the longer the baby stays protected inside her mother’s body, the better chance of survival and healthy life they have. Up until the very last few weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s lungs are not yet fully developed. Neither is their ability to regulate their own temperature.
In fact, based on how preterm a baby is, their rates of survival vary significantly. Those born before week 32 (aka, before 8 months) are considered very preterm. Out of those, babies born at week 28 have a survival rate anywhere between 80% and 98%. They’re also at a higher risk of having various developmental challenges.
Meanwhile, those born between 32 and 34 weeks are moderately preterm. Finally, babies born between 34 and 36 weeks are late premature babies, and have a survival rate of nearly 100%.
The science is clear: the later on you give birth, the healthier your baby is. Anything else is old wives’ tales made up to protect women at a time when they needed it.