Long pregnancies linked to behavioral problems in toddlers
Children born after a longer-than-normal pregnancy are at increased risk for behavioral and emotional problems, a new study suggests.
The study found that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an especially common problem among children who were born post-term, defined as birth after a pregnancy of 42 weeks.
My son was born at 42 weeks gestation. I had been induced with my first child and had a horrible experience, so I was determined not to have to go through that again. But as the days ticked by, E remained unwilling to make his appearance. I had non-stress tests done by my doctor who was certain that he would 'need' to be induced, which I passed with more than flying colors. I was told that by 42 weeks they would 'have to' induce me. I was told about how the placenta would deteriorate, etc, although I was never swayed that something magically happened at exactly 40 weeks for this to occur. At 42 weeks I went in for the dreaded induction, and was pleased to have a much better experience this second go round. E was born with excellent Apgar scores, eight and a half pounds and took to nursing well.
There needs to be more research, and studies can be wrong. I should also say that in the support group where I originally heard about this study, there were plenty of parents speaking up to say that their ADHD child had come early or on time, and there were very few of us saying that our child had come late. We are only a small sample of ADHD parents so I'm not suggesting that this disproves the study, but just that it doesn't hold true for everyone. I do find this hard to believe because they can't point to why the two week difference would suddenly 'cause' ADHD, and also because I'm a born skeptic. I've also heard of studies that showed that premature birth led to ADHD, so maybe they just can't make up their minds.
I am choosing not to swaddle myself in guilt about this. I made the best decision that I could, and made sure my baby was healthy and safe before choosing to wait the extra time. I hope that other parents will give themselves the benefit of the doubt as well.