The Korea Herald


‘Premature birth needs 35 weeks’


Published : Oct. 13, 2011 - 20:04

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A group of doctors here say it is safer for Korean women to give birth at 35 weeks or later, even should premature labor be required, suggesting a different view from U.S. obstetricians’ 34 week theory.

Thirty-five weeks is the minimum period of time for the fetus to be able to protect itself from various complications and doctors must keep the 35 weeks line even if preterm labor is required, said Dr. Shin Jong-cheol of Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.

His findings were based on research done on 16,586 deliveries between Jan. 1995 and Dec. 2007. Among them, a total of 1,541 cases involved preterm labor.

The doctors found that the prevalence of major complications such as death, breathing difficulties, cerebral hemorrhage, blood poisoning and other issues significantly subsided when the baby was born after 35 weeks from conception than those born before.

“This shows that Korean women’s delivery is a little different from that for other races and environments. Therefore, if not extremely urgent, it is better for the mother to wait until 35 weeks to decide the delivery,” Shin said.

The finding was released in the recent edition of Japan’s Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology research.