University of GlasgowMotherhood plays an important role in virtually every woman’s life and having a baby is one of the most exciting events. Experts from the University of Glasgow suggest that full term pregnancy may reduce the risk of babies developing special educational needs (SEN) at a later stage in life.

Experts associated with the study observed the birth history of a group of more than 400,000 school children from Scotland for the study. It was identified that babies born across a range of gestation from 24 to 40 weeks were more prone to SEN later on in life.

It is known that premature deliveries are those which occur at less than 37 weeks and full term pregnancies are those occurring in the 40th week. According to the experts pregnant women should be encouraged to go full term and abstain from self elected premature deliveries. Women may opt for a premature delivery in case of a good clinical reason. Experts share that premature deliveries should be avoided as premature babies are more prone to autism or deafness.

Professor Jill Pell, Head of the Public Health and Health Policy Section at the University of Glasgow explained, “The risk of a baby developing SEN later in life is much higher in preterm than in early-term babies but this is offset by the fact that many more children are born between 37 and 39 weeks (about a third of babies) than before 37 weeks (one in 20 babies)”.

The team identified that babies born at 37 to 39 weeks gestation were 16 percent more likely to have SEN as compared to full term deliveries.

This study is published in the latest edition of the PloS Medicine journal.