If you’ve ever been pregnant, you probably know the endless endlessness of those final weeks. You’re dying to meet your little one, dying to be able to see your feet, dying for a good night’s sleep (never going to happen again, I’m sorry to tell you), and dying to be able to walk without wanting to soak for an hour in the bathtub afterward.
As someone who was induced in her 39th week with both pregnancies, I feel for you ladies who have suffered past your due dates. For you ladies who have gone into labor on your own a week or so early…you suck.
It turns out, though, that how tall you are might have something to do with the length of your pregnancy, so I suppose I should be blaming genetics.
Back in 2015, a study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found a correlation between height and gestational length. Their research shows that moms who are shorter than 5’4 tend to have shorter pregnancies by .6 or .7 weeks – they also tend to have more early term births.
Also of note: a 2013 study by the National Institutes for Health found that only 4% of pregnancies last 40 weeks, and 70% of mothers give birth within 10 days of their due date.
There are some other factors we know of that also seem to influence when babies decide it’s time to emerge: embryos that take longer to implant tend to be born later, and older mothers and mothers who were large at birth tend to have longer pregnancies.
If you’ve already had a longer pregnancy, you’re also more likely to have another long gestation, as research has found that women tend to have consistent pregnancy lengths overall.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to predict when you’ll go into labor, but if you’re a tall, older mom who was also a big baby, you might want to settle in for the long haul.
And, I mean, I was 37 the first time I gave birth, I’m 5’7, and I weighed 8lbs 9oz – so my case holds up. What about yours?