The natural time of the human gestation period lasts anywhere from 37-42 weeks on average. However in many rare cases the longest human pregnancy have lasted even longer than that! Can you imagine being pregnant for more than 9 months? Most women think that 9-10 months is well-long enough because by the time they have reached the end of their pregnancy they are ready for that baby to be out of them.
Although these days doctors understand the risks for too long of pregnancy on the mother and child- back before induction of labor and c-sections were popular- there was a case of the longest human pregnancy recorded in history. This case is even recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The case is from 1945, and it involved a woman named Beulah Hunter. Beulah was of normal health and aged 25 at the time of her pregnancy. Her pregnancy lasted a total, whopping 375 days. That is 10 days longer than a single year! The average woman’s gestational period lasts an average of 280 days. That’s how significant this time of gestation is.
Research performed to discover why Beulah had such a long pregnancy indicated that the cause of it was generally due to the fact that her baby was not progressing and growing as it should have in her womb. In other words- its development was stunted. Although her gestation and pregnancy was so long, Beulah did give birth to a bouncing baby girl- which she named Penny.
There has only been one more case of a woman who had the longest human pregnancy- and that pregnancy lasted 317 days!
Although the guidelines back then were similar to the ones like today and accounted for 3-trimesters and counted back to the date the woman last had her normal menstrual period, this case is VERY rare. These days obstetricians use protocols that will enable the mother to give birth in a normal amount of time 37-42 weeks. It is very uncommon with the modern medicine in obstetrics for a woman to go too far past her due date.