April 25, 2017
NORTON, Kan. – Norton County Hospital has reduced the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. This will give more babies a healthy start in life, according to the March of Dimes.
“We’re proud of our team of physicians and nurses who put in place policies to avoid scheduling c-sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Ryan Stover, Norton County Hospital’s CEO.
“The last weeks of pregnancy are important. Babies aren’t just putting on weight. They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” said Paul E. Jarris, M.D., MBA, March of Dimes’ senior vice president and chief medical officer. “We commend Norton County Hospital’s medical team members for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”
Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, the March of Dimes said. Although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities. Babies who survive an early birth often face lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.
The March of Dimes has been getting out the word that “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.” This campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks.
The March of Dimes offers both professional and consumer education materials about the critical importance of a full-term pregnancy to the health and well-being of babies. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. Find out how you can help prevent premature birth and birth defects by joining March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org.