An article printed in The St. Petersburg Times, a local Florida newspaper, indicates that a strong move to avoid voluntary...
An article printed in The St. Petersburg Times, a local Florida newspaper, indicates that a strong move to avoid voluntary deliveries before 39 weeks in underway.
In the final weeks of pregnancy, doctors say, a lot of women are eager to give birth. Maybe their husbands are in the military, about to be deployed. Maybe they're feeling huge, hot and exhausted. Sympathetic doctors sometimes oblige, inducing labor or scheduling a C-section a little early if they think the pregnancy is advanced enough. Besides, many doctors would rather avoid a midnight delivery, numerous studies suggest. (Source: The St. Petersburg Times)
The standard for full term brith has always been 37 weeks and as a result, women (and their doctors) sometimes schedule c-sections early. The voluntary c-section rate is pretty high in the U.S. However, delivering a baby early -- even one or two weeks -- can cause health problems for the baby, including respiratory issues and pulmonary hypertension, and can results in admission to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). These issues occur far less frequently in babies born at 39 weeks. Furthermore, 14% of babies born in Florida are born preterm. The state earned an "F" from the March of Dimes - for the third time in a row. As a result, doctors in Florida are making an effort to put an end to preterm births that occurs as a result of convenience. California, Utah and Ohio have all made efforts to end voluntary preterm births and have been successful. For example:
When Utah's Intermountain Healthcare system rolled out its plan, doctors feared losing control and nurses feared getting into arguments with doctors. But once they saw the data, they bought in. Within six months, the percentage of elective deliveries before 39 weeks decreased from 28 percent to less than 10 percent. After six years, the rate dropped to less than 3 percent.
I think it's a great program. While some women do want the "convenience" of scheduling their own delivery, I've heard from some whose physicians want the convenience.

>>What do you think? Do you feel like all states should have programs to prevent or discourage elective deliveries before 39 weeks?

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