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Early Elective Birth Rates

Posted by Andie Gunter on January 27, 2011 at 12:22 PM Comments comments (0)

The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit organization that compares hospitals on national standards of safety and quality, released a Call to Action this week: Protect Mothers and Babies from Unecessary Harm.  From the press release:

 The employer-driven hospital quality watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, issued a Call to Action in response to its new data finding that thousands of babies are electively scheduled for delivery too early, resulting in a higher likelihood of death, being admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and life-long health problems.

The group asked hospitals accross the country to voluntarily report their rates of early elective births- inductions or cesareans without a medical indication happening before 39 weeks gestation.  Some hospitals had a rate of zero, showing that it is possible to avoid early elective births all together.  Other hospitals had rates of 50% or higher.


The March of Dimes lists these possible complications for babies born too soon:

  • the baby's organs might not be fully developed
  • the baby can develop vision and hearing problems that last throughout life
  • the baby can have a low birthweight, which leads to problems statying warm
  • the baby may have problems eating and breathing at the same time, which makes it difficult to gain weight

The Leapfrog Group released this list of hospitals and their rates of early elective births.  You are encouraged to use the information when deciding where to give birth.  If your hospital chose not to respond, consider writing them a letter and telling them the public needs access to this information. 


 From Leapfrog's press release:


“Hospitals, health plans, providers, and communities need to do more to protect women and babies from this harmful practice,” said Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder. “And women need to protect themselves by refusing to schedule their deliveries before 39 weeks without a sound medical reason, and by knowing the facts about the hospitals they plan to deliver in.” She noted that currently only hospitals that report to Leapfrog’s annual hospital survey are making their rates of early elective deliveries public. “Every hospital should publicly report on their rate and actively prevent the practice, and every woman planning to give birth should demand the information,” Binder added.


Reducing Infant Mortality

Posted by transitionsbirth on August 23, 2009 at 8:51 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a new video out called Reducing Infant Mortality.  It looks at why the U.S. has such a high infant mortality rate.  One of the big reasons for our infant mortality rate is the number of babies born prematurely (almost 13%).  One reason babies are born too early is because of the high rate of elective inductions and c-sections in this country.  When a labor is induced or a c-section performed, there is a chance the due date was miscalculated.  A baby thought to be 38 weeks along might only be 36 weeks.  Even those couple weeks make a big difference in how babies do after birth.  The video suggests that we use the midwifery model of care more often in this country.  The website urges you to contact your legislators and ask them to include midwifery care in the health care reform bill.

If you click on the video below you can view the trailer.  Go to the website to view the whole film (16 minutes.)

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