Washington Regional has been recognized by the March of Dimes for its success in reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.
This gives more babies a healthy start in life, according to the March of Dimes research noting that induction of labor appears to double the risk of cesarean sections.
“With our focus on quality and reducing unnecessary risk to the mom and newborn, our team here at Washington Regional, led by our obstetricians, embraced and implemented a process to eliminate non-medically indicated elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestational age,” said Carla Rider, R.N. and director of nursing for women’s services at Washington Regional.
“Increasing our efforts to follow key quality indicators for obstetric hospital care and best practices has been successful in allowing us to achieve a 0% rate for the last eight quarters.”
Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the March of Dimes recently launched the “Healthy babies are worth the wait,” campaign.
This initiative urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others
“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 Scott Berns, M.D., senior vice president and deputy medical director for the March of Dimes.
“I commend Washington Regional for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”
Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that 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.