Newnan, Ga. (July 30, 2013) – Piedmont Newnan Hospital was recently recognized as being one of 20 hospitals in the state of Georgia with a zero percent early elective delivery rate in 2012 by the OBGYN Society of Atlanta.
Early elective deliveries, in which moms-to-be schedule births before 39 weeks, increase the risk of neonatal complications and account for a significant number of neonatal intensive unit (NICU) admissions in the United States, according to a study by National Institute of Health (NIH)-sponsored Maternal Fetal Network.
“Babies aren’t fully developed until at least 39 weeks in the womb,” said Stacey Lindo, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Piedmont Newnan. “Important development of brain, lungs and eyes occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy. If your pregnancy is healthy, wait for labor to begin on its own.”
With more than 4 million live births annually, the United States has one of the highest birth rates amongst industrialized countries in the world. It also, unfortunately, has a disproportionately high prematurity rate. There has recently been a rise in births between 37 and 38 weeks gestation, deemed “early term.”
As the number of early term infants has grown, so has a set of unique problems including delayed neonatal transition, wet lung syndrome, hypothermia, hypoglycemia, and hyperbilirubinemia. Higher rates of early induced deliveries and Caesarean sections (C-sections) may be contributing to the rise.
The OBGYN Society of Atlanta has been working with March of Dimes, the Georgia Hospital Association and others to encourage physicians and hospitals to voluntarily reduce elective births prior to 39 weeks gestation.
“Our team has worked hard to educate our patients on the risks that come with elective early term births,” said Brenda Morgan, director of women’s services at Piedmont Newnan. “Carrying babies to full term whenever possible really is the best way to prevent neonatal complications.”
For more information about delivering a baby at Piedmont Newnan, visit piedmontnewnan.org.