New Data and Resources on Early Elective Birth
From a press release published today:
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.
Despite the importance of this issue to women and babies, Leapfrog is the first national organization to make this information public by hospital. The findings from 773 hospitals in Leapfrog’s 2010 annual hospital survey reveal significant variation among hospitals in their rates of early elective cesarean section and elective inductions, with some hospitals having ten times the rate of others.
I think that this information is enormously important for physicians, midwives, hospitals, and childbearing women alike. Early elective deliveries can pose serious health risks to newborns, so it is especially crucial for pregnant women to have access to their local hospitals’ rates of early elective births.
In this same vein, I think it’s crucial for pregnant women to have access to accurate and transparent information regarding labor induction and cesarean section. They–we–should be entrusted to make informed decisions about our babies’ births, but we should also be able to trust our care providers’ recommendations regarding scheduled births.
To this effect, Childbirth Connection, the Leapfrog Group, and the March of Dimes are all promoting new resources relevant to labor induction, cesarean section, and early elective birth. I urge you to check them all out!
From Childbirth Connection
An induction of labor guide, including:
- A list of medical and elective reasons for inducing labor.
- A brief explanation of the research pertaining to labor induction.
- Tips and tools to help women decrease their chances of having labor induced unnecessarily, increase their chances of a vaginal birth if induction does become necessary, and protect their and their babies’ health in case of an induction.
- A list of resources for further information on labor induction.
From the Leapfrog Group
Their state-by-state resource documenting individual hospital rates of early elective deliveries.
From the March of Dimes
A brief article explaining why the last few weeks of pregnancy are important to babies’ development and why scheduling an early birth can be a problem.
From my past blog posts