Arizona hospitals ban early inductions
Summary of story in AZ Central, July 29, 2011
In a move that’s good news for the health of babies and their mothers, hospitals in Arizona are refusing to schedule births before 39 weeks’ gestation.
The hospitals all operate under the auspices of Banner Health – one of the largest nonprofit hospital systems in the US. The only exceptions to this rule will be pregnancies where intervention is medically necessary.
More than 20 circumstances – including high blood pressure, kidney disease, pre-eclampsia and placenta previa – are cited as requiring medical intervention.
A significant number of families will be affected by the changes, as local experts estimate that “convenience births” represent 20 to 30 percent of all deliveries. Babies are often brought into the world before they are ready because of scheduling, holiday or family reasons.
The hospitals cite research which indicates that babies born after 39 weeks’ gestation are more likely to have improved brain, lung and eye development as well as lower risk of death compared with babies born earlier.