As promised in yesterday’s post, here comes the news of 20 Louisiana hospitals who are also deciding to put a stop to preterm elective births. You can read the full story here.
According to the article, the hospitals made the decision at the urging of Health Secretary Bruce Greenstein. Not only is the decision expected to increase health outcomes in infants, it should also save the state a considerable amount of money, as the cost of care for infants delivered prematurely is exponentially higher than it is for full term infants. Also included in the article is the fact that last year, the state received an “F” on the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Report Card as well as maintaining the second highest cesarean rate in the nation at 38%.
Lately, it seems the news is filled with stories about the importance of allowing babies to gestate as long as possible before delivery, particularly in healthy, lower risk pregnancies. Research is being published that shows these last weeks in the womb are critical to babies’ lung, brain and other vital organs’ development.
Do you think more hospitals will begin following suit and banning elective births before 39 weeks? Do you think more hospitals should be urged to, given not only the health, but financial, repercussions of delivering babies prematurely?