ST. LOUIS - The March of Dimes recognized Mercy Hospitals in St. Louis and Washington, Missouri, for efforts to give more babies a healthy start in life by working to reduce the number of early elective inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy.
Only 1 percent of approximately 8,500 births at Mercy Hospital St. Louis are early elective deliveries and Mercy Hospital Washington had zero early elective births.
“We have worked closely with our physician partners on this important initiative,” said Trish Geldbach, vice president of women’s services at Mercy. “We know healthy Mercy babies make healthy Mercy Kids, and there are good reasons to wait.”
Babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants. 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.