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St. Mary’s recognized for commitment to healthy babies

July 31, 2014
Time flies? Not always. Most parents will tell you it’s a long, long wait for a baby’s arrival. The anticipation, the excitement, the stress—sometimes it’s enough to make parents consider “encouraging” baby’s birth through induced early labor or a cesarean-section delivery. There are medical reasons for both those procedures, explains Geri Tamborelli, RN, Women and Children’s Services director at St. Mary’s, but when the pregnancy is going well, it’s best for baby to stay put until labor starts naturally.

St. Mary’s is one of only 56 U.S. hospitals recognized by the March of Dimes for meeting the criteria of the 39+ Weeks Quality Improvement Initiative, showing dedication to healthy babies. Hospitals participating in the program implement policies and procedures to reduce elective inductions and cesarean deliveries scheduled before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

“Critical development of the brain, lungs and other organs happens in the last weeks,” says Tamborelli. “Small, early babies start life with more health problems that may last their lifetime. Inducing labor also increases the risk of serious complications for mom. Our expert team of physicians and nurses is educating parents on the importance of a full-term pregnancy.”

Why babies need at least 39 weeks

Early babies have more health problems at birth and later in life, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and vision and hearing impairment. 

  • A baby’s brain, lungs and liver develop late in the pregnancy. 
  • Babies need time to gain weight. Small babies have trouble staying warm.
  • Babies born early sometimes can’t suck, swallow, and stay awake long enough to eat.