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December 13, 2012

Decreasing Elective Deliveries

Over the last 20 years, the amount of elective labor inductions has significantly grown from 1 in 10 to now 1 in 3 births, according to AWHONN.  Even though labor is sometimes induced for medical reasons, such as diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension, a significant number of women, along with their obstetric providers are electing to induce for convenience, which can cause severe healthcare risks for mothers and newborns.

To stop this tendency, several hospitals and healthcare systems have adopted and implemented new policies  called "Going the Full 40" to help providers and hospitals educate and promote spontaneous labor.

Additionally, according to AWHONN, better health outcomes for newborns were credited to the carrying out of elective labor induction policies, including:

  • Decreased rates of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions
  • Decreased stillbirths
  • Increase in one-minute appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration (APGAR) scores
  • Decline in infants with one or more neonatal complications
  • Lower prematurity rates

As predicted, a rise of spontaneous labor ensued when medical inductions were put off or avoided.  Ultimately, hospitals with induction policies have proven to increase the value of services provided and positively influence the safety of the mothers and babies served.

 For more information, check out Decreasing Elective Deliveries

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