In a major release on November 9, the National Institutes of Health announced that contrary to some initial fears, the reduction of early elective deliveries has not led to an increase in stillborn deaths. As the NIH release states, “When compared to infants born after 39 weeks, those born in the 37th and 38th weeks were at a higher risk for respiratory problems, low blood sugar and newborn sepsis (a blood infection). They also were more likely to spend time in a newborn intensive care unit.”
In response to this conclusive data, WSHA partnered with the Washington State Medical Association, the March of Dimes and many others to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries. Since 2010, the early elective delivery rate in Washington has fallen from about 15% to 1%, giving more than 3,200 babies a healthier development.