Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait Consumer Education Initiative
State/Jurisdiction: New York
Population: Perinatal/Infant Health,
Topic Area: Birth Outcomes & Breastfeeding, Reproductive Health,
NPMs: NPM 2: Low-Risk Cesarean Delivery
Elective deliveries as late in a pregnancy as 37-38 weeks have an increased risk of adverse outcomes when compared to births at 39 weeks, including increased hospital stays and neonatal intensive care admissions (Tita et al., 2009). Despite these risks, many women still believe that it is safe to deliver a baby prior to 39 weeks even if it is not medically indicated. Goldenberg et al. (2009) found that 50.8% of women believe that a baby is considered full term at 37-38 weeks, and 92.4% of women believe that it is safe to deliver a baby before 39 weeks. The March of Dimes Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait® (HBWW) program is a community-based initiative to decrease preventable premature birth. In response to women’s beliefs about elective induction before 39 weeks, March of Dimes New York State Chapter awarded the Association of Perinatal Networks (APN) a grant to create a consumer education toolkit. The resulting Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait Consumer Education Initiative serves to educate women about the meaning of full term pregnancy and the importance of the last weeks of gestation.
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