(Memphis) The Tennessee Department of Health says that 100 percent of hospitals that deliver babies in Tennessee have agreed to wait for babies to arrive naturally.
The pledge is for single pregnancies without medical complications.
“The important number which is 37 weeks which is considered to be term. But we really don’t want moms to deliver at 37 weeks and we really discourage that,” said Dr. Alok Kumar with Baptist Hospital.
Kumar says many moms want to deliver on a schedule, with a particular doctor and want to avoid the discomfort late in pregnancy, so they elect to deliver early.
“During 37 to 39 weeks is a very fragile time frame for the baby. A lot of developmental things are happening. There’s less chances of having the baby have respiratory problems, being put on the ventilator, being admitted to a higher level NICU so be separated from mom, there’s higher chances of jaundice,” said Dr. Kumar about the risk.
“We would really wait and encourage moms to go into the labor. That would be the best of all worlds. You hospital stay is short if you go into labor rather than being induced. If everything is healthy and normal, babies doing well, you’re doing well, and there isn’t a complication, just hold on and see if you can go into labor naturally,” added Kumar.