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Riverwood recognized for giving babies a healthy start

The March of Dimes has recognized Riverwood Healthcare Center for reducing the number of elective inductions and Cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.

“Riverwood is proud of its 100 percent compliance rate with no early elective deliveries before 39 weeks for the past two years,” explains Kristine Layne, chief nursing officer for Riverwood. “We have a hard stop policy with clearly defined medical indications for deliveries less than 39 weeks along with a process to monitor the scheduling of Cesarean sections and inductions of labor prior to 39 weeks gestational age.”

Riverwood CEO Chad Cooper adds: “We’re proud of our exceptional team of nurses and physicians who saw this opportunity to improve care in our community and put in place policies to avoid elective inductions or caesarean deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary.”

Full-term pregnancies give more babies a healthy start in life. Babies delivered before full term are at increased risk of serious health problems and death in their first year of life. Those born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.

Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important. Babies aren’t just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Lawrence Massa, March of Dimes board member and Minnesota Hospital Association president and CEO. “I commend Riverwood for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

The March of Dimes offers professional and consumer education materials about the importance of a full-term pregnancy and the critical development of the brain, lungs and other organs that occur during the last weeks of pregnancy. More information is available at http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-39weeks.aspx

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