Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The "Ah Ha" Moment

I was heartened by an Associated Press release today that shows we are making progress. Real progress. We ARE helping babies.

We need to keep the conversation moving forward. We need to keep talking. We need to keep disseminating the evidence-based research. We cannot stop now.

The following is excerpted from the AP release:

More hospitals are expected to crack down as regulators begin new quality measurements next spring that aim to reduce too-early elective inductions and first-time cesareans.

Induced labor is on the rise for lots of reasons, some medical and some not. But recent research shows a troubling link between elective inductions and these so-called "late preemies." These aren't the dire too-small babies that the word premature conjures, but near-term babies who nonetheless are at higher risk of breathing disorders and other problems than babies who finish their very last weeks in the womb.

"It was an 'aha' moment for me," recalls Dr. Bryan Oshiro of his visit to a Utah intensive care nursery several years ago, where neonatologists pointed to babies there simply because they'd been induced too soon.

National guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have long discouraged elective deliveries before the 39th week of pregnancy. But some hospitals that took a close look were surprised. At Utah's Intermountain Healthcare, for example, 28 percent of elective deliveries were breaking ACOG's rule in 2001, Oshiro told a March of Dimes meeting on preventable prematurity this month.

I am happy to see that physicians are having "ah ha" moments. I want to hear that nurses and other maternal child health care providers are having "ah ha" moments. We must put the health of babies and mothers first before anything else.

We must. And we must do it now

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