Freeman Health System Recognized for Reducing Early Birth Deliveries

Published 04/17 2014 05:53PM

Updated 04/17 2014 07:24PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- Freeman Health System in Joplin is helping the March of Dimes Missouri Chapter reduce early birth deliveries. The hospital received an award for helping achieve the goal of reducing early induced deliveries by the end of 2014. Freeman is one of the 46 Missouri hospitals that has put a "hard stop" policy into place. This requirement prohibits doctors from scheduling a delivery either by induction or cesarean section before the baby is 39 weeks old. 

"We saw an opportunity with the upcoming prenatal core measures that were implemented January 1st of this year, to be proactive and look at how we can eliminate early elective deliveries before we are actually required to," said Jeanee Kennedy, Maternal Child Services Director. 

Medical experts encourage women to remain pregnant for a full 39 to 40 weeks if their pregnancy is healthy. For reasons like, a baby's brain at 35 weeks weighs just two-thirds of what it will weigh at 39 to 40 weeks. 

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