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Published on Jan 24, 2013
This video provides medical information about the health risks associated with early elected delivery and cautions expectant mothers against choosing to have labor induced before 39 weeks of gestation—in the context of a healthy pregnancy. Dr. Catherine Spong, Director of Extramural Affairs for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, shares with viewers why it's worth it to wait for labor to begin on its own.
In the United States, late preterm birth—delivery between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy—accounts for approximately 70 percent of all preterm births. Babies delivered prematurely have increased risk factors for mortality and morbidity. Infant mortality rates for late preterm infants are four times higher than rates for infants born at term (between 37 and 41 weeks of pregnancy). Medical complications experienced by preterm infants include problems with hearing, breathing, and eyesight. These infants also have an increased risk of lifelong complications, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, chronic lung disease, gastrointestinal problems, and vision and hearing loss.