Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Early Elective U.S. Births Drop

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) — Many U.S. hospitals reduced the number of early elective deliveries — birth before 39 weeks — in 2011 from 2010, a hospital quality watchdog group says.

The Leapfrog Group, an employer-driven hospital quality watchdog group, said 39 percent of reporting hospitals kept their early elective delivery rate to 5 percent or less, compared with 30 percent of reporting hospitals the year before.

Since Leapfrog highlighted data on this unsafe practice last year, early elective deliveries emerged as a priority issue for national and local health organizations, the National Priorities Partnership and through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Partnership for Patients campaign.

Childbirth Connection, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the March of Dimes said a fetus needs at least 39 completed weeks of gestation to fully develop.

There are medical reasons to schedule a delivery before this time including the high blood pressure at the end of pregnancy or broken membranes before labor begins, but these are rare, Leapfrog officials said.

In 2011, 757 hospitals voluntarily reported their rate of early elective deliveries through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The average rate fell from 17 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2011. Several states have an average rate at or below the national average, including California, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

Ohio reported the lowest average rate at 7.6 percent, while the average rate of hospitals reporting from Alabama was 22.5 percent.

The four largest health plans — Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint — said they will continue their awareness campaign to expectant mothers that the last weeks of pregnancy are important, there are risks for mothers and babies if births are scheduled before 39 weeks for non-medical reasons and expectant mothers should investigate the rates of early elective deliveries for hospitals in their community.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Early Elective U.S. Births Drop”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.