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March of Dimes Recognizes Texas Health Huguley for Giving More Babies a Healthy Start in Life
Dr. G. Sealy Massingill, Monica Corkran RNC, Kari Griswell RN, Amy Hailey RNC and Arlington Mayor Dr. Robert Cluck

March of Dimes has honored Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South for reducing the number of elective inductions and caesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy, which has contributed to improving birth outcomes. 

Texas Health Huguley Hospital was one of only five hospitals in Tarrant County awarded a 39 week banner at a ceremony last week during Prematurity Awareness Month.

“Congratulations to hospitals that have reduced elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation over the past year,” March of Dimes Texas Chapter State Director Darcie Wells said.  “Their efforts have helped contribute to Texas’ declining preterm birth rate for the seventh consecutive year, which is currently at 12.3 percent, down from 13.7 in 2006.  This is evidence we are working together for stronger, healthier babies.”

The banner recognition program is a part of March of Dimes Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait initiative. The foundation has encouraged women and their health care providers to avoid scheduling an early elective delivery before at least 39 weeks of pregnancy.

Based on quality improvement programs at hospitals, there has been dramatic reduction in early elective deliveries. Other factors driving improvement of preterm birth rates are fewer women smoking, and improved access to maternity care. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hospitals that implement policies to eliminate non-medically indicated deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation may have a positive impact on fetal outcomes.  Numerous studies also have demonstrated that early elective deliveries are associated with increased maternal and neonatal complications for both mothers and newborns compared to deliveries occurring after 39 weeks. It also puts the baby at greater risk of health problems or even death, and costs society more than a healthy full-term birth.