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Maryland hospitals reduce rates of early elective births

Giving birth to a baby is an exciting time for Maryland families. With the right help, children can be safely brought into this world and live a perfectly healthy life. However, as most people understand, birth can be a dangerous medical procedure. Often, the help of experienced medical professionals is necessary for a child to be born safely.

According to a new report, Maryland babies may be safer than ever. Apparently, hospitals throughout the state have started to crack down on unnecessary elective Cesarean sections. Instead, hospitals are requiring that mothers wait until they are at least 39 weeks along before agreeing to a C-section.

This is important because children born before 39 weeks can face a variety of serious complications. It is also costlier for children to be born early. According to some data, for example, the average hospital stay for a child born between 37 and 38 weeks is more than $37,000. However, the cost for a child born between 39 and 41 weeks is only $29,771.

Data shows that Maryland was the first state in the country to reduce elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks to less than five percent of births in the state in a six-month period in 2015. Nationally, between 10 and 20 percent of deliveries happen before 39 weeks of gestation.

Despite these reductions, Maryland still has some of the highest rates of the C-sections throughout the United States. C-sections can carry a variety of risks for the mother and baby. When something happens that injures either the mother or the child, Maryland residents need to understand their legal rights. Birth injuries can result in severe problems for years to come. Compensation in a medical malpractice suit may be available to patients who have suffered from a birth injury.

Source: Washington Business Journal, "This policy change across Maryland hospitals made baby deliveries a whole lot safer," Tina Reed, Nov. 24, 2015

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