The Last Week of Pregnancy Counts
Unless it is medically necessary for your well-being or the well-being of your baby, guidelines developed by doctors and researchers say it’s best to wait until the 39th completed week of pregnancy to deliver your baby. Important fetal development takes place to your baby’s brain and lungs during those last few weeks of pregnancy.
If you would like to read more about why the last few weeks of pregnancy are so important to you and your baby, and to get a list of questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider at your next prenatal care checkup, visit Childbirth Connection or the March of Dimes.
What’s going on at my hospital?
The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit organization that compares hospitals on national standards of safety and quality, asked hospitals to voluntarily report their rate of elective deliveries before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. The hospital’s rate of elective deliveries is the percentage of non-medically indicated (without a medical reason) births between 37 and 39 weeks gestation that were delivered by caesarean section or induction. Hospital rates of elective deliveries are listed below by state.
My hospital isn’t listed. Why is that?
The Leapfrog Group works strategically with regionally-based employers and business health coalitions to ask hospitals in their respective regions to participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Over 2,500 hospitals around the US are asked to complete the survey annually, and many hospitals outside of those areas choose to respond regardless of not being asked. There are, however, some hospitals in the country that are not asked to respond to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Those hospitals which are not targeted are not listed on Leapfrog’s website.
My hospital is listed as “Declined to respond.” Is there anything I can do about this?
The Leapfrog Group works strategically with regionally-based employers and business health coalitions to ask hospitals in their respective regions to participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Those coalitions are often looking for support from individuals like you. You can find a list of those organizations and their contact information here. If you are interested in working with Leapfrog to improve transparency in hospital safety and quality, please click here for more information on becoming a Leapfrog Member.
Hospitals also respond to patient letters, and we encourage you to write a personal note. We recommend writing to the Hospital CEO or Director of Quality. If you don’t know who this is, or how to reach them, ask a hospital representative.