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Early Elective Delivery 

Early elective deliveries (EEDs) are healthy pregnancies that are deliberately ended by induction or Cesarean-section for a non-medical reason before babies are full term (39 to 40 weeks).

Sometimes women nearing the end of their pregnancy request to have labor intentionally started (induced) rather than waiting for labor to begin on its own. EEDs are requested for a variety of reasons – convenience, scheduling, and relief from common aches and pains, to name a few.

While it’s tempting to know when a baby will arrive, scheduling an early elective delivery before full term puts mothers and babies at unnecessary risk for complications. 

EEDs increased from 20 percent (1990) to 29 percent (2006) of all live births. 

Eliminating early elective deliveries  means healthier babies, moms and  families – and a healthier community.

What are the risks?

Quite simply, it’s that babies born anything less than full term have an increased likelihood of health problems – both at birth and later in life. Although many physicians now understand the benefits to wait until full term, the risks and complications associated with early elective delivery are not more broadly known among the general public. 

What are we doing?

Owensboro Health and VHA Inc., a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations providing support to help improve patient safety in hospitals, will aid Owensboro Health’s success in reducing EED rates. Free educational materials, tips and resources for educating moms-to-be and families can be found at EEDToolkit.vha.com.

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