Why is the early elective delivery rate important?
The last few weeks of pregnancy are important to your baby’s development. If there is no medical reason for early delivery, health care professionals recommend waiting to deliver until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy, or until labor starts on its own. If you have a cesarean delivery or labor induction for a medical reason before 39 weeks, it means that the benefits of having your baby early outweigh the possible risks. If there is no medical reason to deliver your baby before 39 weeks, it is better for both you and your baby to wait.
What does the early elective delivery rate measure?
This graph shows the percentage of mothers who delivered electively (without a medical reason) earlier than 39 weeks of pregnancy, but didn’t go into labor on their own. The national goal for this measure is less than 5%. The goal for this is not zero because there will be some pregnancies that have special, uncommon complications that may not be on the list of medical reasons for early delivery. Our providers use their best medical judgment and the best scientific knowledge to guide the timing of your delivery.
What can you do as a patient?
Read what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has to say about your baby’s growth and development during the last few weeks of pregnancy and about risks associated with induced labor, available here: Elective Delivery Before 39 Weeks.