Marathon Co. Health Care Providers Join Forces for "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait"

By: Elizabeth Schilder Email
By: Elizabeth Schilder Email

Healthy babies are worth the wait. That's the message of Marathon County health care providers as they join forces to eliminate elective deliveries before 39 weeks.

Research from The March of Dimes shows in the last two decades the number of inductions has more than doubled. At a news conference Thursday, local doctors explained why being induced is not always the right decision for mom and baby.

More than 1600 babies are born in Marathon County every year and doctors say they're seeing an increasing number of them being born when mom and dad decide, not necessarily when baby is ready.

Baby Grayson Kolbeck is less than 24-hours old. Born naturally Wednesday evening at a healthy 39 and a half weeks, proud mom and dad say they wouldn't have their delivery any other way.

Doctors couldn't agree more. They say each week of pregnancy is crucial to a baby's development. In fact, the brain continues to develop until he or she is born, gaining an astounding one third of it's size between 35 weeks and full term. The lungs and liver also continue to develop as baby grows to a healthy birth weight.

Doctor Ellen Schumann, Medical Director of Women and Family Services at Ministry Saint Clare's in Weston, says rushing any of mother natures processes could be unhealthy.

"Issues with feeding, issues with breathing are some of the big ones. Issues with not being able to maintain your blood sugar, not being able to hold your temperature, all things that when you think about them can separate the mom and baby which is exactly the opposite of the experience that we want for moms and babies."

The "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" initiative instituted a policy which will not allow doctors to sign off on elective inductions before 39 weeks unless there is concern for mom or baby's health.

The other key component to this campaign is education. Doctors want to emphasize even though it may be uncomfortable for mom during the final weeks of pregnancy, nature does know best so don't rush that first birthday.

The best thing to do if you know an expectant mom is to give her extra support in the last few weeks of her pregnancy.

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