Worth the Wait

March of Dimes recognizes CHRISTUS Spohn for its work to give more babies a healthy start in life.

By: Steven Alford  //  Photos by: Carla Falconi Swallow

CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice has reduced the number of elective inductions and caesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy, earning March of Dimes recognition for their efforts. Hospital officials held a special ceremony to mark the recognition, bringing together former patients and their babies and the clinicians who helped deliver them into the world at full term.

“We at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice, in conjunction with our physicians and March of Dimes, are committed to doing all we can to prevent premature births,” said Margot Rios, chief nursing officer at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice.

Waiting to deliver after the 39-week mark gives a baby a healthy start at life, CHRISTUS Spohn officials said. During this time, babies undergo important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs. CHRISTUS Spohn offers professional birthing classes designed to prepare the mother for the birthing process and to stress the importance of a full-term pregnancy.

Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year, and more than one million of those infants die as a result of their early births. Babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifelong health challenges such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and others.

Through Think 39, a locally driven partnership with delivering hospitals, NICUs and maternal child health care providers, the March of Dimes has been getting out the word in the Coastal Bend that “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.” The campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.

According to Rios, “We pledge to work together with parents, our qualified physicians and nurses to keep you and your baby safe and provide a healthy start to life.”

For more information on CHRISTUS Spohn’s birthing services, visit www.christusspohn.org/birthingservices

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