St. Francis recognized for reducing premature births

Published: Jan. 14, 2016 at 8:56 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2016 at 8:56 AM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - St. Francis Women's Hospital has been awarded Georgia's 39 Weeks recognition banner for reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of 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.

Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.

Recent research by the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities.

Click here to visit the 39 Weeks official website.

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