On the heel of a new research study that shows babies born at their full gestational age are less likely to die than those born just two weeks earlier than their due date, the March of Dimes launched a national campaign on June 7 that encourages women to allow labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy.
The “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” campaign aims to dispel the myth that it is safe to schedule a delivery prior to 39 weeks. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s brain nearly doubles in size and important lung and other organ development occurs.
But according to the March of Dimes, a December 2009 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology reported that only 25 percent of women know a full-term pregnancy should last at least 39 weeks.
The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions received a grant from the March of Dimes to launch a statewide consumer-focused campaign around waiting the full 39 weeks and reducing scheduled inductions and elective c-sections. The Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition will coordinate the campaign.