For Physicians at Banner Gateway Medical Center  

Banner Health supports March of Dimes campaign to limit early deliveries in support of fetal development


Healthy babies are worth the wait. Banner Health has made the commitment to eliminate elective singleton deliveries less than 39-weeks in accordance with statements by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrical and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the March of Dimes and The Joint Commission indicating there should be an appropriate medical indication for delivering prior to 39-weeks gestation.  This clinical practice has been approved by Banner Health’s OB Clinical Consensus Group and Clinical Practice Group; and the Banner Health Care Management Council.

Elective singleton deliveries before 39-weeks gestation present significant risks to the baby with no benefit to the mother. Neonatal complications include transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN), respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), ventilator support, sepsis, feeding problems and increased NICU admissions.  All of these organizations are in agreement that mature lung profiles do not lessen the risk of morbidity, and are not an indication for elective delivery.  Furthermore, confirmation of gestational age should be made using one of the following ACOG recommended methods:

  • Ultrasound measurement at less than 20 weeks of gestation supports gestational age of 39-weeks or greater
  • Fetal heart tones have been documented as present for 30 weeks by Doppler ultrasonography
  • It has been 36-weeks since a positive serum or urine human chorionic gonadotropin pregnancy test result

Effective July 18, 2011, during the scheduling process you will be asked to provide the medical indication when setting up a delivery.  If on the day of admission the gestational age is less than 39-weeks, and does not meet medical criteria, the scheduler will request a later date for admission. Acceptable medical criteria are listed below:

Abruptio placentae Isoimmunization
Antiphospholipid syndrome Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, etc.)
Chorioamnionitis Oligohydramnios
Chronic hypertension Preeclampsia/eclampsia
Chronic pulmonary disease Premature rupture of membranes
Diabetes mellitus (poorly controlled) Renal disease
Fetal anomalies Fetal Growth Restriction
Fetal Demise/History of fetal demise Classic or inverted T uterine scar
Gestational hypertension Placenta previa
Cholestasis of pregnancy  
A mature fetal lung test result before 39 weeks of gestation, in the absence of appropriate clinical circumstances, is not an indication for delivery.  

Banner Gateway Medical Center
Higley Road and US 60
1900 N. Higley Road
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 543-2000
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