Banner Health Services  

Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait


In 2011, Banner Health decided it would no longer schedule elective cesarean sections and labor inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless specific medical conditions exist for the mother or baby requiring early delivery.

Our decision, supported by March of Dimes and other respected health care organizations, applies to all 19 Banner hospitals that provide obstetrical care.

We strongly believe unless there is a medical reason to intervene,  nature knows best when it comes to the time of delivery -- Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.

Despite common misconceptions, a full-term birth is 39 weeks, not nine months. Babies born at full term have:

  • fewer hearing and vision problems
  • fewer feeding problems
  • less of a chance to be born at a low birth weight.

The brain, lungs and eyes are in the final stages of development in the final weeks of pregnancy, and imaging studies indicate that the brains of infants born after 39 weeks are larger than younger gestation babies.

The risks of prematurity include: 

  • difficulty breathing
  • hearing and vision problems
  • intestinal problems
  • learning and development disabilities
  • bleeding or fluid in the brain.

If you have any questions about our policy, please contact your OB/GYN or a childbirth educator.

Read More:

Elective inductions after 39 weeks

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