Watertown Regional Medical Center Recognized by March of Dimes for Giving More Babies a Healthy Start in Life

January 9, 2018

Watertown Regional Medical Center (WRMC) has been recognized by the March of Dimes for its work to give babies a healthier start in life. WRMC earned therecognition after successfully reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy to 0. WRMC is well ahead of other organizations with this initiative and it’s a tremendous accomplishment, and one that will give more babies the right start in life.

“We’re proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who recognized the problem of unnecessary early deliveries in our hospital, and put in place practices and processes to avoid scheduling cesarean sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary,” said Isabelle, Garibaldi, Chief Nursing Officer, “This achievement is a testament to our strong commitment to making communities healthier.”

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important, as babies aren’t just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We commend WRMC for being a champion for babies with its quality improvement efforts.”

Studies have shown that babies born even just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, according to March of Dimes. Although the overall risk of infant death at term is low, the rate of infant death is more than twice as high for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy compared to infants born at 40 weeks. Babies who survive an early birth have a higher risk of lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. 

Garibaldi says the March of Dimes has been helping to get the word out that “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait,” and the hospital was eager to help support this important community message.

“This campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks,” said Garibaldi “We fully support this effort and have been proud to partner in this important work.

As part of LifePoint Health, a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®, WRMC joins a group of 44 other LifePoint facilities that also reached this milestone.