Pregnancy and Delivery Care

Because important growth and development in the brain and lungs of a baby take place during the final 4 weeks of pregnancy, experts recommend that deliveries that are not medically necessary should not be performed before the end of the 39th week. When medically necessary, it is appropriate to deliver earlier, but sometimes a delivery will be planned earlier for the convenience of the physician or patient. This practice should be avoided. This measure shows the percentage of pregnant women who had a scheduled delivery 1-2 weeks early without a medically valid reason for early delivery.

How does UAB Medicine perform?

Timely & Effective Measures National Average Alabama Average UAB Hospital Comparison Analysis
Pregnancy & delivery Care: percentage of mothers whose deliveries were scheduled too early (1-2 weeks early), when a scheduled delivery was not medically necessary 2% 4% 3%  

What is UAB Medicine doing to improve?

To support best practices and the best possible outcomes for our patients, all UAB Medicine OB providers educate their patients about why early deliveries without medical need should be avoided.

  • UAB Medicine providers scheduling a delivery before 39 weeks are asked to provide the medical reason for the early delivery.
  • If a medically necessary diagnosis is not provided, the case is evaluated by the OB director and the Labor and Delivery charge nurse to determine if an early delivery is appropriate.

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