Human Development

39-Week Initiative in Alabama to Delay Birth Date, 2009-2013

The 39-Week Initiative to discourage elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation seems to be making progress in the state of Alabama.

According to the report, Infant Mortality Alabama 2013 (page 13) produced by the Alabama Department of Public Health Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of births at 39 weeks has risen from 35.1% in 2009 to 42.7% in 2013.

Births at full term, 40 weeks LMP, have increased slightly, from 15.9% in 2009 to 16.4% in 2013. Also, preterm births at 37 weeks have decreased from 12.5% in 2009 to 11.8% in 2013, and births at 38 weeks have decreased from 23.2% in 2009 to 16.6% in 2013.

This is all good news for the babies in Alabama. Those extra weeks, and even extra days, provide added weight for the babies, and help the lungs and other body organs to naturally mature as they are meant to do, prior to delivery.

Allowing the baby to naturally choose his or her birth date is “worth the weight”!

Preterm Birth_ Percent of Births 37-40 Weeks Gestation_ Alabama 2009-2013_ADPH