SEATTLE, Wash. Fewer women in Washington State are choosing to induce labor.
Doctors with the Washington State Hospital Association report the number of babies born after 37 weeks and before 39 weeks of pregnancy dropped by 65 percent statewide between the third quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2011. The association says that amounts to about 650 fewer early elective births.
The group says because of advances in medicine, many women expect babies born early will be healthy. However, the association says new research shows babies born before 39 weeks risk vision and hearing problems as well as having difficulties staying warm.
Doctor Jeff Thomson says it's worth waiting the full term if there are no health risks to the baby or mother.