About 40,000 babies born each year are delivered by C-section or early induction
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Despite medical risks, many women are still choosing to deliver their babies early, according to new research from the University of Minnesota.
The study shows more than 3% of births in the U.S. were elective, either by C-section or early induction.
That's about 40,000 each year.
Dr. Peter Van Eerden with Sanford says there are misunderstandings about when a baby is ready to be born.
Babies born before 39 weeks can have complications including respiratory distress, feeding difficulties, or hearing and vision issues.
Peter Van Eerden, MD/Sanford Maternal Fetal Medicine: "What I hear women say, when they say 'can I be delivered early,' is 'my friend or my sister had her baby at 34 weeks and the baby was just fine and there weren't any complications.' But really, that's not a reason to be delivered early."
The U of M study is the first of its kind to track who is having elective deliveries.
It found infants born by early elective cesareans were 60% more likely to stay longer in the hospital, and twice as likely to have respiratory distress.