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About 40,000 babies born each year are delivered by C-section or early induction

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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. 

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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.

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