The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers to support direct breastfeeding (compared to formula). As of November, the site suggests there are over 600 hospitals in the US & Puerto Rico who met the program criteria. The criteria are based on Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
This birthing directory identifies birth centers accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). Standards are set by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). Birthing centers practice midwifery (midwives) and take a wellness and holistic approach to pregnancy and maternity care.
Learn about the risks of scheduling early C-Sections, from Leapfrog. Learn about Early Elective Delivery and other Maternity measures. Goal was to reduce rates of scheduling C-Sections before the recommended 39 weeks, unless there is a medically-indicated reason. Patient or doctor convenience is not a valid reason. The best hospitals have a 0.0% rate. Medical experts recommend that babies need at least 39 completed weeks to develop fully, which includes having a fully developed brain and other organs. Updated Fact Sheet in 2022. Hospital survey by the Leapfrog Group. Specific hospital rates are no longer reported publicly.
Preterm Labor signs and symptoms, from the March of Dimes. Click on 39+ Weeks Quality Improvement to receive a lot of good information, as well as a list of hospitals that meet the March of Dimes Quality Improvement package to reduce elective deliveries.
Scheduled C-Sections that are elective (by choice for convenience or other reasons) before the baby is in his/her 39th week increase risks, and may land the premature infant in the neonatal intensive care unit. Full term is considered 39-40 weeks, and according to some reports NICU stays can add $20,000 to the bill. See Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), January 2019.