March of Dimes recognizes CPMC for giving more babies a healthy start in life

July 7, 2017

Colorado Plains Medical Center (CPMC) has been recognized by the March of Dimes for its work to give babies a healthier start in life.  Colorado Plains Medical Center earned the recognition after successfully reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy to less than one percent.  The March of Dimes says this is a tremendous accomplishment and one that will give more babies the right start in life.

"We're proud of our expert team of physicians and nurses who recognized the problem of unnecessary early deliveries in our hospital, and put in place practices and processes to avoid scheduling cesarean sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy except when medically necessary," notes Sonya Bass, CPMC chief nursing officer.  "This achievement is a testament to our strong commitment to making communities healthier."

As part of LifePoint Health, a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®, Colorado Plains Medical Center joins a group of 29 other LifePoint facilities that also reached this milestone.

"The last weeks of pregnancy are important, as babies aren't just putting on weight; they are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs, and other vital organ," says Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD, March of Dimes senior vice president and chief medical officer. "We commend Colorado Plains Medical Center for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement efforts."

Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, according to the March of Dimes.  Although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies of all races and ethnicities who are born at 40 weeks.  Babies who survive an early birth often face lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities. 

Bass says the March of Dimes has been helping to ge the word out that "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait", and the hospital was eager to help support this important community message.

"This campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks," comments Bass. "We fully support this effort and have been proud to partner in this important work."

The March of Dimes offers both professional and consumer education materials about the critical importance of a full-term pregnancy to the health and well-being of babies.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.  For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.  For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org.

Colorado Plains Medical Center has offered delivery services since the hospital's inception in 1952.  The Paul E. Woodward Birthing Center, which houses five family birthing suites and an additional four post-partum rooms, was recently renovated.  A surgical C-section suite was also added at this time.

Approximately 400 to 500 babies are delivered annually at the Paul E. Woodward Birthing Center by a team of 18 obstetrics nurses with more than 200 years of combined experience.  The hospital has two full-time OB/GYN physicians as well as a family medicine physician with additional obstetrics and delivery training experience on its medical staff who deliver the community's newest residents.