As we celebrated mothers over the weekend, it may be appropriate to reflect on the desire of moms everywhere to give babies a good beginning in life.
Tucson Medical Center scored higher than most other hospitals in the nation on a number of maternal health metrics, as measured by The Leapfrog Group.
According to the findings in three key areas:
- More than 60 percent of hospitals report a rate of C-sections that’s higher than the target rate. In addition to the concerns about impacts on the baby, C-sections carry risk of infection and blood clots, and many women experience longer recoveries. The target rate of 23.9 percent was based on goals of Healthy People 2020, a federal program that sets evidence-based benchmarks for improving the health of Americans. TMC’s C-section rate is significantly better than the target rate, at 16.9 percent.
- Although nearly 80 percent of hospitals don’t have adequate experience with high-risk deliveries, TMC meets the standard set by Leapfrog. Babies weighing less than 3 pounds, 4 ounces are more likely to survive, according to Leapfrog, if a hospital has an experienced newborn intensive care unit onsite. TMC has professionals available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who specialize in high-risk pregnancy and deliveries and has a nationally renowned Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
- TMC is among hospitals that continue to make progress on reducing the rate of early elective deliveries. Hospitals should aim for a target of 5 percent or fewer for C-section or induction prior to 39 weeks, without medical necessity. TMC fully meets the standard, with a rate of 3.1 percent.
Bonding between mom and child is important at TMC, which also is making substantial progress on episiotomies and continues to work on its other processes. One nurse will care for both mom and baby during each shift of the hospital stay, to ensure continuity of care. Babies are encouraged to “room in” with mom during the hospital stay as well, and expert breastfeeding consultations and newborn-care education are delivered to new moms at the bedside.
With more than 5,500 births last year, “TMC is proud that we deliver more babies than any other local hospital,” said Brooke Casebolt, director of patient care services for women and children. “There are fewer moments in life that bring more joy than welcoming a new member of the family, and TMC is committed to having the resources to support all moms during this special time.”