Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Experts Say Too Many Babies Born Early By Elective C-Section

— Hospital officials and doctors met in San Diego today to discuss ways to reduce the of number of women who choose to deliver their babies early. Women are increasingly having c-sections before their babies are of optimum age.

Studies show each year in the U.S., about 300,000 babies are born by elective c-section before 39 weeks gestation.

Research reveals babies born even a day before 39 weeks have a higher rate of complications.

Vicki Lombardo is an associate state director of the March of Dimes. She said some doctors have a tough time refusing a mother's request for an early c-section.

"In this day and age," Lombardo said, "a physician wants to retain their patients in their practice, they don't want to give them to someone else. And so, under the pressure from the mom, they'll not necessarily do the right thing, and they'll go ahead and say yes."

Experts say doctors need to tell women about the risks to newborns of an early delivery.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.