Early elective deliveries are scheduled inductions or cesarean deliveries performed prior to 39 weeks of gestation (pregnancy) without medical necessity. These early deliveries carry risks to both babies and mothers. The final few weeks of a pregnancy are important for the development of a baby's vital organs, such as the brain, lungs and liver.
As part of our commitment to providing the highest quality patient care and safety, Massachusetts General Hospital monitors the percentage of women who have an early elective delivery.
Mass General has made efforts to minimize these events by improving the accuracy by which estimated gestational age is tracked and requiring supporting documentation for early deliveries. Patient and provider education plays a major role in changing attitudes and behaviors to reduce the demand for early elective deliveries.