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SCKMC Recognized by March of Dimes

April 18, 2017

The medical center’s family birthing center has received special recognition from the March of Dimes for reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy.

Arkansas City, KS - The medical center’s family birthing center has received special recognition from the March of Dimes for reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 completed weeks of pregnancy. 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. One of the primary goals of the March of Dimes is to offer both professional and consumer education materials about the critical importance of a full-term pregnancy to the health and well-being of babies.

“Unless there is a medical necessity, we don’t induce before 39 weeks, and since they are not being induced early there are less complications and less risk for babies to be transferred for respiratory distress or other issues,” said Shaylee Jagels, Registered Nurse and SCKMC’s team leader for the family birthing center.

Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, the March of Dimes says.  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 born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities. Babies who survive an early birth often face lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy, and learning disabilities.  

The March of Dimes campaign “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks. 

“The last weeks of pregnancy are important.  Babies aren’t just putting on weight.  They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs,” says Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We commend South Central Kansas Medical Center for being a champion for babies with their quality improvement effort.”

The hospital’s family birthing center team consists of Jagels plus three other registered nurses and two aides. The program is overseen by Dr. Perry Lin, obstetrics and gynecological specialist. Dr. Lin specializes in both infertility and high risk pregnancy.

“We have a great staff and great doctors, everybody works well together. It’s an establishment where the patients will receive the best care,” Jagels said.

Photo: A portion of the South Central Kansas Medical Center family birthing center team hold up the March of Dimes banner recognizing their efforts to reduce elective inductions.