The first baby born in Troup County in 2013 is the daughter of Michael and Beth Oleson, who weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce and was born at 5:59 p.m. at West Georgia Medical Center on Wednesday. Dr. Brett Bowie delivered the baby.
In recognition of the 75th anniversary of the March of Dimes and its mission to ensure that all babies are born healthy, hospital staff presented the parents with a newborn gift basket. The gift baskets, provided by the March of Dimes, are being distributed to the first born babies of 2013 at hospitals throughout Georgia. The baskets include products from the March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson, Medela, HALO, Kids R Kids and Carter’s.
West Georgia Health has been a long-standing partner with the March of Dimes and is participating in its most recent initiative Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, to improve newborn health. West Georgia Medical Center no longer schedules elective cesarean sections or labor inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, unless the mother or baby has specific medical conditions that require early delivery.
“There are a number of different issues on the baby side and the mama side,” said Michael Bakarich, D.O., an obstetrician on the West Georgia Health medical staff. “Fetal lung immaturity, respiratory difficulties and apneic episodes are all of greater risk to infants born before 39 weeks in the womb.”
Scheduling an early birth can be a problem for the mother for many reasons, according to the March of Dimes. The due date may not be calculated exactly right because even with an ultrasound, it may be off by a week or two. In addition, inducing labor may not work, which would call for a c-section, which, in turn, may increase the risk of complications from surgery or infection.
Despite common misconceptions, a full-term birth is considered to be 39 weeks, not nine months. Babies born at full term have fewer hearing and vision problems, fewer feeding problems and a decreased chance of having a low birth weight.
The brain, lungs and eyes are in the final stages of development in the final weeks of pregnancy, and imaging studies indicate that the brains of infants born after 39 weeks are larger than younger gestation babies.
To learn more about the Healthy Babies are Worth The Wait initiative, visit www.marchofdimes.com or www.wghealth.org.