January 21, 2023

Average pregnancy length in the US is shorter than in European countries

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2023-01-24 09:30:06

January 21, 2023

by Boston University

Maternal health outcomes continue to worsen in the United States, where maternal and infant mortality rates far exceed rates in European countries and other wealthy nations. Now, a new study led by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Harvard Medical School-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is shedding insight on how hospital organizational structures and staffing within US maternity care may affect the birthing process and possibly contribute to adverse birth outcomes.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the study analyzed gestational age patterns and timing of home and hospital births in three high-income countries: the US, which embraces a maternity care model that relies heavily on obstetricians and clinical interventions, and England and the Netherlands, which primarily rely on midwives who provide low-intervention maternity care.

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