Risk: Born After Hours

  • Improving the level of care and personnel during off peak hours might decrease the risk of perinatal death.
  • Reducing resident's fatigue could improve outcomes. Future investigation will ascertain whether limiting on-call time will have any effect on the mortality rates.
  • Improve the ability to arrange and transport medically complicated infants who need ventilation or surgery to tertiary or regional care facilities at night when delivered in primary or intermediate level hospitals.
  • Analyze the individual departments such as nursing, obstetric, pediatric, anesthesiology and diagnostic services to discern which of these departments may be contributing to the elevated mortality rate.
  • Compare of the number of vaginal deliveries and cesareans at different times of the day. It is possible that there are more vaginal deliveries at night that would have benefited from cesarean delivery but due to the late hour, delays and postponements occur and proper care is not given.

What You Can Do

This information is not intended to alarm prospective parents if their baby decides not to be born during prime time hospital hours. What I am saying is this; a woman does not have much control over when her baby is born, but there are a few things she can do to help ensure a safe and healthy delivery even if an unexpected situation arises.

  • Be vigilant ahead of time. Find out your hospitals policy regarding night and weekend staff including 24 hour coverage of adequate nursing staff with delivery floor experience.
  • Learn if there is 24-hour access to in-house blood bank facilities as well as in-house anesthesiologists, neonatologists, and pediatricians.
  • Make sure there is a fully functioning laboratory and emergency transport facilities in case the need for these should arise.
  • Ask if the hospital has sleep-in OBs just in case your primary OB's arrival is delayed due to traffic or weather.

Make sure your baby's safety is your first concern and don't worry about being in the limelight because you want your baby to be the first born in the New Year.

New Year's Eve Pregnancy Friendly Beverage

In the meantime, relax and enjoy the following recipe for this wonderful New Year's Eve beverage. It's non-alcoholic and delicious. Pour it into a champagne glass and enjoy these wonderful moments with your friends and family.

Oriental Breeze — serves 6

2 cups sweetened green tea
2 cups cranberry juice
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup rose water
3 T honey

Mix all of the above in a blender with crushed ice. Pour into festive glasses and top with a rose hip, or a rosebud. Cheers!

Dr. Brown, founder of Beauté de Maman, is a board-certified member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a member of the American Medical Association, the Fairfield County Medical Association, Yale Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the Women's Medical Association of Fairfield County. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Tufts University, completed her medical training at George Washington University Medical Center and completed her internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Brown has a busy obstetrical practice in Stamford, Connecticut and, as a clinical attending, actively teaches residents from Stamford Hospital and medical students from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

Copyright © Michele Brown. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.