Newsweek just released the 231 Best Maternity Hospitals in the United States for 2020. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit committed to transparency and informed health care decisions, created this list along with Newsweek. The five areas the expert panel considered when listing a hospital are as follows:
Early Elective Delivery
Data shows that early elective deliveries carry maternal and infant risks. These can be in the form of elective c-section or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy. Leapfrog's target is 5% or less.
This includes data on c-sections for first time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, with the baby in the head down position. Leapfrog's target is 23.9% or less. C-sections are a major surgery that carry many risks and when women have one they are more likely to have subsequent pregnancies by c-section.
This is when an incision is made during a vaginal birth to help the baby come out. It is typically used to avoid a c-section but now we know it carries many risks including worse tears, loss of bladder control, and infections. Leapfrog's target is 5% or less.
Newborn Bilirubin Screening Prior to Discharge
Leapfrog checks to see if newborns are properly screened for bilirubin levels. If a high level is missed, newborns may face risks of brain damage and other disabilities. Leapfrog's target is 90% of babies screened for jaundice.
Appropriate DVT Prophylaxis in Women Undergoing C-sections
C-sections carry a higher risk for blood clots in the lungs and hospitals must have ways to check that this isn't a concern. Leapfrog's target rate is 90% or higher that are receiving techniques to prevent blood clots.