Improving the quality of maternity care is in the interest of every expectant family and a top priority for employers. Despite a health care system that outspends those in the rest of the world, the U.S. has a worse record than many other industrialized nations in terms of how infants and mothers fare. One reason for this is American mothers have higher rates of conditions such as obesity, gestational diabetes and hypertension than in the past.

Another key reason for our poor maternal and child health outcomes is that convenience has grown to take priority over the best health outcomes. Over the last two decades, it's become common practice to induce labor sooner than 39 weeks despite the fact that carrying an infant to term has a multitude of health benefits for mothers and babies.

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