A new study by Boston University has shown that in addition to maternal outcomes continuing to worsen in America, the length of U.S. pregnancies is on the steady decline by more than half a week over the last few decades.
“We did a comparative cohort analysis with data on gestational age and the timing of birth from the United States, England and the Netherlands, comparing hospital and home births,” according to the study’s authors.
“We compared timing of births by hour of the day in hospital and home births in all three countries.”
In the PLOS One report, between 1990 and 2020, U.S. pregnancies decreased by more than half a week relative to European countries such as England and the Netherlands.
“The findings suggest organizational priorities can potentially disturb natural patterns of gestation and birth timing with a potential to improve U.S. perinatal outcomes with organizational models that more closely resemble those of England and the Netherlands,” the authors determined.