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Medicaid pushes for fewer early births

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Replace Insecure //images.politico.com/global/2012/04/120402_health_baby_ap_605.jpg Turns out there's one deceptively simple change in obstetric care that can save millions of dollars and lead to healthier babies and healthier moms: stopping women and their obstetricians from inducing births before 39 weeks without a pressing medical reason.

That could be a tough sell though because early induction has become part of the culture.

About one in 10 births in the United States is intentionally early, and some estimates are higher. It's a matter of choice and convenience, and sometimes efficiency, for both women and their doctors. A baby born at 38 weeks -- a common time for early induction -- isn't premature. It sounds safe.

But mounting evidence shows that planned early births put babies at risk:

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