- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The first ladies of the Dakotas are urging birthing hospitals in both states to help cut the number of early deliveries done for non-medical reasons.

Linda Daugaard (DOO’-gard) of South Dakota and Betsy Dalrymple (DAHL’-rim-pahl) of North Dakota say many hospitals already have developed or are setting up policies to reduce what are known as early elective deliveries, or EEDs. They’re done before 39 weeks of pregnancy for no specific medical reason.

The first ladies are challenging all birthing hospitals in the two states to sign a pledge to help reduce EEDs.

A June 2014 brief from the National Center for Health Statistics reported that the two Dakotas were among only five states to reduce induction rates at 38 weeks of pregnancy by 30 percent or more, leading the nation.

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