South Shore Health System Breaks Ground With First-of-its-Kind National Childbirth Study

South Weymouth, Mass., (October 3, 2018) - In an effort to reduce the growing epidemic of unnecessary cesarean deliveries, South Shore Hospital has teamed-up with Ariadne Labs, a joint center between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, to implement a new initiative aimed at empowering women to communicate their birth plan and share in the decision-making process during childbirth.

South Shore Hospital, part of South Shore Health System, is the first in the country to pilot Ariadne Labs’ “Team Birth Project” and was chosen by the innovation group for its strong desire to build a better system of care during childbirth. Recognizing the need to lower unnecessary C-sections in the United States, the group cast a national search to find a partner who could lead a four-city national rollout.

“Anything we can do to provide better outcomes for our patients is something we believe strongly in,” said Kimberly Dever, MD, FACOG, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at South Shore Hospital. “Partnering with Ariadne Labs is a unique opportunity to help figure out how to better communicate with expectant mothers about the risks and options available to deliver a healthy baby. We believe our study with Ariadne Labs will greatly benefit patients now and in the future, and we are excited to be the first hospital in the country to take on this initiative.”                     

While most babies can be born with a vaginal delivery, for some, surgical intervention with a C-section is necessary or lifesaving. According to Ariadne Labs, the challenge is that modern health systems seldom make delivery decision accurately. In the United States, nearly one in three women give birth by cesarean section. Participants in the “Team Birth Project” hope to change those statistics. The birthing model places women in labor at the center of the birth plan “team” and encourages them to communicate their preferences and actively share in the decision-making process during childbirth. It also promotes communication among members of the childbirth team.          

“We selected South Shore as the first hospital in the country to launch the ‘Team Birth Project’ because we found the perfect mix of capability and vision,” said Neel Shah, MD, MPP, director of the Delivery Decision Initiatives at Ariadne Labs. “The nurses, midwives, and obstetricians all bring deep expertise to this project while also recognizing the opportunity to build a better system of care where each woman in labor is at the center of a high performing team.”           

South Shore Hospital officially began working with Ariadne Labs in April 2018. Since that time, the rate of cesarean sections at the hospital has declined for first-time/full-term mothers in labor by 4-percent.   

South Shore Hospital delivers 3,400 infants every year—more than any other hospital in the region and has Southeastern Massachusetts’ only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

To learn more about Ariadne Labs and the “Team Birth Project” visit: https://www.ariadnelabs.org/areas-of-work/delivery-decisions-initiative/