Tags: vaginal | preemie | cesarean

Vaginal Childbirth Safe for Preemies

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:14 AM

Vaginal delivery is a safe as cesarean section for early preterm babies, according to a new study that challenges conventional medical thinking among many ob-gyns.
The federally funded study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found babies delivered vaginally had no greater risk for neonatal mortality or complications than C-section newborns. There was one exception: For breech births, the failure rate of vaginal delivery was high and planned cesarean delivery was associated with significantly lower neonatal mortality.
"Selecting a route of delivery at less than 32 weeks' gestation is a difficult clinical decision given the high rate of infant mortality and morbidity as well as the maternal risks associated with cesarean delivery," noted lead researcher Dr. Uma M. Reddy, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.
"The detailed information in our study…has direct clinical applications and is crucial for counseling families about the benefit and risks of attempting vaginal delivery in this situation."
To reach their conclusions, Reddy and her colleagues examined health information on more than 200,000 deliveries between 2002 and 2008 from 12 clinical centers and 19 hospitals across the country.
The found more than 80 percent of the attempted vaginal births involving preemies were successful. But in breech births, the majority of deliveries were by planned cesarean delivery, and only 27.6 percent of attempted vaginal deliveries were successful.

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Vaginal delivery is a safe as cesarean section for early preterm babies, a new study finds.
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:14 AM
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