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C-sections Risky for Mother and Baby

C-sections Risky for Mother and Baby

Reported November 01, 2007

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Women who want to schedule a C-section may want to re-think that decision.

New research from Latin America shows non-emergency caesarean births double the risk of illness or death compared to giving birth vaginally.

Researchers looked at data from 97,307 deliveries in eight Latin American countries — 33.7 percent of the births were caesarean and 66.3 percent were vaginal.

Researchers found women who had a C-section had a five-times higher risk of needing antibiotics after they gave birth than those who had a vaginal delivery. And the risk of babies who were born head first having to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit doubled after a caesarean delivery compared to a vaginal one.


The study also shows the risk of neonatal death was much higher — more than 70 percent — up to hospital discharge for breech babies from both an elective and a clinician-chosen caesarean delivery. But C-sections had a large protective effect in preventing death and overall risks in breech born babies.

Except for fewer postpartum severe vaginal complications and better outcomes for breech babies, the authors conclude there are no net benefits from caesarean delivery for either the mother or child and that it can be harmful.

SOURCE: BMJ Online First, published online Oct. 30, 2007


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