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Planned C-Sections Have Worse Outcomes Than Vaginal Births

Pulmonary disorders, transfer to neonatal intensive care higher after Caesarean delivery

THURSDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A planned Caesarean delivery is associated with a higher risk of pulmonary disorders and transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit than a planned vaginal delivery, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Toril Kolas, M.D., of the Innlandet Hospital Trust in Lillehammer, Norway, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 18,653 singleton deliveries within a six-month period.

About 9.8 percent of infants born after a planned Caesarean delivery were transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, up from 5.2 percent for vaginal births (adjusted odds ratio, 1.76). The risk of pulmonary disorders also was higher, at 0.8 percent for vaginal births and 1.6 percent for planned Caesarean delivery (adjusted odds ratio, 1.82).

"We emphasize the importance of limiting planned Caesarean deliveries to cases with proven benefit for the mother and/or child," the authors write. "When a planned Caesarean delivery is chosen, the operation should be as close to term as possible."

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