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ACOG Addresses Patient-Choice Caesarean Sections

ACOG maintains that Caesarean sections should be performed for medical reasons only

THURSDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Caesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) is increasingly common, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says more research is needed to determine the risks and benefits. For now, Caesarean should be done for medical reasons alone, according to experts who addressed the issue during the organization's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

In 2004, 29.1 percent of infants were delivered by Caesarean section, and several factors contributed to the high rate, according to ACOG. Mary E. D'Alton, M.D., of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, said that not enough research has been done yet to definitively judge the pros and cons of CDMR versus regular vaginal delivery.

CDMR increases the risks of placenta previa and other problems, so it is not recommended for women who want to give birth to several children, D'Alton said.

"ACOG continues to review all of the issues surrounding maternal-request Caesarean, but at this time our position is that Caesarean should be performed for medical reasons," said ACOG deputy vice president Stanley Zinberg, M.D., in a statement. Zinberg noted that some high-risk patients seeking Caesareans today include fertility patients pregnant with several fetuses, and older or obese women who are pregnant.

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