Stillbirth Risk May Increase After Cesarean Section

Study shows subsequent pregnancy carries greater chance of stillborn delivery

THURSDAY, Nov. 27, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A mother whose first baby is delivered by cesarean section may have an increased risk of unexplained stillbirth in her second pregnancy, says a Scottish study in the Nov. 29 issue of the journal The Lancet.

In women with one previous cesarean delivery, the risk of unexplained stillbirth when the fetus was at least 39 weeks old was about double the risk of stillbirth or neonatal death from uterine rupture, the study says.

The researchers linked pregnancy discharge data from the Scottish Morbidity Record (1980-98) and the Scottish Stillbirth and Infant Death Enquiry (1985-98).

They found there were 68 antepartum stillbirths in 17,754 women who had a previous baby delivered by cesarean section and 244 antepartum stillbirths in 102,879 women who previously delivered vaginally.

The absolute risk of unexplained stillbirth at or after 39 weeks' gestation was 1.1 per 1,000 women who had a previous cesarean section and 0.5 per 1,000 in those who had not, the study found.

Scientists don't know whether there is a cause for this statistical variation and say more study is needed.

More Information

Here's where you can learn more about stillbirth.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Nov. 27, 2003
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