New Research Shows C-Section Not Always Best for Babies

PR Newswire

DALLAS, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The widely-held assumption that a cesarean delivery has no health risks for the baby is being challenged today by new research that found the procedure did not help some preterm babies who were small for gestational age, and may even have contributed to their breathing problems.

The research, presented at the 32nd Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Meeting, “The Pregnancy Meeting” showed that small for gestational age babies delivered early by c-section had higher rates of respiratory distress syndrome than similar preterm babies who were born vaginally.

“These findings overturn conventional wisdom that c-sections have few or no risks for the baby and are consistent with the March of Dimes effort to end medically unnecessary deliveries before 39 weeks of pregnancy,” said Diane Ashton, MD, MPH, March of Dimes deputy medical director. “Although in many instances, a c-section is medically necessary for the health of the baby or the mother, this research shows that in some cases the surgery may not be beneficial for some infants.”

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