Thursday, January 8, 2009

Early Cesarean Deliveries Increase Risks for Babies

Thousands of women are putting their babies at risk at their doctor’s advice. I think one could also apply this to women who are being induced. Doctors routinely start pushing induction at 38 weeks to my students, saying "The baby is big enough." Size in not the only thing that matters, their lungs need to develop to be healthy. Years ago, I had a student who had her baby at 38 weeks because they were worried if they waited any longer the baby would get too big. The baby weighed 8lb. 8oz. but ended in the NICU where there doctor told the parents, the baby was premature. We put too much stress on planning everything: We need to know what sex the baby is, pick the day the baby is born (or at least try), that we are putting our babies at risk.  

The following article was in the L.A. Times:

Elective C-sections performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy multiply the chance of serious complications, according to an analysis of more than 13,000 births.

By Karen Kaplan 

January 8, 2009

Thousands of women put their babies at needless risk of respiratory problems, hypoglycemia and other medical ailments by scheduling cesarean deliveries too early, according to an analysis of more than 13,000 births published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

Elective cesarean sections performed after 37 or 38 weeks of pregnancy had up to four times the risk of serious complications compared with procedures done after 39 weeks. Even deliveries that were just one, two or three days shy of 39 weeks carried a 21% increased risk of complications, the study found. 

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