When a C-Section Is Risky

An early delivery by Cesarean section can be harmful to your newborn, according to a new study, and researchers are suggesting that earlier deliveries for convenience sake may not be a healthy idea.

The study, published in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that babies who were delivered by elective Cesarean section before 39 weeks of pregnancy are more than twice as likely to have serious breathing problems, bacterial infections, low blood sugar, or to spend time in intensive care than those delivered at 39 weeks. The study also found that babies delivered at 37 weeks were more than four times as likely to have these problems.

The study involved more than 28,000 women, who had also had prior elective C-sections. In the study, nearly 36 percent of elective repeat C-sections were performed before 39 weeks. Researchers from the University of North Carolina, who helped conduct the study, say the early deliveries are at least, in part, a matter of convenience for moms and doctors.

– Christina Elston