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עמוד בית
Thu, 29.02.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 16

Journal 9, September 2014
pages: 559-563

Does Cesarean Section before the Scheduled Date Increase the Risk of Neonatal Morbidity?

    Summary

    Background:

    Previous studies led to the recommendation to schedule planned elective cesarean deliveries at or after 39 weeks of gestation, and not before 38 weeks. The question is whether this practice is appropriate in face of possible risks to the newborn should the pregnancy have to be ended by cesarean section before the scheduled date.

    Objectives:

    To compare the outcomes of newborn infants who were delivered on their scheduled day by elective cesarean section versus those who required delivery earlier.

    Methods:

    This single-center retrospective study was based on medical records covering a period of 18 months. We compared the neonatal outcomes of 272 infants delivered by elective cesarean section as scheduled (at 38.8 ± 0.8 weeks gestation) and 44 infants who had to be delivered earlier than planned (at 37.9 ± 1.1 weeks). 

    Results:

    We found no morbidity directly related to delivery by cesarean section before the scheduled date. There were no significant differences in the need for resuscitation after delivery. Although more of the infants who were delivered early were admitted to intensive care and overall stayed longer in the hospital (5.8 ± 7.3 vs. 3.9 ± 0.8 days, P < 0.02), their more severe respiratory illness and subsequent longer hospitalization was the result of their younger gestational age. Transient tachypnea of the newborn was associated with younger gestational age at delivery in both groups.

    Conclusions:

    We suggest continuing with the current recommendation to postpone elective cesarean singleton deliveries beyond 38–39 weeks of gestation whenever possible.

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