Saturday, October 20, 2007

Research on the Stillbirth-Cesarean connection

From the Lancet 2003; 362: 1779-84:

Stillbirth linked to cesarean section

Investigating the relationship between previous cesarean delivery and subsequent stillbirth.

Cesarean section can increase the risk of stillbirth in subsequent pregnancies, claim researchers, in findings that add to the growing debate over the acceptability of elective cesareans.

Professor Gordon Smith (University of Cambridge, UK) and colleagues studied data on 120,633 births in Scotland between 1992 and 1998. They found that the proportion of stillbirths was greater in women who had previously delivered by cesarean section (2.4 per 10,000 women) than among women who had only delivered vaginally (1.4 per 10,000 women).

The increased risk of stillbirths with unknown causes began at around week 34 of the pregnancy in women who had undergone a cesarean for a previous birth, regardless of the reason for the procedure.

The association is "biologically plausible," the team comments, reasoning that previous cesarean delivery may influence uterine blood flow and mechanisms of placentation in future pregnancies.


Jenne said...
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Jenne said...

This was a heartbreaking finding for me when I learned about it. I was born a C-section baby and my little brother (next in line after me) died a stillborn. I wrote about it on my birth blog. The bottom line of my emotions was that I was angry with the OBs who think that C-sections are the panacea for birth, not knowing their long term effects; the heartache of losing a baby, and then the heartache of missing that baby for a lifetime. I still mourn the loss of my little brother, even though he was born and died when I was only 2. It was his death that left me an only child, and I'm sad. And mad at the doctors who insisted that a C-section was neccessary even though I should have been given more time to turn (C-section at 39 4/7 weeks) or -And here's a revoluntionary idea!!!- to be born breech.