Is It Safe to Have a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Section?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Childbirth” by DAVID Swift is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dr. Carmen Young
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Alberta

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: For women who have had a single previous cesarean section, the optimal mode of delivery in a subsequent pregnancy is controversial. This is because there are risks and benefits to attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) or having an elective repeat cesarean section. Attempted VBAC is associated with a higher risk of uterine rupture and other maternal and infant complications. Repeat cesarean sections are associated with an increased risk of surgical complications and placental complications in subsequent pregnancies. Furthermore, it is difficult to predict which patients will have a successful VBAC.

This study is unique in that it uses recent Canadian data, allowing assessment of the impact of contemporary obstetrical care on maternal and neonatal outcomes in Canada.

Continue reading

48-Hours of Antibiotics Reduced Infection Rate After C-Section in Obese Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Carri R. Warshak, MD Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology University of  Cincinnati

Dr. Warshak

Dr. Carri R. Warshak, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
University of  Cincinnati

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Cesarean deliveries are the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States.  A common complication of cesarean section is wound infections that can include infections in the skin and incision site, or infections in the uterus itself after delivery.  These complications can lead to prolonged hospitalization after delivery for antibiotics and even further surgery in severe infections.  Often these wound complications lead to delayed healing, wound opening which can sometimes take several weeks to heal. Studies have demonstrated as many as 12% of women experience a surgical site infection after delivery.

Obesity is a strong risk factor for increased surgical site infections.  Increasing maternal weight increases the risk of wound complications, with a two to five fold increase in risk, making surgical site infections and common and concerning complication of cesarean delivery in obese women.

Continue reading

Cesarean Section Rates Vary Across US Hospitals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kamila Mistry, PhD MPH
AHRQ

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Although the overall cesarean section (C-section) rate in the United States has declined slightly in recent years, nearly a third of all births continue to be delivered by C-section—higher than in many other industrialized countries. A number of medical as well as nonmedical factors may contribute to high C-section rates.

C-section is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States. This operation carries additional risks compared with vaginal delivery, such as infection and postoperative pain. A C-section also may make it more difficult for the mother to establish breastfeeding and may complicate subsequent pregnancies.

Consensus guidelines from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other national efforts to improve perinatal care have shown promise in reducing nonmedically indicated C-sections. However, recent research has found wide variation in hospital C-section rates even for low-risk deliveries.
Continue reading

Early Planned Birth Linked To Developmental Delays

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jason Bentley, MBiostat Doctoral Fellow Menzies Centre for Health Policy University of Sydney

Jason Bentley

Jason Bentley, MBiostat
Doctoral Fellow
Menzies Centre for Health Policy
University of Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Planned birth (labor induction or pre-labor caesarean section) is a decision to intervene and so determines a gestational age at birth that would have otherwise been later if pregnancy had progressed through to spontaneous labor. Significant changes in clinical practice have seen an increase in planned births before 39-40 completed week’s gestation from an increased use of primary and repeat cesarean section and a greater use of labor induction. At a population level this has resulted in a decrease in modal gestational age with planned birth accounting for almost half of births before 39-40 weeks.

Clinical research has indicated that the threshold for planned birth and the gestational age for intervening has reduced. Numerous reasons have been given as justification for this including litigation, patient and provider perception of safety versus risk, reduced perinatal mortality, increased fetal monitoring, maternal age, obesity and convenience. There has also been the clinical perception that birth just before the optimal date carries little significant morbidity, with a focus on short-term risks to mother or baby only rather than longer-term outcomes. It is of paramount importance to ensure there are no unintended harms from such a significant shift in clinical practice.

This study investigated whether the timing of planned birth was associated with poorer developmental outcomes at school age.

Continue reading

Vaginal Seeding After C-Section Can Transfer Harmful Germs To Baby

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Aubrey Cunnington Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine Clinical Senior Lecturer Imperial College, London

Dr. Aubrey Cunnington

Dr. Aubrey Cunnington
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Clinical Senior Lecturer
Imperial College, London

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Cunnington: We noticed that increasing numbers of women who were having Caesarean section deliveries at our hospitals were requesting for their vaginal fluid to be swabbed onto their babies after birth – a process often termed “vaginal seeding”. The idea behind this, is that it transfers all the natural bacteria (microbiota) from the mother’s vagina to the baby. We know that early on in life, babies born by Caesarean section have different bacteria living on their bodies and in their guts to those of babies born by vaginal delivery. Some people think these differences in the microbiota may be responsible for differences in long-term health, although a causal link is unproven. The hope is that vaginal seeding might reduce the risk of the baby developing some diseases like obesity and asthma in the future. Unfortunately we are a long way from having the evidence to show that this is possible, and we do not know whether vaginal seeding is really safe. Babies born by elective Caesarean section are at lower risk of transfer of some potentially harmful bacteria and viruses from the birth canal, but these harmful bacteria and viruses could be transferred to the baby on a swab and potentially cause a devastating infection.

MedicalResearch.com Editor’s note:  ‘Vaginal Seeding’ is also known as “microbirthing”,   

Continue reading

Pre-Labor C-Section Affects Newborn’s Immune System

Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood Herlev and Gentofte Hospital,  University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Prof. Bisgaard

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc
Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood
Herlev and Gentofte Hospital,
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Prof. Bisgaard: Programming of the immune response in perinatal life seems to contribute to the increased prevalence of immune-mediated diseases

We hypothesized that initiation of labor could affect the developing newborn immune system.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Prof. Bisgaard: Pre-labor cesarean section is associated with a distinct and gestational age-related distribution of circulating immune cells in newborns suggesting that changes in specific immune compartments occur during the approach of labor.

Continue reading