Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
While many experts are concerned with the rise in C-section rates, there’s one situation where C-section is called for—when the baby is in breech position. That’s the latest finding in a Dutch study published in the journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Breech babies (those who present feet or buttocks first, rather than the head) who are born vaginally are 10 times more likely to die during childbirth as their counterparts who were born via C-section. In the retrospective study of 58,320 of breech births, the researchers found that as elective C-sections for breech births have increased, from 24% to 60%, that resulted in a decrease of infant mortality from 1.3/1000 to 0.7/1000.
The takeaway? According to lead study author Dr. Floortje Vlemmix from the Department of Obstetics and Gynecology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, ”While elective C-section has improved neonatal outcomes there is still a good number of women who attempt vaginal birth. Our findings suggest there is still room for improvement to prevent unnessary risk to the infant. We recommend using measures to turn the baby (external cephalic version) to prevent breech presentation at birth and counselling women who want to proceed with a vaginal breech birth.”
Find out more about breech birth, and learn how to build a birth plan that covers emergencies.
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Child Health, New Research, Parents News Now, Pregnancy
Friday, March 29th, 2013
A 15 pound, 7 ounce baby named George was born six weeks ago in England in a surprising–and harrowing–experience for the boy’s mother, Jade King, who birthed him vaginally. Yahoo.com has more:
No one realized just how big George was until his head had emerged, at which point his shoulders got temporarily stuck and he went without oxygen for five minutes.
“There was about 20-odd doctors in the room, and that’s when it got really scary,” King recalled.
Once the baby was out, he was given a 10 percent chance of survival and transferred from Cheltenham to another hospital, in Bristol. He was kept there for four and a half weeks and then went home, and just received normal results from an MRI.
“It might just be that he’s a little bit slow with his learning,” his mom added. “So hopefully it’s just minor little things.”
George has only gained a pound since his birth, and has been wearing clothes sized for a 3-to-6-month old from day one (his mom had to give away all the newborn onesies that were awaiting him at home). He is the second-biggest baby ever born vaginally in the UK, according to various reports; the larger baby weighed just an ounce more.
In George’s case, doctors were unsure of what caused his hugeness, the medical term for which is called macrosomia. But the condition is often caused by mom having had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Image: Woman giving birth at hospital, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Twins need not be born by Cesarean section as a matter of routine, a new study conducted by Canadian researchers has found. The New York Times reports:
Researchers randomly assigned 2,800 mothers carrying healthy twins to either a planned C-section or a planned vaginal delivery. There was no difference in outcome between the two groups. There were serious medical problems, like bone fracture or abnormal levels of consciousness, in 36 babies delivered by C-section and 35 delivered vaginally. Twenty-one babies delivered by C-section died, as did 17 delivered vaginally.
Mothers fared equally well in each group, with serious health problems in 7.3 percent of the C-section mothers and in 8.5 percent of the vaginal delivery group.
Image: Twin babies, via Shutterstock
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Friday, August 10th, 2012
Babies who are born vaginally have been found in a new Yale University study to have higher levels of important proteins that help their brains begin to grow and develop. The Huffington Post reports on how vaginal (also called “normal”) birth may be important to brain development, at least according to this preliminary study:
“We were looking at the protein, and we realized that if you take a ‘normal birth’ mouse and compare it to a ‘c-section mouse,’ there are very different levels in the hippocampus,” Tamas Horvath, a professor of biomedical research and chair at the department of comparative medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, told The Huffington Post. The findings were published in the online research journal PLoS One, Wednesday.
The “uncoupling 2 protein,” or UCP2, is important to the development of the circuitry in the hippocampus, which helps with the formation and storage of memory. Development, he said, was “very important for behavior in the long run.”
But because the research was done in mice, it is highly preliminary. The research also looked at vaginal birth broadly, not at whether anesthesia use could influence protein production.
Researchers do not yet know why different delivery modes influence the protein, although Horvath guessed that the pressure and stress of traveling the birth canal may trigger it.
Image: Mother in labor at hospital, via Shutterstock
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