Pregnancy and you blog

Study looks at C-section before 39 weeks

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. January 23, 2009

Some of you might have heard or read in the news lately about elective delivery before 39 weeks gestation.

There was a study published Jan. 9th in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning the timing of elective repeat C-section delivery at term and the outcomes for the newborns.

The conclusion was that elective repeat C-section before 39 weeks is associated with respiratory complications and other adverse neonatal outcomes.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has clear criteria for performing elective repeat C-sections. They include, for example, amniocentesis to ensure fetal lung maturity, and date confirmation from early ultrasound.

Some deliveries must occur before 39 weeks due to mom or baby's health. These situations were not included in the study. I think what we can take away from this study is that no matter how miserable you are, wait for that 39 weeks for your delivery.

Also, if your care provider is scheduling your surgery and you will be less than 39 weeks, speak up and ask why. We do so much to protect our babies during pregnancy, we don't want to cause any unnecessary risk due to physical complaints and misery or to match someone's schedule, even your own.

Jan. 23, 2009