Filed under: Birth
Women who have had a baby by caesarean have a higher risk of a still birth in a later pregnancy an audit of thousands of births has revealed.<snip>
The study of nearly 82,000 live and still births, where the mother had previously had a caesarean, found a stillborn rate of 4.6 per 1,000 births compared with 3.5 per 1,000 in woman who had not had a previous baby by caesarean operation.
<snip>The researchers believe the caesarean may affect the formation of the placenta in a subsequent pregnancy so that it does not function properly.
Dr Gray says that because of the increase in caesareans the four per cent figure could now be higher.
“These findings suggest that caesarean section in one pregnancy slightly increases the risk of still birth in following pregnancies,” Dr Gray said.
“This is now the fourth study of this kind to have shown an increase risk.
“We would suggest that further research is required to understand why this is happening. In the meantime clinicians and women need to be aware of the increased risk but also that the risk is small.
Most caesareans are carried out because of medical complications, a slow progressing labour or the mother having had the surgery during a previous birth.
But women are increasingly seen to be having planned caesareans as a “lifestyle choice” rather than for medical reasons, the so-called “too posh to push”.
A caesarean costs the NHS an average of £1,000 more than a natural birth because it is a highly invasive procedure.
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