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Requests for Cesarean Births may be Reasonable – NIH Panel Gave Both Pros and Cons to CDMR birth compared to Natural Vaginal Delivery

March 31st 2006

Requests for Cesarean Births may be Reasonable – NIH Panel Gave Both Pros and Cons to CDMR birth compared to Natural Vaginal Delivery


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a panel to make available information comparing the risks and benefits of Caesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) versus planned vaginal birth, and did not provide the basis for a recommendation in either direction.  The panel said that any woman requesting CDMR should receive individualized counseling regarding the potential risks.

The panel did not include emergency Caesarean delivery and Caesarean performed following attempted vaginal delivery in their recommendation.  Their recommendations were concerning the elective Caesarean delivery, not emergency caesarean deliveries. 

There are some benefits to CDMR including a reduced risk of hemorrhaging for the mother, and a reduced risk of certain birth injuries for the baby.  There are potential risks of CDMR though, including an increased risk of respiratory problems for the baby and a longer maternal hospital stay.


The panel concluded that CDMR should be avoided for women desiring large families.  There could be a risk of serious complications for subsequent pregnancies with each additional delivery.  The NIH panel also said that CDMR should not be “performed before the 39th week of pregnancy or without verification that the fetus’ lungs have matured sufficiently to avoid newborn respiratory complications.”

According to the NIH, some women may choose CDMR because there would not be effective pain management available at the facility.  The panel said “CDMR should not be motivated by unavailability of effective pain management. Efforts must be made to assure availability of pain management services for all women.”


The panel said it may be ''reasonable" for many women to deliver by caesarean section even without a medical need.  They went on to say  there is not enough evidence to assess the risks of ''maternal request" C-sections compared with natural births, but said that for now doctors should discuss the known pros and cons with a woman if she brings up the option, and decide on a patient-by-patient basis.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM