Objective: To compare outcomes at term of a trial of labor in women with previous cesarean delivery who delivered neonates weighing > 4000 g versus women with those weighing < or = 4000 g.
Study design: We reviewed medical records for all women undergoing a trial of labor after prior cesarean delivery during a 12-year period. The current analysis was limited to women at term with one prior cesarean and no other deliveries. The rates of cesarean delivery and symptomatic uterine rupture for women with infants weighing > 4000 g were compared to the rates for women with infants weighing < or = 4000 g. Logistic regression was used to control for the potential confounding by use of epidural, maternal age, labor induction, labor augmentation, indication for previous cesarean, type of uterine hysterotomy, year of delivery, receiving public assistance, and maternal race. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results: Of 2749 women, 13% (365) had infants with birth weights > 4000 g. Cesarean delivery rate associated with birth weights < or = 4000 g was 29% versus 40% for those with birth weights > 4000 g (P = .001). With use of logistic regression, we found that birth weight > 4000 g was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in risk of cesarean delivery (95% CI, 1.3-2.2). The rate of uterine rupture for women with infants weighing < or = 4000 g was 1.0% versus a 1.6% rate for those with infants weighing > 4000 g (P = .24). Although the logistic regression analysis revealed a somewhat higher rate of uterine rupture associated with birth weights of > 4000 g (adjusted OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 0.7-4.1), this difference was not statistically significant. The rate of uterine rupture was 2.4% for women with infants weighing > 4250 g, but this rate did not differ significantly from the rate of uterine rupture associated with birth weights < or = 4250 g (P = .1).
Conclusion: A trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery may be a reasonable clinical option for pregnant women with suspected birth weights of > 4000 g, given that the rate of uterine rupture associated with these weights does not appear to be substantially increased when compared to lower birth weights. However, some caution may apply when considering a trial of labor in women with infants weighing > 4250 g. In these women with infants weighing > 4000 g, the likelihood of successful vaginal delivery, although lower than for neonates weighing < or = 4000 g, is still 60%.