Planned cesarean versus planned vaginal delivery at term: comparison of newborn infant outcomes

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;195(6):1538-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.05.005. Epub 2006 Jul 17.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine neonatal outcomes among women with a planned cesarean and a planned vaginal delivery at term.

Study design: This prospective survey was conducted on 18,653 singleton deliveries that represent 24 maternity units during a 6-month period. The data were retrieved from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and analyzed according to intended mode of delivery.

Results: Compared with planned vaginal deliveries, planned cesarean delivery increased transfer rates to the neonatal intensive care unit from 5.2% to 9.8% (P < .001). The risk for pulmonary disorders (transient tachypnea of the newborn infant and respiratory distress syndrome) rose from 0.8% to 1.6% (P = .01). There were no significant differences in the risks for low Apgar score and neurologic symptoms.

Conclusion: A planned cesarean delivery doubled both the rate of transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit and the risk for pulmonary disorders, compared with a planned vaginal delivery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • Cesarean Section* / adverse effects
  • Cesarean Section* / statistics & numerical data
  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Patient Participation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment