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.