Neonatal morbidity and mortality after elective cesarean delivery

Clin Perinatol. 2008 Jun;35(2):361-71, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2008.03.009.


This article explores the effects of elective cesarean delivery (ECD) at term on neonatal morbidity and mortality. Available data have limitations, and do not provide conclusive evidence regarding the safety of planned ECD versus planned vaginal delivery. Some data suggest an association between ECD and increased neonatal respiratory morbidity and lacerations, and possibly decreased central and peripheral nervous system injury. Potentially increased risks of neonatal mortality with ECD at term may be counterbalanced by risks for fetal demise in ongoing pregnancies. Patients and physicians considering ECD should review competing risks and benefits; further research is needed to inform these discussions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / etiology*
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / prevention & control
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Pregnancy