Cesarean delivery on maternal request in China: what are the risks and benefits?

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Jun;212(6):817.e1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.01.043. Epub 2015 Jan 29.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the risks and benefits of cesarean delivery on maternal request (CDMR) in a Chinese population.

Study design: A retrospective cohort study of mode of delivery was conducted at the largest obstetric center in Shanghai, China, from 2007-2013. Eligibility criteria included singleton term nulliparous women with vertex presentation; women with major fetal anomalies or stillbirth before labor were excluded.

Results: A total of 66,226 women were included in the analysis: 40,560 women (61.2%) had planned vaginal birth, with 32,833 spontaneous vaginal deliveries (80.9%), 4990 intrapartum CDs (12.3%), and 2737 assisted vaginal deliveries (6.7%). A total of 16,333 women (24.7%) underwent CDMR. We observed no significant difference between the CDMR and planned vaginal delivery groups in the frequencies of maternal intensive care unit admission (0.2% vs 0.2%), severe postpartum hemorrhage (0.5% vs 0.5%), maternal infection (1.3% vs 1.3%), organ injuries (0.4‰ vs 0.5‰), and thromboembolic disorders (0.1‰ vs 0.1‰). The perinatal mortality rate was similar in the 2 groups (0.4‰ vs 0.6‰; adjusted odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.20-1.30; P = .159). The frequencies of birth trauma (0.2‰ vs 1.1‰), neonatal infection (0.4% vs 0.7%), hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (0.4‰ vs 1.8‰), and meconium aspiration syndrome (0.2‰ vs 0.6‰) were lower; the frequency of respiratory-distress syndrome (0.6% vs 0.4%) was higher in the CDMR group.

Conclusion: Compared with nulliparous women who tried vaginal delivery, women who underwent CDMR had similar short-term maternal outcomes with some neonatal benefit.

Keywords: China; cesarean delivery; maternal morbidity; perinatal death.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data*
  • China
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Preference / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Young Adult