Monday, May 13, 2013

Vaginal Birth and Preemies

Pregnant woman holds her stomach
Pregnant woman holds her stomach ( Ian Waldie, Getty Images / February 11, 2013)
From the Chicago Tribune

by Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Very premature babies have fewer breathing problems when they're born through vaginal delivery compared to cesarean section, a new study of more than 20,000 newborns suggests.

Based on those cases, researchers found that regardless of why a C-section was performed - whether because of pregnancy-related complications or the mother's medical problems, for example - vaginal delivery tended to be safer.

"My suspicion is that the labor process, the contractions, that natural squeezing probably does something to clear out the lungs so that when babies are born they have a better breathing status," said Dr. Erika Werner, who led the new study at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

"If a vaginal delivery is safe, it's something that should be attempted," she said.

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It is interesting to note that some children born by c-section also have problems breathing when they are born or when they get older. The beauty of labor is that every stage has a function. When the baby moved from the uterus through the cervix and into the birth canal its body is squeezed, helping the delicate longs extract the amniotic fluid and prepare for breathing oxygen through the air.

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