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Cesarean Respiratory Distress Link

photo credit : flickr.com/bradleyolin

The more I continue to research delivery options for my third child, the more concern I have that maybe this baby will not truly be ready for delivery when the 39 week gestation mark rolls around.

I have read a lot about a serious link between respiratory distress, and scheduled cesareans, especially before 38-39 weeks gestation, and personally knowing the inaccuracy in due dates this worries me.

In 2009, a major suggestion went out to hospitals Nationwide discouraging any elective cesarean deliveries for after 39 weeks gestation because of the possible risk of complications, especially if there are no medical factors for the cesarean delivery.

According to a 2007 study I came across during this journey, I learned that a babies born by cesarean section before the 39th week of pregnancy again assuming that your due date is correct have a three to four fold increase for breathing trouble over a baby born by an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, and Elective C-section babies also have a fivefold higher risk of needing mechanical breathing assistance for serious respiratory trouble.

No matter how I slice it at this point, because of my history this is certainly a medical necessary cesarean, but medically will be classified as elective because there is no emergent situation at the time of delivery hopefully.

All of this information I found came from Anne Kirkeby Hansen, MD, and colleagues at Denmark’s Aarhus University Hospital. Who studied this in depth.

“Mothers who choose elective cesarean section should be aware that the risk of respiratory problems is four times raised at 37 weeks’ gestation vs. full-term, intended vaginal delivery,” Kirkeby Hansen tells WebMD. “The rate of respiratory problems is 10% for elective C-section at 37 weeks, but it is 2.8% for intended vaginal deliveries. That is why we say you should never do elective cesarean section at 37 weeks.”

More interesting information I was able to pull out of the article I was reading.

As a mother, I just worry, and I worry a lot. It took me so long to get to the decision I have already had to make through an ocean of emotions, and knowing all the risk factors breaks my heart. I have already had one child that spent the first day of his life in the NICU, and I will do anything to not have to go through that again. It is something I would never wish on any parent, and anyone like me who has been in those scary shoes would agree.

I will do anything at this point to avoid a scheduled delivery as long as I possibly can.

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