Caesarean babies could be 70% more likely to die

BABIES born by Caesarean section could be more than 70% more likely to die than those born naturally.

A study involving more than 94,000 women found higher risks for mothers and babies when Caesareans were compared with normal births.

Experts found that woman having a Caesarean had twice the risk of illness — such as hysterectomies, blood transfusions and admission to intensive care — and death as women giving birth normally.

Babies were also at twice the risk of admission to a neonatal intensive care unit and had more than 70% higher risk of death.

That figure included elective Caesareans and those chosen by a doctor, but excluded emergency Caesareans for life-threatening conditions and those for breech births.

Breech babies born by Caesarean had a much higher chance of survival and lower overall risk than if they had been born normally, the study found.

The experts included Dr Jose Villar, a senior fellow at the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Oxford. His team analysed data on 94,307 women who gave birth in Latin America.

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