Here are three studies you might want to look up. They seem to indicate
that after taking other complications into account, cesarean is not
routinely warranted for the premature infant.
Dietl J, Arnold H, Mentzel H, Hirsch HA.Effect of cesarean section on
outcome in high- and low-risk very preterm infants. Arch Gynecol Obstet
1989;246(2):91-6 "Cesarean section was associated with a highly
significantly improved survival rate in the high-risk group, but was not
associated with differences in fetal outcome in the low-risk group. The
results of this study do not support primary cesarean section as the method
of delivery for all very preterm fetuses."
Malloy MH, Onstad L, Wright E. The effect of cesarean delivery on birth
outcome in very low birth weight infants. National Institute of Child
Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Obstet Gynecol 1991
"These data suggest that after accounting for certain maternal and fetal
factors, cesarean delivery is not associated with a lower risk of either
mortality or IVH."
Malloy MH, Rhoads GG, Schramm W, Land G. Increasing cesarean section rates
in very low-birth weight infants. Effect on outcome. JAMA 1989 Sep
"We conclude that there is little evidence that the use of cesarean section
for the delivery of very low-birth weight infants, independent of maternal
or fetal compromise, improves overall survival. We were unable to find
reasons to justify the sharp increase in the use of cesarean sections for
these small infants."
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 2 Issue 12 March 24, 2000)
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