C-sections not safer for twin births, study reveals

Vaginal births and caesarean sections are equally safe birthing options for delivering twins, according to new research led by Canadian doctors.

The study consisted of more than 2,800 women from 26 countries and revealed that caesarean sections, or C-sections, and vaginal births carry the same risks for birthing twins in low-risk pregnancies. Low-risk pregnancies are those where complications are not expected and the first baby’s head is facing down.

The researchers looked at the health of the twins in their study following vaginal births and C-sections. Complications such as death, seizures or fractures appeared in 57 babies that were delivered by planned C-sections and 52 babies that were delivered by planned vaginal births.

Planned C-sections are on the rise for twin births despite a lack of evidence of its benefits for the babies, says the lead author of the study Jon Barrett.

“The study found that planned vaginal births have the same outcome for the babies as do a planned caesarean sections,” says Barrett who is also a specialist in twin pregnancies at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

The concern is that the increasing number of C-sections being scheduled to deliver twins means there are fewer doctors being trained to deliver them through vaginal birth, he says.

“The message is that planning vaginal birth is a safe thing, and that people should continue to choose it and that doctors should continue to train for it,” Barrett says.

Julie Bertrand delivered her twins almost four years ago and is glad she did not have a C-section, she says.

“Like many women, I wanted to be able to go through that natural birth process despite the fact that I was having twins,” Bertand says.

Front page photo courtesy of Trevor Bair


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