(HealthDay News) — Increased rates of elective cesareans have improved the neonatal outcomes for singleton term breech deliveries, according to a study published online August 11 in ACTA Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Floortje Vlemmix, MD, from University of Amsterdam, and colleagues utilized data from the Dutch national perinatal registry from 1999–2007 to identify singleton term breech deliveries (58,320 women) from 37+0 to 41+6 weeks. Fetuses with congenital malformations or antenatal death were excluded.

The researchers found that over the study period there was an increase in the elective cesarean rate (from 24–60%). Consequently, overall perinatal mortality decreased (odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.28–0.93), whereas it remained stable in the planned vaginal birth group (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.52–1.76). To prevent one perinatal death, the number of cesareans performed was 338.

“The relative safety of an elective cesarean should be weighed against the consequences of a scarred uterus in future pregnancies,” the authors write.

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