Study: Most twins can be born without a C-section

October 2, 2013 by Marilynn Marchione
Parents hold their twin newborn babies at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn. on Sunday Jan. 1, 2012. Most moms can safely give birth without cesarean section surgery, according to a study published in the Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Richard Sennott)

Expecting twins? You probably don't need to schedule a cesarean section. Most moms can safely give birth without surgery, a big study finds.

It's the latest research to question the need for C-sections, which are done in one-third of all births in the United States and three-fourths of those involving twins. Studies increasingly are challenging long-held beliefs about cesareans, such as that women who had one need to deliver future babies the same way.

Now doctors are looking hard at C-sections for twin births, which are on the rise because of infertility treatments. Twins have more risk for complications and some studies suggest C-sections lower that risk, but this had not been put to a rigorous test.

Dr. Jon Barrett of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, led a study in 25 countries of 2,800 women pregnant with twins. All of the first of the twins to be delivered were in good position for birth (most doctors still recommend a C-section if the first twin is in feet-first or breech position).

Half of the moms were scheduled to have C-sections and the rest, vaginal births. About 40 percent of the latter group wound up having C-sections, and 10 percent of those scheduled to have cesareans ended up giving birth vaginally.

About 2 percent of newborns died or had a serious problem, but the manner of birth made no difference. Nor did it affect the rate of complications in .

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research paid for the study. Results are in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

"These results do not indicate that all sets of should be delivered vaginally," but that planning to do so is a reasonable choice if the doctor is experienced in twin births and knows when a C-section becomes necessary, Dr. Michael Greene of Massachusetts General Hospital wrote in a commentary in the journal.

Explore further: Study finds planned C-sections provide no advantage over planned vaginal birth of twins

Related Stories

Study finds planned C-sections provide no advantage over planned vaginal birth of twins

February 11, 2013
In a study to be presented on February 14 at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in San Francisco, researchers will report findings that suggest that planned birthing of twins ...

More US women having twins; rate at 1 in 30 babies

January 4, 2012
More U.S. women are having twins these days. The reason? Older moms and fertility treatments.

After years of decline, US births leveling off?

September 6, 2013
After falling four years in a row, U.S. births may finally be leveling off. The number of babies born last year—a little shy of 4 million—is only a few hundred less than the number in 2011, according to a government report ...

Conjoined twins with shared heart can't be split (Update)

June 3, 2013
Conjoined Palestinian twins with a shared heart and other vital organs returned home to the West Bank Monday after Israeli doctors determined they could not successfully separate them.

More US C-sections are now done closer to due date

June 27, 2013
(AP)—Not only has America's high level of C-sections finally stopped rising, but more of the operations are taking place closer to the mother's due date, a new government report found.

Recommended for you

Population health impact of infants born small for gestational age in low- and middle-income countries

August 18, 2017
In low-and middle-income countries, it is common for babies to be born of low birth weight, due to either inadequate growth in utero (fetal growth restriction) and/or preterm birth, (birth before 37 weeks gestation). Maternal ...

Hormone from fat tissue can give protection against polycystic ovary syndrome

August 10, 2017
Obesity and reduced insulin sensitivity are common in polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS. New research based on animal studies, and to be published in the journal PNAS, reveals that the hormone adiponectin can protect against ...

Study in mice may reveal insights into causes of miscarriages for some women

August 9, 2017
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified how natural killer cells in the mouse placenta can cause a fetus to fail to grow in the womb or cause miscarriages.

Insomnia, sleep apnea nearly double the risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks

August 9, 2017
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers ...

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases

August 1, 2017
A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other ...

Negative birth outcomes linked to air pollution exposure early in pregnancy, study finds

July 27, 2017
Exposure to air pollution early in a pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, and published on July 27 in Environmental Health ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.