Caesarean births could offer a safer option for women expecting twins and may prevent infant deaths, according to researchers recently
Because of possible complications during labour and birth, the second-born twin has a higher risk of dying during the birth than the first, particularly if the babies are full term, they said.
Doctors at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, England, believe a planned Caesarean section delivery could reduce the risk of death: â€œPlanned Caesarean section of twins at term may prevent prenatal deaths,â€ said Professor Gordon Smith, who headed the research team.
â€œWe propose that women with twins should be counselled about the risk to the second twin and the theoretical possibility of a protective effect of planned Caesarean section,â€ he added. The researchers analysed details of the births of 4,500 premature and full-term twins born in Scotland between 1992 and 1997.
Their study is published in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal. Among the 2,500 full-term twin births, one second-born twin in every 270 births died because of complications, usually a lack of oxygen during the birth.
But there were no deaths among second twins delivered through Caesarean section. Multiple births are riskier for both the mother and child. They are more likely to result in early delivery, prematurity and low birthweight babies and can also increase the risk of disability and poor health in the child and stress and psychological problems for the mother.
The number of multiple births has soared because of fertility treatments when more than one embryo is implanted into the womb to increase the odds of a pregnancy.
Smith said the increased risk of complications to twins that they observed in the study was high in comparison to those of a single baby.
The researchers said women expecting twins should be informed about the possible complications so that they can make an informed choice about the type of delivery they would prefer.
â€˜Ceasarean safer for twinsâ€™