STUDY: Vaginal birth as safe as c-section for twin births

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This is good news for pregnant mums of twins wanting a vaginal birth.

When carrying twins, the assumption is that delivery of the babies is almost always via cesarian-section. However, a new study claims that a vaginal birth for women carrying twins might be just as safe as a c-section delivery. 

In the hands of an experienced obstetrician, there is no difference between the two delivery methods in relation to the health and safety of both mummy and her babies, claims the study. 

“Studies have suggested that maybe cesarean delivery is the best way, but there’s no evidence to support the swing to cesarean birth. Perhaps the perception is that it’s better for the baby,” explained the study’s lead author, Dr. Jon Barrett, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada.

The study

To find out if a c-section had more advantages than a vaginal birth in relation to twins, Dr. Barret and his team recruited over 2,500 pregnant women from 25 countries in their study. All of them were between 32 weeks and 38 weeks pregnant. 

Each mum had delivery planned between 37 weeks and 38 weeks of gestation. Their babies were deemed to be at a healthy weight for their gestational age and the first twin was in the head down position (making delivery easier). 

Half of the women were to deliver their babies vaginally, and the other half via c-section. Both mums and babies were monitored for 28 days after birth for serious issues such as spinal cord injuries or lung damage in the babies, as well as adverse health outcomes in the women. 

Study authors noted no difference in the rate of occurrence of serious medical outcomes in both groups, and among babies and mums. 

“This study found that a plan to deliver by cesarean or vaginally will yield a roughly equivalent result. It’s a good study that should reassure women who want a vaginal delivery and their obstetricians that it’s a reasonable and safe option,” said Dr. Michael Greene, director of obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

While the results of the study give reassurance to pregnant mums of twins wanting to deliver vaginally, Barrett and Greene both advise that such mum should ensure their obstetrician is experienced in delviering twins vaginally.

Ages & Stages Baby Twins and Multiples