Well as a mother of a child that suffered two strokes during her vaginal delivery, I found this article to be very interesting and helpful as I have been debating whether or not to deliver vaginally or via cesarean section for the upcoming birth of my second daughter. This article published online in an issue of Radiology states that;
“Pregnant women were recruited for a prospective study of neonatal brain development…After informed consent was obtained from a parent, neonates were imaged with 3.0-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging…Medical records were prospectively and retrospectively reviewed for selected risk factors, which included method of delivery, duration of labor, and evidence of maternal or neonatal birth trauma. Risk factors were assessed for relationship to ICH by using Fisher exact test statistics.
Ninety-seven neonates underwent MR imaging between the ages of 1 and 5 weeks. Eighty-eight (44 male and 44 female) neonates (65 with vaginal delivery and 23 with cesarean delivery) completed the MR imaging evaluation. Seventeen neonates with ICHs (16 subdural, two subarachnoid, and six parenchymal hemorrhages) were identified. Seven infants had two or more types of hemorrhages. All neonates with ICH were delivered vaginally, with a prevalence of 26% in vaginal births. ICH was significantly associated with vaginal birth but not with prolonged duration of labor or with traumatic or assisted vaginal birth. “
These number are staggering, at least to me. More studies on this subject should be pursued. All of the babies [involved with the study] with intercranial hemorrhage were delivered vaginally.
And according to a follow-up article posted by the Radiological Society of North America;
“Small bleeds in and around the brain are very common in infants who are born vaginally,” said John H. Gilmore, M.D., professor of psychiatry and Vice-Chair for Research and Scientific Affairs at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. “It seems that a normal vaginal birth can cause these small bleeds.”
“In our study, neither the size of the baby or the baby’s head, the length of the labor, nor the use of vacuum or forceps to assist the delivery caused the bleeds,” Dr. Gilmore said. “The bleeds are probably caused by pressure on the skull during delivery.”
I don’t know about you but this article is enough to make me call up my OB right now to schedule the c-section. I am heartbroken by this idea, but it really is what is best for the baby, and you know, you’ve just got to do your homework in these types of situations and make an informed decision for yourself.