Many studies have been conducted to examine whether Caesarean Section (CS) or vaginal birth (VB) was optimal for better maternal and neonatal outcomes in preterm births. However, findings remain unclear. Therefore, this secondary analysis of World Health Organization Global Survey (GS) and Multi-country Survey (MCS) databases was conducted to investigate outcomes of preterm birth by mode of delivery.
The sample were women with singleton neonates (15,471 of 237 facilities from 21 countries in GS; and 15,053 of 239 facilities from 21 countries in MCS) delivered between 22 and <37 weeks of gestation. We assessed association between mode of delivery and pregnancy outcomes in singleton preterm births by multilevel logistic regression adjusted for hierarchical data.
The prevalences of women with preterm birth delivered by CS were 31.0% and 36.7% in GS and MCS, respectively. Compared with VB, CS was associated with significantly increased odds of maternal intensive care unit admission, maternal near miss, and neonatal intensive care unit admission but significantly decreased odds of fresh stillbirth, and perinatal death.
However, since the information on justification for mode of delivery (MOD) were not available, our results of the potential benefits and harms of CS should be carefully considered when deciding MOD in preterm births.