The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) recently stated that “vaginal delivery is reasonable in selected women with a term singleton breech fetus.” While this change in attitude about mode of delivery for breech babies is interesting, what really caught my eye was another statement the SOCG made while explaining their change in policy.
The researchers reviewing a large trial of breech babies delivered vaginally as compared to breech babies delivered by c-section reported:
With the limitations in the [Term Breech Trial] TBT, women had a 97% chance of having a neurologically normal two-year old, regardless of planned mode of birth. Those randomized to a trial of labour had a 6% absolute lower chance (or 30% relative risk reduction) of having a two-year-old child with unspecified medical problems, suggesting some lasting benefit of labour to the newborn immune system” (emphasis mine).
Isn’t it interesting that researchers continue to discover new benefits to normal labor and birth? There is so much we still do not know about the process of labor and birth, and its impact on growth and development of the child. Common sense would then dictate that we go to every effort to preserve the normal, physiological process of birth whenever possible.