Predict Your Chances Of A C-Section

No one can guarantee how your labor and delivery experience will be, but if you could predict your chances of having a caesarean section versus a vaginal birth, would you jump at the chance to know? A new software program called PREDIBIRTH has been designed to identify potential high-risk delivery problems and could be used to help doctors reduce the risk of an emergency c-section. Learn how this virtual childbirth program can forecast birthing scenarios and cut your chances of delivery complications.

Mom and newborn

Caesarean prediction software makes its debut

Even before your birth story is written, many mommies-to-be would be intrigued to get a sneak peek at how it will all turn out. Well, thanks to advances in technology, that dream may be closer to reality than you think! In a recent study, a newly developed computer software program called PREDIBIRTH was used in combination with MRIs of a mother-to-be and her fetus to get a better gauge on a woman's potential for difficulties during labor. Using the new software, Dr. Olivier Ami, M.D., Ph.D., and a team of researchers at Université Paris Sud in France calculated the potential labor and delivery outcomes of 24 pregnant women.

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Simulator scores likelihood of vaginal birth

Similar to a set of maps for your pea in the pod, the study created a three-dimensional image and simulations of possible courses of the baby's head through the birth canal. Based on these mock-ups, the program tallied up a score for each mother's likelihood of a normal vaginal delivery.

When computed retrospectively against delivery outcomes for the 24 women in the study, women who scored as highly favorable by the simulator had a normal vaginal delivery. Women who scored as high risk for a difficult birth delivered via elective c-section, while emergency caesarean sections were performed on women who scored mildly favorable. Although knowing is nice, you may still be what it means for you and your bun in the oven.

Childbirth program may reduce rate of emergency c-sections

In the U.S., c-sections account for approximately one-third of all births. Although emergency c-sections will still exist due to unexpected complications such as heart rhythm abnormalities, it seems that doctors may be able to cut down on the number of surprise surgeries in the delivery room. "An emergency c-section has six to seven times more morbidity and mortality than a planned c-section," Dr. Ami said. "With this virtual childbirth software, the majority of c-sections could be planned rather than emergency, and difficult instrumental extractions might disappear in the near future."

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Ultimately, the ability of this virtual childbirth program to forecast birthing scenarios can mean fewer newborn fatalities in the delivery room and a safer outcome for you and your baby as she makes her grand entrance into the world. Although avoiding caesarean surgeries altogether would be nice, many parents-to-be will agree that predicting the likelihood of a vaginal birth and being prepared for a possible c-section if necessary is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to meeting your bundle of joy.

Learn more about caesarean births

Caesarean births pose higher risks for mother and baby
Caesarean recovery: What nobody tells you

Prior caesarean not linked to greater risk of stillbirth

Tags: caesarean complications

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