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Early Cesareans put babies at risk, study finds


5 Star

Early Cesareans put babies at risk, study finds

Our Review Summary

31% of all births in the U.S. in 2006 were performed via Cesarean Section, well above the WHO’s recommendation that this percentage should not exceed 15%. The number of C-sections is rising, mostly because many women who had a C-section for their last baby are choosing to have another C-section rather than trying to give birth vaginally. Because this type of C-section is scheduled, there may be some pressure to schedule it earlier than recommended for the convenience of the mother, family, or physician. This study examines the risks of scheduling the procedure at 37 weeks–when babies generally reach gestational maturity–or later, but before the recommended 39 weeks.

This story does a good job of describing the current study and quantifying the results. The story quotes multiple experts who provide different perspectives.

In all, this was a very well done story that provides valuable information to the readers – and in only about 500 words.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

No data comparing costs of c-section vs. vaginal birth is provided.

This is surprising, given the fact that one reason experts discourage elective c-sections is high cost.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The story quantifiies the risks of C-section. The story could have provided context for these numbers by comparing them to natural birth.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?


The story adequately describes the harms of C-section.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?


The story does a good job of describing the current study.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?


The story does not engage in disease mongering.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?


Clearly vaginal labor after C-section is the alternative to elective repeat C-section. The story could have done more to discuss the pros and cons of vaginal delivery after C-section.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?


The "growing number of planned C-sections" is clear from the story.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?


Some of the history and much of the context of the use of planned C-sections is clear from the piece.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?


Because the story quotes multiple experts, it is clear that the story does not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 9 of 10 Satisfactory


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