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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2011, Article ID 186560, 5 pages
Review Article

Review of the Recent Literature on the Mode of Delivery for Singleton Vertex Preterm Babies

Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sheffield S10 2SF, UK

Received 26 March 2011; Accepted 26 May 2011

Academic Editor: Yves Jacquemyn

Copyright © 2011 Smriti Ray Chaudhuri Bhatta and Remon Keriakos. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Choosing the safest method of delivery and preventing preterm labour are obstetric challenges in reducing the number of preterm births and improving outcomes for mother and baby. Optimal route of delivery for preterm vertex neonates has been a controversial topic in the obstetric and neonatal community for decades and continues to be debated. We reviewed 22 studies, most of which have been published over the last five years with an aim to find answers to the clinical questions relevant to deciding the mode of delivery. Findings suggested that the neonatal outcome does not depend on the mode of delivery. Though Caesarean section rates are increasing for preterm births, it does not prevent neurodisability and cannot be recommended unless there are other obstetric indications to justify it. Therefore, clinical judgement of the obstetrician depending on the individual case still remains important in deciding the mode of delivery.