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Early caesarians ‘put babies at risk’

More than one-third of repeat elective caesareans are being delivered earlier than the term mandated by the government, jeopardising the health of thousands of babies each year.

NSW Health issued a policy directive to hospitals in 2007 requiring them not to perform elective caesareans before 39 weeks’ gestation unless there was a compelling medical reason.┬áCaesarean babies delivered earlier than 39 weeks have higher rates of respiratory distress and most international obstetric associations recommend that they are not delivered before that date.