Skip to Content

Supplemental Oxygen Often Unnecessary During Childbirth

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2021 -- Use of maternal oxygen during childbirth is not associated with improved neonatal outcomes, according to a review published online Jan. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Nandini Raghuraman, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized clinical trials comparing oxygen to room air at the time of scheduled cesarean delivery or labor in patients with singleton, nonanomalous pregnancies.

Among 16 included studies (1,078 patients in the oxygen group; 974 patients in the room air group), the researchers observed significant heterogeneity; however, overall, oxygen administration was associated with no significant difference in umbilical artery (UA) pH (weighted mean difference, 0.00; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.01 to 0.01). There was an increase seen in UA PaO2 (weighted mean difference, 2.57 mm Hg; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.80 to 4.34 mm Hg) associated with oxygen use, but there was no significant difference in UA base excess, UA pH <7.2, Apgar scores, or neonatal intensive care unit admissions. Oxygen use in women undergoing scheduled cesarean delivery was associated with increased UA PaO2 (weighted mean difference, 2.12 mm Hg; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.09 to 4.15 mm Hg) and a reduction in the incidence of UA pH <7.2 (relative risk, 0.63; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.90), but these findings were not seen among women using oxygen during labor (PaO2: weighted mean difference, 3.60 mm Hg [95 percent confidence interval, −0.30 to 7.49 mm Hg]; UA pH <7.2: relative risk, 1.34 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.58 to 3.11]).

"It is such a common practice because the thought is that by giving mom oxygen, we are increasing oxygen transfer to the baby," Raghuraman said in a statement. "However, the results of this study suggest that oxygen is not helpful in these cases and that the practice could be safely discontinued for many women."

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Read this next

Maternal Cardiovascular Health in Pregnancy Tied to Offspring Cardiovascular Health

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- Better maternal cardiovascular health (CVH) at 28 weeks of gestation is significantly associated with better offspring CVH at ages 10 to 14 years,...

Birth Weight Modifies Link Between Adult IGF-1 Levels, T2DM

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- Birth weight modifies the association between adulthood levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and development of type 2 diabetes...

Treatment to Lower RA Disease Activity Feasible in Pregnancy

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2021 -- Low disease activity and remission are feasible goals for women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cared for with a modern treatment approach during...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.