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Women Should Be Given Antibiotics Within One Hour Before Caesarian Delivery

Pregnant women about to undergo a cesarean section delivery should be given antibiotics within 1 hour right before the procedure to help prevent infections, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends.

Infection is the most common complication of cesarean delivery and occurs in 10 percent to 40 percent of women who have the procedure, compared with 1 percent to 3 percent of women who deliver vaginally.

Typically, antibiotics were only given after a cesarean delivery because it was believed that if they were given prior to birth, they would make their way into the baby's blood and interfere with newborn lab tests or lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in the newborn.  But the latest data showed that the preoperative antibiotics do not appear to harm the newborn baby and at the same time significantly reduce maternal infections.