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Keywords:

  • multiple sclerosis;
  • birth outcome;
  • pregnancy complications;
  • caesarean section;
  • birth weight

Objective –  The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of maternal multiple sclerosis (MS) on delivery and birth outcome in births without planned caesarean section.

Methods –  Data were collected from the compulsory Medical Birth Registry of Norway from 1988 to 2002. Intended vaginal births in this time period were 449 births given by MS mothers and 851,060 control births.

Results –  The MS mothers had a higher rate of induction of labour, and there was a strong trend for slower progression of second stage of labour and increased use of forceps. The MS group had lower birth weight and length of the neonates. The frequency of birth defects and the neonatal mortality were not increased in the MS group.

Conclusions –  Maternal MS affects the birth process and the neonate prenatally, even when the births with planned caesarean section are excluded. MS-related neuronal dysfunction linked to the uterus, is postulated as the most likely mechanism.