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C-Section Leads to Overweight Babies?
As if there weren’t already enough concerns about c-section births, their risks vs. rewards, and whether or not it is a good idea to have one, there is new research coming out that suggests that c-sections could potentially be linked to childhood obesity. The study suggests that babies that are born via c-section are growing up to be heavier kids and teens than babies born vaginally. But why could this be? And what is the evidence? Read on for more info. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
This new meta-analysis suggests #CSection ?? higher risk of #asthma and childhood #obesity. Are there biological mechanisms to explain this? Or is residual #confounding a more obvious explanation? Thoughts? https://t.co/U6f0UgAjP2
— Emily R Smith, ScD MPH (@emily_ers) January 26, 2018
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine studied more than 10,000 babies that were born in Avon, the UK in 1991 and 1992, and followed them all until they reached age 15. The findings were alarming. Of the 10,000+ babies that were born, around nine percent were born via c-section.
What was really strange, was that the babies that were born via c-section were born smaller than the babies born vaginally. However, starting at around six weeks old, the c-section babies were consistently heavier than the vaginally delivered babies. The link was especially prominent in mothers who were overweight when they had c-sections. Those babies were the heaviest of all.
The reasons for the correlations between c-sections and heavier babies are not clear at this time. Some experts think that some babies just tend to gain weight more easily and that the correlation really isn’t all that alarming. Some other experts believe that the c-section babies were heavier because they were, on average, born to heavier mothers.
But, some experts think that there are other reasons that c-section babies tend to weigh more. The trip through the birth canal exposes babies to helpful bacteria. When babies don’t get that helpful bacteria, experts think this might set them up for obesity down the road. The reasons are still unclear, but there is sure to be much more research on this subject in the future, so we can hopefully understand a better correlation.
What It Means
Really, we don’t know for sure what this new research means. It does for sure mean that women who are getting c-sections, whether it be for medical reasons or other reasons, should definitely be counseled before having a c-section done, and they should be informed of the risk of having an overweight child later in life.
We also need to look more closely at breastfeeding and c-sections, and what the correlation there is between breastfeeding, c-section, and obesity. It has been proven that breastfed babies are less likely to be obese or overweight than formula fed babies. The truth is, this is just such a new area, we are honestly going to have to wait and see what the future holds, and what new research comes about in the years to come.