C-section babies more likely to grow up obese according to new study
This is because babies removed directly from the womb are never exposed to the beneficial bacteria they get through a natural birth.
Fat babies are universally adorable, but once they are older, it is generally ideal for them to maintain a healthy body weight.
According to new studies, however, babies who had been delivered via C-section are more likely to be obese children than those who were born vaginally.
Conducted by experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, the study also said that there is a 15% chance that those born via C-section will be more likely to be obese by the time they reach their teenage years.
“Although in many cases the operation is necessary to avoid complications, doctors are increasingly aware it may have a knock-on impact on the child later in life,” said a Mail Online report.
“Experts think this is mainly because babies removed directly from the womb are never exposed to the beneficial bacteria they would get through a natural birth.
“Passing through the birth canal primes their immune system and helps prepare their metabolism for the rigours of life, scientists think.”
Published in the journal JAMA Paediatrics, the researchers looked into more than 22,000 people at birth.
They were then examined when they were aged between nine and 14.
Those who who had been born via C-section were 15% more likely to be obese than those who underwent a natural birth.
Researchers revisited the participants when they were aged 20 to 28 and discovered that the connection between C-section and obesity remained, although it dropped to just 10%.
Jorge Chavarro, the study’s senior author and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology, said: “Caesarean deliveries are without a doubt a necessary and lifesaving procedure in many cases.
“But Caesareans also have some known risks to the mother and the newborn. Our findings show that risk of obesity in the offspring could be another factor to consider.”
He also said that the study’s results establishes the “compelling evidence” that there is a connection between Caesarean birth and childhood obesity, and that it’s real.
Meanwhile, according to Dr Daghni Rajasingam, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the results of the study are interesting but further research needs to go into it.
Doctors also need to inform women about the risks and benefits of C-section.
He also said:
“Currently in England, the rate of Caesarean section is 26.2 per cent, this figure has been rising slowly over the last decade and could be explained by various factors which make childbirth more difficult including; a rise in older mothers and more obese mothers.
“We must remember that in some cases an emergency Caesarean section is carried out to save the life of the mother and/or baby.”
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