To C-Section or not to C-Section
More and more women are opting for C-sections. Should you?
In Singapore, there is an increasing trend of mothers-to-be opting for a C-section rather than undergoing the traditional vaginal delivery. Currently, up to 30% of births are by C-section. Reasons for this are slowly shifting from the medical emergency need of C-sections to it being a choice mostly due to the fear of undergoing labour.
So what does it mean? Is it a good idea to go for a C-section or not? While there are benefits for opting for a c-section, the men in white lab coats now believe that babies delivered by C-section are more vulnerable to certain infections and allergies. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences attributes it to the bacteria typically found on the skin – being infected by these bugs (not normally contracted in vaginal delivery), affects the health of babies as they grow and develop.
Dr Noah Fierer, one of the study leaders from the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, said: “In a sense the skin of newborn infants is like freshly tilled soil that is awaiting seeds for planting – in this case, bacterial communities. The microbial communities that cluster on newborns essentially act as their first inoculation.”
He added: “In C-sections, the bacterial communities of infants could come from the first person to handle the baby, perhaps the father.”
Besides that studies indicate that there are also long term risks to C-sections, such as allergies, asthma and even increased tooth decay.