Does having a cesarean section affect my baby’s health?
A C-section may be medically necessary for certain medical reasons or, as an emergency for the health of the mother or the baby. However, the incidence of C- sections around the world is increasing at an alarming rate. In 2016, 32% of deliveries in North America 24.5% of deliveries in Western Europe, and 41% in South America were by C-section. In 2021 the incidence of C-sections was between 5.7% in Yemen to 57.3% in Egypt.
As informed parents it is important for you to be aware of both the short-term and long-term risks and benefits of a C-section so, when you have a choice, and, you don’t need an emergency C section for your health or the health of the baby, you can have an informed and empowered discussion with your doctor.
A very large study done in 2018 reviewed the results of 80 previous studies that involving more than 29 million (29,928,274) participants mostly in high-income countries. Read study by Plos Organization
This observational study was done to evaluate the long-term risks and benefits of C-sections on mothers, their babies, and on future pregnancies. It showed some interesting results that you, as an informed parent-to-be should be aware of, so you can make the best decision for yourself and your baby.
Long-term effects of C-Section on mothers
- Doing a C-section decreases the chances of urinary incontinence (inability to hold urine) in moms.
- It lowers the risk of prolapse of pelvic organs in women years after the C-section.
- The risk of infertility and difficulties conceiving increases
- It leads to possible complications with the placenta during later pregnancies
- There is an increased risk of uterine rupture during pregnancies
- There is a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirths
Long-term effects on babies
- They an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese before they’re 5 years old.
- They have a higher risk of developing asthma and wheezing up until they’re 12 years old.
The reason for these risks is thought to be that “C-section delivery prevents babies from receiving beneficial germs in their mother’s microbiome, which, in turn, affects immune system development.” Read study by the State University of New Jersey
During your pregnancy it is very important to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about how you are going to deliver your baby. Vaginal delivery, even though it may be uncomfortable for you in the short term, is always best. However, you may have certain health conditions that make a C-section necessary, or, complications may arise during delivery that make an emergency C-section necessary.
Rest assured, even if it is necessary, there is now some very promising research on the use of probiotics in babies born by C-section. This research is ongoing and is showing that breastfeeding exclusively and using certain probiotics may lower your baby’s chances of developing asthma, allergies, and possibly obesity.
If you have delivered by C-section, talk to your doctor about your concerns and ask about giving your newborn probiotics under their supervision to make sure your baby stays safe and healthy. Read study by PubMed
More Studies & Resource Articles:
- Article 1: Beneficial bacteria can be restored to C-section babies at birth
- Article 2: Probiotics could give cesarean section babies a healthier start
Also read about Vitamin K
To your holistic health and happiness,
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