For the majority of women, a natural, vaginal birth is the preferred method of delivery. Unfortunately, things don't always work out that way. Whether the decision is made before you go into labour or in the delivery room, sometimes C-sections cannot be avoided.
Previously available research has suggested that babies delivered via C-section are more likely to develop health issues while a new study suggests that not all C-sections have the same impact, and that planned C-sections may carry greater risks.
The study, published in the journal JAMA
, had researchers keeping tabs on more than 320,000 full-term, firstborn babies in Scotland over 15 years. They were separated into three groups: those born vaginally, those born via planned C-section and those born via emergency C-section. The researchers then had a closer look at the state of their health.
They discovered that babies born via planned C-sections developed more health issues than the other babies including a greater incidence of obesity and allergies. These babies had a 35% higher risk of type 1 diabetes when compared to emergency C-section babies, and a greater risk of asthma and death after one year compared to babies born vaginally.
[bctt tweet="Why Your Ob-Gyn Doesn't Want You To Have A Scheduled C-Section"]
Before everyone begins to panic, it is important to note that the study didn't show that planned C-sections cause these issues, just that there was an association.
But this is still disturbing news, especially when you consider that 1 in 3 babies in the United States is born via C-section. The question still remains, why does it matter if the mother labours?
Hormones and bacteria is the answer. “It has already been documented that exposure of babies to the mother’s bacteria during [vaginal] labor may have a protective effect against future illnesses,” says Pari Ghodsi, M.D., board-certified ob-gyn. “In addition, the stress of labor on the baby may lead to a hormone release in the baby that matures its organs and protects against future illnesses.”
But there is still so much that is unknown about this connection explains, Stephen Thung, M.D., chair of obstetrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Ghodsi says that doctors aren't encouraged to order C-sections and are instead being asked to understand the risks associated with all types of delivery. It shouldn't come as a shock that C-sections carry risks. These risks include, heavy bleeding, hemorrhaging and the possibility of requiring further surgery. “A cesarean delivery is a significant abdominal surgery that should be avoided when possible,” says Thung. “That being said, there are times when a cesarean section can be lifesaving.”
Ghodshi believes that all doctors have a responsibility to avoid doing unnecessary C-sections. Don't get too caught up in the idea of picking your child's birthday just because you can! Many people hold this false belief that planned C-sections are safer. “Many people falsely believe that a scheduled cesarean section is the safest way to deliver a baby,” says Thung. “But choosing to have an elective cesarean delivery without a good medical reason may pose unintended risks to the baby.”
If a cesarean, planned or otherwise, ends up being the only option available to you, Ghodshi says you shouldn't worry too much about it. “In many instances, it is the safest choice for both mother and baby,” she says. “Your doctor must weigh all of the risks and benefits of a cesarean and discuss them with you.”
What do you think of these recent findings? Do you think it is possible that planned C-sections pose a greater threat to the future health of the baby?
Source: Women's Health
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