There is much debate over the rising number of c-sections performed in many countries. Currently, the c-section rate is at an all-time high with as many as one in three women undergoing surgery to have their babies.
Although a csection is generally considered safe, it is still a major surgical procedure that includes serious risks to mothers and babies. Now, a new study reports that risk includes breastfeeding complications and infections within the baby.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, “babies born by cesarean are much more likely to be admitted to hospital with gastrointestinal disease or chest infections in their first year of life than those born naturally.”
Researchers from the Kolling institute at Royal North Shore Hospital conducted a study of babies born by c-section. It was found that those babies were 22 to 26 percent more likely to be hospitalized with gastrointestinal disease and about 12 percent more likely to be admitted with bronchiolitis because they believe babies born by c-section could miss out on picking up important “gut bacteria” that children born naturally get during birth. Earlier Australian research discovered a link between bronchiolitis and cesareans existed with only planned c-sections, suggesting labor itself could activate the mothers’ immune system.
But Mr Algert said his research indicated it was the birth that was important.
“We take all these yogurts and things to get the right bacteria in our guts but the baby traveling through the birth canal is going to get the right sorts of bacteria”.
The study, which analysed data from 626,700 births in NSW between 2001 and 2008, found women who gave birth by caesarean were 70 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with a complication affecting breastfeeding. And the babies of the women with breastfeeding problems were then 30 per cent more likely to be hospitalized with gastrointestinal problems.
What are your thoughts? Would this study change your mind on scheduling a c-section, if that is your preferred choice of birth?