Will my daughter be obese because I had a c-section?
When I got pregnant with my first child, I knew I would try everything within my power to have a vaginal delivery. In preparation, I took prenatal yoga classes twice a week and attended hypnobirthing classes that prepared me to deliver naturally without any drugs. Unfortunately, life had other plans for me and I pretty much ended up going through all the possible scenarios before been wheeled into the OR for a much dreaded c-section.
My aversion to a cesarean delivery stemmed from many places, but the most important one had to do with all the health risks associated with it, including the notion that babies born via c-section have a higher risk of asthma--which my daughter has--than those delivered vaginally. And now a new study has found that c-section babies are twice as likely to be obese by age 3 compared to those born vaginally.
Read more in ¿Qué más?: Want to deliver without pain or drugs? Try hypnosis
If I understand correctly, the reason might have to do with how babies born via c-section are not exposed to their mother's vaginal microbes, which are responsible for affecting the makeup of the bacteria that populate infants' digestive tracts. It turns out that c-section babies have higher quantities of a bacteria which influences weight in their guts during their first year of life.
Sounds complicated, but it goes to show there's more than one reason why women are supposed to give birth vaginally. The good news, at least for me, is that my daughter is almost 6 years old and she's never even been anywhere near being considered overweight, let alone obese. I guess she got lucky, but who knows if being a baby born via c-section will affect her weight later on in her life.
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Nevertheless, if you're pregnant and you're considering having an elective c-section, you might to read about this study in more detail before you make up your mind. I'm thinking you'd be better off making your decision after you're fully informed of the long-lasting effects that having a c-section can have on your child.
Did you elect to have a c-section? Please leave us a comment to tell us why.
Image via Tammra McCauley/flickr