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.

Want to find other moms como tú? "Like" MamásLatinas on Facebook!

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

Topics: about pregnancy  pregnant  pregnancy statistics


on Jun 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I guess what it means they are at higher risk of obesity but there are ways to prevent this by making sure that the mom's take responsibility to make sure that these children are given a healthy lifestyle as they are growing up; healthy food and exercise( cut the soda only for special times and make exercise a fun daily routine and no junk food please!) 

Report this comment
on Jun 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Kids are overweight because they overfeed.  That is a fact.  The problem is that a lot of parents give them a bottle every single time they cry to keep them quiet.  That is what cause the problem.  I had 2 c sections and my kids have never been overweight (so far), in fact, there was a stage where they were both underweight and had to feed them more.  I have never forced them to eat and if they were full, they were full.  Now they eat the same way, if they are full, they are full; no need to finish the food.  But in our case I guess they have also been blessed with my husband's genes.  He can lose weight just by being stressed.  The funny thing is he eats more when he stressed, but loses weight.  I can breathe and I will gain a pound.  

But seriously, I do not agree at all with this study.  My sister had her 2 children vaginally and they are both obese.  And I have friends that did c sections who have very skinny kids and those vaginally and they are very overweight.  This sounds like a lot of money wasted in a  useless study.  Probably to encourage women to not have C sections.  I spent 36 hours in labor before I agreed to it.  

Report this comment
1-2 of 2
To leave a comment on this story, please log in with:
  • Facebook
  • MamásLatinas
  • Comment as a Guest
you are logged in as (logout)
Submitting comment, please wait...