Study finds that kids born by C-Section have higher risk of chronic diseases
Research studies have found that about one quarter of babies born in the United Kingdom are through c-section. Increasing number of babies are being born through caesarean section nowadays and the consequences of this high incidence of kids born by c-section needs to be understood.
1 Global Health Issue
The need for a Caesarean delivery can be a medical necessity as advised by doctors. However, it has also been seen that mothers themselves too go for this method of giving birth. Kids born by C-section are on the rise as evident from the figures. Studies point that around 2.5 % of births globally are caesarean and these are requested by mothers. In China too, 20% of births had been recorded as Caesarean births in 2006.
2 Risks for the Child
Kids born by C-section might require a longer stay in intensive care unit. However, kids born by the normal method too can suffer from serious bruises in their scalp and this might require some therapy.
Though not much information is available on health risks among children born by C-section, small health risks have been noted in c-section delivered babies. These include minimal risk of damage to the brain and injury on nerves in the arm region.
However, it has been noticed that children born by C-section can grow obese and might have diabetes and asthma.
3 Long Term Child Health Risk
A study (Term Breech Trial) found out that children born through caesarean deliveries are at a higher health risk in comparison to those born by the normal method of delivery. Other studies conducted among children born through c-section found that these kids had increased incidence of asthma and diabetes.
Interestingly, one of these studies found that 15.8% of the children born through normal delivery had a chance of becoming obese in comparison to 19.4% of children born through the caesarean method.
Similarly, the incidence of asthma in children born through normal delivery was 7.9% in comparison to 9.5% for children born through the caesarean method. Childhood type 1 diabetes in kids born through normal delivery was 1.79 cases in 1000 children in comparison to 2.13 per 1000 for children who were born through the caesarean method.
The women who give birth through caesarean method are found to be less healthy in comparison to those who give birth through the normal method. Similarly, the children born through caesarean method are also less healthy in comparison to children who are born through the other method.
4 Caesarean birth might be linked to long term health risks
It has been found that children born through the normal birth method have a chance to swallow intestinal bacteria, which have a binding and good effect on their health and they have better chances of remaining healthy in the long run. In the normal birth method, maternal vaginal bacteria are swallowed by babies and these bacteria colonize intestines of babies.
In case of caesarean babies, this kind of exposure to intestinal bacteria is not possible and such children miss the chance to strengthen their immune system.
5 The Expert Opinion
Expert advice is always given to women who wish to undergo caesarean delivery. Guidelines for Caesarean Delivery on Maternal Requests are issued in United States and United Kingdom.
Experts have suggested that women who are in healthy condition should go for normal delivery only. They suggest that women who still wish to undergo caesarean delivery should be oriented towards the health risks of this method of delivery.
Interestingly, experts did not mention the recent health risks found to be associated with both methods of delivery. These risks include incidences of obesity, diabetes and asthma.
The talk on preferable method of delivery by any woman needs to be debated at a wider perspective. The evidences and findings of recent health research on these aspects need to be kept in mind while framing an advisory for women.
If such a detailed advisory is prepared, it can act as a guiding document, both for doctors and expecting mothers. Caesarean birth should be a medical emergency scenario only and mothers should be advised clearly on the health risks associated with this method of delivery.
The final choice though has to be left to the expecting mother only, the experts point out.