50% cesarean babies more likely to be obese: Study
A new study has found these infants are also more likely to suffer asthma during childhood while their mothers face greater risk of future miscarriage and infertility.
A review of the long-term benefits and risks of Caesareans, which looked at 79 scientific studies involving nearly 30 million women, found an average of 9.2 in every 100 babies born naturally were obese before the age of five.
But for those who were born by caesarean that rises to almost 14 out of every 100 babies.
The study also found babies born by caesarean were nearly 20 per cent more likely to have asthma before the age of 12. Asthma rates rose from around 3.05 in 100 babies born naturally to 3.65 in every 100 who had C-section births.
Dr Sarah Stock, who co-authored the review from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘Although we cannot conclude that caesarean delivery causes certain outcomes, pregnant women and clinicians should be aware that caesarean delivery is associated with long-term risks for the baby and for subsequent pregnancies.”
Dr Stock said while the study did not examine the cause of weight gain for babies born via C-section it may be mums recovering from the surgery are less able to breastfeed.
Breastfed children are less likely to be obese.
The study — published in the PLOS Medicine journal — also found women who have a caesarean are less likely to suffer urinary incontinence or a pelvic prolapse.