Caesareans may double the risk of childhood obesity

There is some good-quality research coming out about the risks associated with caesareans that were never thought to have links with caesareans.  The typical risks that are quoted relate to bleeding, infection, damage to bladder and bowel etc, but more and more we are finding that there are other risks attached to caesareans, such as an increased chance of asthma, allergies, diabetes in children and Caesarean section delivery has already been linked to an increased risk of subsequent childhood asthma and allergic rhinitis, and around one in three babies born in the US is delivered this way.

This study found that women who delivered by caesarean tended to weigh more than those delivering vaginally, and the birthweight for gestational age of their babies also tended to be higher.  These mums also breastfed their babies for a shorter period (and we know that there are links between shorter duration of breastfeeding and childhood obesity).

But irrespective of birth weight, and after taking account of maternal weight, a caesarean was associated with a doubling in the odds of obesity by the time the child was three years old.

The researchers speculate that one possible explanation for their findings is the difference in the composition of gut bacteria acquired at birth between the two delivery methods.

Visit my website to learn more about my services.