Babies born through Caesarean section are at risk of becoming obese by two fold, compared to those delivered naturally, claims a recent US research. A team from Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts, stated that C-section might affect bacteria in the gut, which in turn affects the way food is digested.
For their study the team examined more than twelve hundred mother and child pairs over three years, the mother joined the study before twenty-two weeks of pregnancy. Researchers measured weight of the babies at the time of birth and at the age of three. About one in four of the deliveries were caesarean and remaining were vaginal deliveries.
After considering aspects such as obesity, skin thickness and how a child was born, researchers found that about sixteen percent of babies born through C-section were obese by the age of three compared to seven and half percent those born through traditional technique. The study findings were published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal.
Babies who born surgically are nor exposed to bacteria that are beneficial for them, so their bodies take longer to accrue good bacterial that boost metabolism of the body. Obese adults less likely to have friendly bacteria in their digestive tract, therefore, they burn fewer calories and store more of them as fat.
Earlier studies have shown that obese women are more likely to need a caesarean, and are more likely to have children who grow up to be overweight or obese. Therefore, expectant mothers should be made aware of the potential health risks to the baby when choosing a C-section birth if it is not necessary.