Childhood Obesity Linked to Cesarean Deliveries

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"It's well known that breastfeeding decreases the chances of obesity in children. A C-section makes breast feeding more challenging, and surgery delays when the milk comes in usually by at least a day. It's also a major abdominal surgery, which is painful."

The authors didn't find that feeding played a role, but the data could be hiding something that's difficult to find.

< "There could be subtle effects of feeding they couldn't tease out of the data," said Dr. Ian Holzman, chief of newborn medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He was also not involved in the study.

Other than some small studies, there hasn't been much research that explored the association between obesity and type of delivery, Huh said.

Holzman said while he wasn't very familiar with the link between obesity and C-section delivery, the study is important because it reinforces the message that unnecessary cesareans can be dangerous to mothers and babies.

"C-section babies are known to have a bit more breathing problems around the time of birth and a bit higher incidence of ending up in the neonatal intensive care unit. There are also potential risks related to feeding problems, and this study suggests there might also be another effect," he said. "It's worth thinking about whether there are other impacts of C-sections."

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