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Q: Differences between babies born naturally vs. via c-section ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Differences between babies born naturally vs. via c-section
Category: Health > Children
Asked by: mharoks-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 24 Feb 2005 21:49 PST
Expires: 26 Mar 2005 21:49 PST
Question ID: 480523
Are there any differences in later life between babies born naturally
or via c-section (e.g., in terms of health, personality, intelligence,
or some other factor)?
Subject: Re: Differences between babies born naturally vs. via c-section
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Feb 2005 22:58 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Some studies have indicated that C-section babies may be more likely
to develop food allergies and/or asthma, problems that may continue
later in life. It has also been suggested that persistent pulmonary
hypertension and schizophrenia may be more common in babies born by
C-section. However, the studies are not conclusive; many of the
infants in these studies were premature, and in some cases involving
emergency C-sections, the babies might have already suffered varying
degrees of fetal distress. To compare such babies with babies born in
uneventful vaginal births may be "apples and oranges."

I've gathered some online info for you:

"For the baby delivered by C-section, there is less likelihood of
successful breast feeding and a greater risk of breathing difficulties
and asthma in childhood and later in life, the report says. Cesarean
section also increases the risk of future infertility for the mother,
the report says, as well as increased risk of problems with the
placenta or rupturing of the uterus in future pregnancies, which can
be serious medical emergencies. (Newsday -- Health)"

SurfWax: News & Articles on Breast Feeding

"Vaginal births may take longer, but women who deliver by Cesarean
section are more likely to develop infections, report poor delivery
experiences and be rehospitalized. What's more, C-section babies are
less likely to be breastfed and are at higher risk for breathing
problems and asthma, according to research conducted by the Maternity
Center Association, a New York-based advocacy group that promotes safe
and effective maternity care."

FindArticles: C-section caveats

"A new study has indicated that Caesarean section babies have a higher
risk of food allergies and diarrhoea during their first year of life.
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany looked
at 865 babies. All of them were breast fed during their first four
months of life.

Researchers say that C section babies are more likely than other
babies to have diarrhoea during their first year of life. Their
chances of being allergic to cow's milk are twice as high as babies
born normally...

The researchers reckon that C section delays (or alters) the normal
bacterial colonisation of the baby's gut. It is thought that gut
bacteria play a vital role in the development of our immune systems.

The researchers suggested that a vaginally delivered baby is picking
up bacteria from the mother's vaginal and anal area while a C-section
baby is picking up other ones from the hospital environment.

Some health experts are saying that there are flaws in the study. For
example, about 25% of C section babies are born two to three weeks
early. This early birth could be playing a role in the findings rather
than the C section."

Only Punjab: Caesarean section babies 

"Babies born via caesarean section (C-section) may face a higher risk
of food allergies and diarrhea as infants than others, a new study

German researchers found babies born via C-section were twice as
likely to be sensitive to common foods, such as cows' milk, at 12
months of age as babies born vaginally. C-section babies were also
more likely to have diarrhea during their first year of life...

The study showed that neither colicky pain nor eczema -- symptoms
associated with food allergies -- during the first four months was
associated with the method of delivery.

But babies born by C-section were 46% more likely to have diarrhea up
to age 12 months than vaginally delivered babies.

In addition, C-section babies were also twice as likely to be
sensitive to cows' milk and any of the other five food allergens
tested at age 12 months.

Researchers suggest that babies delivered via the vaginal canal
acquire the mother's vaginal, intestinal, and other bacteria, which
may help protect them and promote a healthy immune system. But babies
born via C-section acquire bacteria from the hospital environment that
may increase the risk of food allergies and other problems."

My WebMD: C-Section May Increase Kids Allergy Risks

"An interesting article in the April, 2001 issue of the Journal of
Allergy and Clinical Immunology reports that children born by
C-section are more likely to develop asthma than children born

In the study, done in Finland, researchers were able to obtain data
from the National Public Health Institute on asthma, allergic
disorders and obstetric history for 2000 people born in 1966 who
survived to age 31. C-section was done in 5.3% of the population
studied and was strongly associated with current doctor-diagnosed

The Greenwood Center: C-Section Babies More likely to Develop Asthma 

"A new study of women with stalled labor shows that Cęsarean sections
are more likely than vaginal deliveries to result in prolonged
hospitalization and serious bleeding for mothers, with no significant
gain for the health of the newborn...
British researchers say women who are stuck in the middle stage of
labor are better off having a vaginal delivery, even when injurious
instruments are used, and that C-sections should be avoided if

For newborns C-section was a mixed bag. They were 2.6 times more
likely than those delivered by forceps to require intensive care, but
their risk of bruises, scrapes and other injuries was 60 percent
lower, the researchers say. On the other hand, 13 C-section babies had
blood infections, compared with only six in the vaginal delivery
group. The number with jaundice was roughly equal, but tilted more
toward C-section.

The findings appear in the Oct. 13 issue of The Lancet." 

HealthPortal: C-sections linked to bleeding, longer hospital stays

"The incidence of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns
delivered by cesarean section is nearly five times higher than that
observed among babies delivered vaginally, according to a database
analysis of deliveries at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center, in

Among 25,318 deliveries between 1992 and 1999, 4301 were cesareans,
report Dr. Elliot M. Levine and associates in the March issue of
Obstetrics & Gynecology. The incidence of persistent pulmonary
hypertension was 4.0 per 1000 live cesarean births, compared with 0.8
per 1000 live vaginal births.

The authors suggest that labor and vaginal delivery, perhaps by
physical compression in the birth canal, is advantageous for the
pulmonary vascular bed of the neonate."

UK Midwifery Archives: High Rate of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
Seen in Babies Born by C-Section

"Caesarian babies may be more susceptible to schizophrenia than
children born naturally, say Canadian researchers who studied the
effects of the operation on rats. The finding raises doubts about the
increasing number of Caesarean sections performed for convenience.

The finding, announced at a Los Angeles meeting of the Society for
Neuroscience, is expected to force doctors and parents to reconsider
the increasing numbers of Caesarean sections performed for

Patricia Boksa and Bassem El-Khodor of McGill University in Montreal
found that rats delivered by Caesarean section appeared normal at
birth. However, in later life these rats had an overactive response to
dopamine, a neuro-transmitter, and responded less well to repeated
tail pinching, a standard test for stress reactions.

The findings indicate that Caesarean-born babies could be more
vulnerable to schizophrenia, a disease which has been linked to birth
complications and which is believed to involve an overactive dopamine

Dr Boksa suggests in New Scientist that the absence of hormonal surges
which occur naturally when a baby is born conventionally may increase
the risk of schizophrenia in Caesarean births."


My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: "c-section babies" "more OR less likely"

Google Web Search: "c-section OR cesarean OR caesarean" "later in life"

I hope this is helpful. If anything is unclear or incomplete, please
request clarification; I'll be glad to offer further assistance before
you rate my answer.

Best regards,

Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 19 Sep 2006 20:56 PDT
I just came across some rather startling information that I thought
might be of interest to anyone reading this thread:

"Babies are up to three times more likely to die soon after delivery
if their mothers choose a Caesarean section rather than a normal
birth, a big American study has shown...

The team studied more than 5.7 million live births and nearly 12,000
infant deaths in the United States from 1998 to 2001. They counted
deaths among babies that occurred within 28 days of birth, called
neonatal deaths...

The American study is the first to compare death rates after elective
surgeries, when women chose the procedure in advance in consultation
with their obsetricians. The cases chosen were those of women with no
known medical reason for the procedure, or with no special
complications during labour... The neonatal death rate for Caesarean
birth among low-risk women was 1.77 deaths per 1,000 live births. The
comparable rate among vaginal births was 0.62.",,2-2346344,00.html
mharoks-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the fantastic answer, Pinkfreud! I can see why you have
such a great reputation on Google Answers.

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