Caesarean mothers more likely to have overweight babies, reveals study.
The preliminary study at Imperial College London, involving 62 babies has revealed that those delivered by c-section have higher levels of fat in their livers than those born naturally.
Further trials are now underway to test the theory that the surgical method prevents the release of hormones, which control metabolism later in life.
It has long been thought that labour can impact on the lung function and feeding instincts of newborns but now other consequences are being considered.
There has been a dramatic rise in women opting for the procedure with some researchers claiming it is has risen by 250 per cent in the past 30 years.
"We have preliminary data which suggests that key processes within the liver and with the handling of fats is distorted if you are a baby that has not been exposed to a normal labour," the Daily Mail quoted researcher Professor Neena Modi as telling The Times.
"It triggers a metabolic process which allows (you) to handle fats. We are pursuing the hypothesis that if you are not exposed to normal labour then your normal metabolic development is distorted," she stated.
Modi added that caesarean could also affect the natural balance of hormones and enzymes.