- Individuals born via Caesarean
delivery showed 15% higher risk of obesity in childhood.
- Individuals born via Caesarean
delivery showed 64% higher risk for obesity than siblings born via vaginal
- Individuals born via vaginal
delivery for a mother who had a previous caesarean delivery showed 31%
lower risk for obesity than those born via caesarean delivery for a mother
who had a caesarean delivery earlier.
has been found to increase the risk for obesity according to
a study conducted by the researchers from TheHarvard T.H. Chanhi
School of Public Health. Dr. Jorge Chavarro who is the senior author of the
study says "Cesarean deliveries are without a doubt a necessary and lifesaving
procedure in many cases.
But cesareans also have some known risks to the mother
and the newborn. Our findings show that risk of obesity in the offspring could
another factor to consider."
‘Caesarean delivery increases obesity risk by 15%.’
Growing Up Today Study
As a part of the Growing Up Today Study
(GUTS) provided a list of questions to 22,000 study participants during the
course of the study which lasted from 1996 to 2012. The participants were made
to answer the questionnaire every year or every two years. The following
factors were looked into in the questionnaire
- The body mass index
(BMI)of the participants were noted over the advancing years.
- Information regarding the type of
their birth, whether vaginal or Cesarean were determined from hospital
records or from maternal accounts.
- The BMI of the mother prior to
- The region where they lived
- Age at delivery
- Habit of smoking
The data obtained was used to determine the
risk of obesity based on the method of delivery.
A caesarean section is carried out to deliver
a baby from the mother's womb by making a small incision in the abdomen and in
- 33% of deliveries in the U.S. were
found to be C-section in 2010.
- One in three women undergoes
C-section to deliver a baby.
The rate of Cesarean delivery has increased
at an alarming rate with a report from CDC claiming that from 1997 to 2008 the
number of C-sections increased by 72%. There are a number of reasons why a
C-section is conducted
Results of the Study
- Complications That Occur During
Labor: There are certain situations that might
warrant an emergency C-section like the inability of the cervix to dilate
normally. The patient may be admitted to undergo a normal delivery but
complications that occur during the time of labor could lead to the need
for a C-section.
- Risk to Infant Health: The fetal heart rate is an important determinant of fetal
health. When a poor fetal heart rate is detected, the mother is rushed for
an emergency C-section. An improper position of the umbilical cord is
another factor that may require a C-section.
- Breech Position.
- Baby is very big or too large to be delivered by vaginal section.
- Maternal Infection: A maternal vaginal infection that could affect the baby if it
is delivered vaginally.
- Placental Complications
- Multiple Fetuses: A woman carrying
multiple fetuses, like twins, triplets or more is more likely to have
C-section to deliver her babies to reduce risk of harm during vaginal
The study results have shown thatthere
is a 15% risk of obesity in children
born from vaginal
delivery while the risk increases to 64% when compared to siblings born via a
vaginal delivery. The risk for obesity was lower by 31% for individuals born
after a vaginal delivery for a mother with a previous caesarean delivery when
compared with individuals born after a caesarean delivery for a mother with a
previous caesarean delivery.
Caesarean delivery is used increasingly to
deliver babies and studies have not found a significant influence on maternal or
child health after using this procedure. Many caesarean deliveries are elective
or may be insisted on by medical professionals, though they may not make a
difference to maternal and child health. This affects the cost of medical
health and can be a drain for the individual as well as to the Government.
There are a number of effects that deem this
method of birth less favorable but this current study provides conclusive
evidence that it could raise obesity risk for children that could extend to
adulthood. The risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes associated with
obesity have spiraled the cause for a more healthy weight among
- Information on C section - (https://medlineplus.gov/cesareansection.html)
- C section - Introduction - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/c-section/basics/definition/prc-20014571)
- What is Cesarean delivery - https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/Pages/cesarean.aspx)
- C section in the world - (http://www.who.int/healthsystems/topics/financing/healthreport/30C-sectioncosts.pdf)
- C section delivery in India - (http://iussp.org/sites/default/files/event_call_for_papers/Caesarean%20section%20delivery%20in%20India_0.pdf)