New research has been recently reported in moms.com blog as well as Daily Mail regarding babies born by cesarean section. It is reported that these babies have a higher chance of developing autism as well as ADHD. Swedish researchers lead by Ph.D. student Tianyang Zhang, analyzed data from more than 20 million births in 19 different countries. During this study, it was found that 33% more babies were likely to be diagnosed with autism and 17% more were likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to vaginal births.
Researchers suggest that the increase in these diagnoses may be associated with the fact that a baby born via c-section is not exposed to important bacteria located in the vaginal canal. This leads them to believe that this could impact the development of a baby's immune system and lead to potential autism and ADHD. However, other experts in the field discount this theory and believe that it is not the actual c-section operation that causes these diagnoses but the fact that these babies are predisposed to autism and ADHD, and that is why the c-section was needed for their birth in the first place.
The study explains that there was no difference between mothers who elected c-section vs those who needed ones for medical or emergency reasons.
It is important to note that one in five children are now born via c-section, a number that has tripled over the last thirty years.
The published study used for this post can be viewed at the JAMA Network Open.
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