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Are babies delivered by c-section at a greater risk of becoming obese?

Most expectant mothers in New York City do all that they can to keep their unborn children healthy and safe. However, despite their diligence during pregnancy, an error made during the delivery can have devastating effects. A birth injury can cause bruising, fractures, cerebral palsy and other troubling defects.

A recently released study suggests that babies who are born by cesarean section may be at risk of suffering from childhood obesity.

Researchers looked at 1,255 mothers and their babies. Slightly more than 280 of the babies were born by c-section, and about 970 were delivered through a vaginal birth. Almost 16 percent of the babies delivered by c-section were considered obese by the age of 3. Only 7.5 percent of babies delivered vaginally were considered obese.

Researchers say children delivered by c-section may not be exposed to certain digestive bacteria during birth which may cause them to digest food differently.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 32 percent of births in the United States were done by c-section in 2007. In 1996, however, c-sections accounted for only 20 percent of births.

Women may elect to deliver their babies by c-section. However, that decision may also be made by a physician. Physicians have a duty to provide their patients with proper care and treatment. Mistakes that are made by a physician during a delivery can have lasting effects on a baby. It is for that reason why it is so important for doctors to make appropriate and careful decisions during such a critical time.

Source: The Washington Post, "C-section may boost child obesity risk, study finds," Jennifer Huget, May 23, 2012

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