New Study Finds That Birth Interventions Are Linked to Short- and Long-Term Health Concerns in Babies & Children
A new study out of Australia reports that children born with medical interventions are more likely to have short- and long-term health issues. A group of international researchers teamed up with researchers from Western Sydney University, and they looked at a number of interventions during labor and delivery and the effect they had on babies in the first 28 days, as well as the effect they had on children up to 5 years of age.
The study looked at 500,000 women who had healthy, low-risk pregnancies and gave birth from 2000 to 2008. The medical interventions that were studied include induced labor, hormones to speed up labor, delivery by vacuum or forceps, and delivery by Cesarean section.
The babies who were born with one of these interventions experienced more jaundice and feeding problems in the first 28 days than babies who were born through a spontaneous vaginal delivery. Additionally, C-section deliveries left babies with more low temperatures that required more medical intervention. Some of these short-term risks were already well-known, and these are the concerns that parents are informed about when weighing the risk and reward of the intervention during labor and delivery.
However, parents are not made aware of long-term risks, mainly because the long-term health concerns haven’t been studied this thoroughly ever before. The researchers who did this study found several long-term problems when they looked the children at five years of age. Firstly, children born via Cesarean section, especially emergency C-section, had the highest rates of diabetes and obesity at age five. Additionally, children born with any form of intervention had higher rates of respiratory infections, like pneumonia and bronchitis, at age five than other children. They also had higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and eczema.
So what can be done? […]