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Detecting the risks of cesarean sections on children

Detecting the risks of cesarean sections on children

Finally, a study revealed additional risks for babies born by caesarean section. It indicated that children under the age of five are more at risk of developing a serious infection if they are born by caesarean section rather than by natural birth.

The authors of the study, published in the "PLoS" medical journal, found that from Australia. Caesarean deliveries keep babies from exposure to "good" bacteria in their mothers' birth corridors.

They also indicated that these bacteria help boost the immune responses of newborns and can also be transmitted after birth through breastfeeding, and through skin-to-skin contact early.

And despite the slight increase in the risk of early infection. Researchers have warned that Caesarean deliveries may remain the safest option for some women and children.

“It is during natural childbirth,” explains study author, obstetrician Lars Pedersen of Aarhus University in Denmark. The baby comes into contact with normal bacteria from the mother's intestine. But for children born by caesarean section they have much less exposure to these bacteria.

Prior to the emergence of this study, it was not clear whether a cesarean delivery was associated with a higher risk of any infection or only certain types. And whether these risks may differ between emergency and antenatal cesarean sections.

While the co-author of the study, an epidemiologist, Jessica Miller, of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia, explained, "Any measures to reduce infection rates will make a measurable and lasting difference in the general health of the population."

In the new study, Prof. Pedersen, Dr. Miller and their colleagues analyzed data on 7.2 million births from Australia, Denmark, England and Scotland, nearly a quarter of which were Caesarean sections and 57% of them were emergency operations.

The study authors pointed out that the increased risk of infection continued until children reached the age of five, and the highest rate of infection was respiratory and gastrointestinal infections and other viruses.

The scientific team also added that their findings indicate that cesarean deliveries have short and long-term health effects on children, including an increased risk of developing asthma, allergies, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Caesarean section rates have nearly doubled since 2000, with experts estimating that about 6.2 million caesarean sections are performed each year.


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