Expecting moms take note: Opting for a caesarean delivery, known as a C-section, could seriously put your kids’ long-term health at risk. Recent findings published in the journal BMJ showed C-sections might raise the likelihood of these children developing diseases such as type 1 diabetes, childhood obesity and asthma, reports MedPage Today.

For the study, researchers at New York University’s Wagner School of Medicine and the Peking University School of Public Health in Beijing combined the results of six randomized trials done on caesarean versus vaginal deliveries. Scientists found that non-essential C-sections might increase the relative risk of children delivered this way developing type 1 diabetes by up to 19 percent (based on 20 studies).

Researchers also reported that when compared with babies who were born vaginally, childhood obesity rates among kids who were born via cesarean went up an average of 17 percent, and kids’ risk of childhood asthma also increased by 8.4 percent. In addition, scientists noted a potential association between C-section births and upper respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, ear and skin illnesses, and an uptick in allergy prevalence.  

Other recent findings also suggested the way babies are delivered affects their early development. Babies born vaginally seem to benefit from exposure to their mothers’ intestinal and vaginal bacteria. Infants miss this opportunity when docs deliver them via C-section.
Researchers noted that a balance of bacteria in the gut is key for kids to enjoy good metabolic and immune function.

For more information about C-section risks, click here.