In the past studies have suggested there may be a link between being born by caesarean section and being obese in later life. The hypothesis is that caesarean babies may not be exposed to useful bacteria during birth causing weight problems in later life
This latest study from Mamun et al finds no such connection. The study carried out an assessment of all mothers and their babies born between 1981-3 in a Brisbane hospital. Researchers found that on reaching 21 years of age, 21.5% of all the babies were over weight (12.4% obese). However there was no relationship between this group and the manner in which they were delivered.
This is an important study for women. The guilt felt by some women when their planned vaginal birth concludes with a caesarean delivery can be profound. The reasons for their feelings of guilt are varied, but the on-going impact of a caesarean delivery on the health of their child is one that is sometimes reported after the fact. This study could go a long way to reducing such fears and guilt.