Caesarean Births May Result in More Allergies in Children

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A new research adds to the benefits of natural birth revealing that this may be good for the babies in the long run as it lowers the chances of allergies in them. According to the study, caesarean births can increase allergy to dust mites or pets in kids.

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Scientists have found that when babies are born via C-section and they avoid the passage through their mom’s birthing canal and are not exposed to their mother’s bacteria. Due to this, Caesarean babies are five times more vulnerable to getting dust allergies or pet allergies than babies born naturally.

Lead researcher Dr Christine Cole Johnson, from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, in the U.S., said,

‘This further advances the hygiene hypothesis that early childhood exposure to micro-organisms affects the immune system’s development and onset of allergies.We believe a baby’s exposure to bacteria in the birth canal is a major influencer on their immune system.’

The research team observed 1258 newborn babies when they were one month, six months, one and two-years-old. The team analyzed the umbilical cord, stool sample of each baby and also the blood sample of both parents and mom’s breast milk. They also tested the household dust each baby was prone to come in contact with.

The study authors also collected information on every family’s history of allergy or asthma, household pets, tobacco smoke exposure, baby illnesses, medication use, and aspects of pregnancy.

They found that by two years of age babies who had been born via C-section were more prone to be allergic to things around the house like droppings of house dust mites, and dander, or dead skin, shed by dogs and cats.

The research was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Antonio, Texas.

Maureen Jenkins, director of clinical services at the charity Allergy UK, said, ‘During a natural birth the baby travels slowly down the birth canal where it ingests normal bacteria, which has been shown to aid a healthy immune response and protect against allergy.

‘In the case of a Caesarean section, the baby has no contact with the birth canal. Instead it is immediately removed from a sterile environment, meaning the chances of developing allergy could be heightened.’

In UK an estimated 21 million UK adults have at least one allergy. Ten per cent of children and adults under the age of 45 have two or more allergies according to the Daily Mail.

Also half of all children and teens under 18 have experienced allergies of some kind.

The research might help moms think twice before they opt for a cesarean without any genuine medical condition.

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About the Author

Atula is a writer, traveler and a nature-lover. She is also mom to a boy who seems to have inherited all her creative genes. When Atula is not busy making up stories with her son, she writes for numerous magazines, websites and blogs. She is also working on her site on endangered species called indiasendangered.com.

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