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Kids delivered by C-section more likely to be obese by age 5, study says

Delivering a baby is no easy feat. However, cesarean births should particularly be avoided, because children born through the surgery are at higher risk for obesity and asthma, a new report says. 

» RELATED: Here’s why sleeping on your back during pregnancy can increase stillbirth risk

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Europe recently conducted an experiment, published in PLOS Medicine, to determine the long-term effects of C-sections.

To do so, they examined more than 70 studies, containing more than 29 million participants, that compared the long-term outcomes of a cesarean versus a vaginal birth. 

After analyzing the results, they found that offspring delivered by C-section were 21 percent more likely to develop asthma by 12 and 59 percent more likely to be obese by 5, compared to those delivered traditionally.

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They also found adverse effects for the mothers. C-sections were linked with a 27 percent higher risk of miscarriage and a 17 percent higher risk of stillbirths for moms.  

Despite the scary findings, researchers did note that those who had C-sections were at lower risk for pelvic organ prolapse, which refers to the drooping of any of the pelvic floor organs, and urinary incontinence, the loss of bladder control. 

Although the scientists said their study was observational and should be interpretted with caution, they believe their findings are promising. 

"This information should help inform discussions about mode of delivery,” they wrote, “and may facilitate appropriate personalized delivery planning and shared decision making.”

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