shutterstock_111643082A new study shows that birth via C-section can interfere with your child’s digestive function and cause allergies. Surprise, surprise – yet another study packing one more layer of mommy-guilt on us all.

Being born by cesarean section has been tied to higher risks for various health problems in children, and now a new study finds these babies also have fewer “good” bacteria in their digestive tract.

About a third of all U.S. births occur by c-section, a number considered by many to be far too high and potentially harmful to both the child and the mother.

Vaginal delivery, among other advantages, fosters the growth of trillions of good bacteria that reside peacefully in the human body (collectively know as a person’s microbiome), many of them in the intestine.

Meanwhile, c-sections interfere with the newborn’s exposure to bacteria in the vaginal tract, bacteria that essentially trains the immune system to react appropriately to future events, according to study background information.

Mothers who have c-sections also tend to start breast-feeding later and require antibiotics, both of which could also affect the baby’s microbiome.

Although a third of U.S. births occur via C-section, under 5% are elective – meaning scheduled in advance on the wishes of the mother – not mandated or required by some underlying health issue. Once again, women are being led down one path by the medical establishment, than guilt-tripped about the results that path has on the well-being of their babies.

Interventions that are becoming more and more common in hospitals such as inductions and epidural use are to blame for many of these surgical births. These practices can lead to complications which often result in surgery. Of course there are other issues – like obesity, multiple babies and increased age – but generally women aren’t going into labor expecting a C-section. A plethora of interventions and practices that may not be best for the mother but have become commonplace in U.S. hospitals are making instances of surgical birth rise.

I like to see these studies conducted because I am hoping they will help change the trend toward rushing women into surgical births that may not be best for their babies. But I don’t like women being guilted after the fact; rushed into surgical births and then shamed because their “choices” may be affecting the health of their babies.

It’s reminiscent of how we approach breastfeeding in this country. First, a woman is drilled for nine months about how important it is, then once the baby is born there is a lack of support, knowledgeable staff and lactation consultants around to make it happen. Not to mention the furor around breastfeeding in public. Sheesh.

You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, ladies. Get used to it.

(photo: Twonix Studio/ Shutterstock.com)