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Study: C-Section Babies Have A Higher Chance Of Being Obese Toddlers

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(credit: CBS) Amelia Santaniello
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Parents will do just about anything to keep their kids healthy, but now it appears that could include a decision made at birth. A new study may have found a link between C-sections and toddler obesity.

Doctors in Boston studied more than 1,200 births and found that 16 percent of the children delivered by C-section were obese, compared to 7.5 percent of the children born naturally.

But some Minnesota mothers find the study unconvincing.

Visit an indoor park on a rainy day, like Thursday, and you’ll see plenty of toddlers and moms. And many were skeptical of the new study.

“Well, I had a C-section,” said Ronda Engelhardt, of Roseville, “and [my daughter] is not obese.”

Kristie Dustin, of Cologne, gave a similar anecdote, saying that all three of her C-section-born children are tall and skinny.

“I don’t know how there could be a link, at all” she said.

But other mothers weren’t so sure about their thoughts on the study. Rachel Zacharias, of Minnetonka, who gave birth to both her children naturally, was hesitant to give a statement on the study’s results.

“I’m not a doctor,” she said.

What the researchers think is this: bacteria that a baby is exposed to in the birth canal might be a factor. Another factor might be the hormones released during birth.

And some doctors hope the study influences mothers’ decisions about elective C-sections.

Dr. Patricia Fontaine, of HealthPartners Research Foundation, said women should only get C-sections for the right reasons.

“[The study] should have women thinking twice and make sure that when caesarian is their choice, it’s for a good medical reason,” she said.

It’s estimated that between 4 and 16 percent of the C-sections in the U.S. are performed at the mother’s request.

Meanwhile, most moms at the park pointed out that there are other ways to keep kids healthy, too.

“I can make the choice of I’m gonna have McDonald’s today with my kids or…we’re gonna eat fruit and veggies for lunch,” Zacharias said.

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