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Does the way a baby’s born affect later behaviour?

Caesarean born babies are calmer while forceps babies could be worse behaved, according to new study

Posted: 4 November 2010
by Kimberley Smith

The way your baby comes into the world may have a big impact on the way she behaves, according to a new study of 4,190 children in China.

The study found that a difficult birth produces high levels of stress hormones, which can affect a baby’s development. Babies born by assisted delivery methods such as forceps or a suction cup were found to be 40% more likely to be affected by emotional and behavioural problems by the age of 8.

The lowest levels of the stress hormone cortisone were found in the umbilical cords of babies who were born by an elective caesarean. The study then found that children born by this method were less likely to suffer from anxiety, aggression and attention disorders. However, this is not true for babies born by emergency caesarean.

In China, where the study took place, around half of all births are by caesarean, many of which are planned. In the UK, the figure is around 25%.

“With the rising rates of elective caesarean in China and in other countries, it is interesting to see from this research that there is a low impact on the childhood psychopathology,” commented Professor Philip Steer from BJOG, a journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Find out more about your birth options.


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birth, birth options, how birth affects the baby, stress in labour, elective caesarean, forceps birth, cortisone
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Oh dear,more scare-mongering. I was a forceps birth and am known as the calmest person in the family. Can't we all just stop freaking mothers-to-be out?

Posted: 20/11/2010 at 11:36

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