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The link between C-section and allergies

The amount of children affected by allergies is on the rise. Kids are developing allergies to everything from pet dander to peanuts and even strawberries and kiwi. There are many speculations about why there is such a noticeable increase:

  • Is it because of the pollution in the air?
  • Is it because of unhealthy lifestyles?
  • Is it because of the processed food we are consuming?

Researchers have now discovered something more interesting; a link between having a C-section and allergies developing.

The numbers

According to an article in Medical News Today, “C-section babies are five times more likely to develop allergies by age two than those born naturally.” This study was conducted by researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. It adds weight to an earlier study, which claimed that babies born by C-section are six times more likely to develop asthma.

If this is the case, the recent rise in C-section births would provide a reason for the increase in recognised allergies. There is some doubt, however, that C-sections alone are the sole cause of allergies.

The reasoning

If you’re wondering how a C-section and allergies could be linked, you are not alone. It seems hard to connect one with the other. However, according to the Henry Ford Hospital study, there is clear reasoning behind the results.

Medical News Today wrote of the study, “With natural birth the child is exposed to bacteria in the mother’s birth canal, a good start to the formation of the child’s own gut microbiota.”

With a deeper explanation, it continues; “In the gastrointestinal tract of babies born by c-section, there is a pattern of “at risk” microorganisms that may cause them to be more vulnerable to developing the antibody Immunoglobulin E, or IgE, when in contact with allergens. It is known that IgE is associated with the development of asthma and allergies.”

RELATED: Dr. Chew Answers: C-Section vs Vaginal Birth

What this means for us

Find out what this means for us on the next page…

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