There could be a link between c-sections and obesity

A new finding from researchers from the New York University School of Medicine reveals children born via C-section could have a higher risk of being overweight.

The research conducted on mice found that those born via C-section gained an average of 33 percent more weight compared to those born vaginally.

Females delivered by C-section actually gained 70 percent more weight.

The reason could be an imbalance in the gut bacteria. The bacterial population in vaginally born mice evolved normally while C-section mice not only gained weight but also had colonies of gut bugs that did not follow the usual progression path.

RELATED: Risk factors for complications during pregnancy

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Risk factors for complications during pregnancy
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Risk factors for complications during pregnancy

Advanced maternal age

Pregnancy risks are higher for mothers age 35 and older.

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Lifestyle choices

Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs can put a pregnancy at risk.

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Medical history

 A prior C-section, low birth weight baby or preterm birth — birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy — might increase the risk in subsequent pregnancies. Other risk factors include a family history of genetic conditions, a history of pregnancy loss or the death of a baby shortly after birth.

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Underlying conditions

Chronic conditions — such as diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy — increase pregnancy risks. A blood condition, such as anemia, an infection or an underlying mental health condition also can increase pregnancy risks.

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Pregnancy complications

Various complications that develop during pregnancy pose risks, such as problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta. Other concerns might include too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios) or low amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios), restricted fetal growth, or Rh (rhesus) sensitization — a potentially serious condition that can occur when your blood group is Rh negative and your baby's blood group is Rh positive.

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Multiple pregnancy

Pregnancy risks are higher for women carrying twins or higher order multiples.

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The Lead researcher, Dr. Maria Dominguez-Bello, explained that even though C-sections are procedures necessary in 10 to 15 percent of births to avoid the death of the mother, child, or both, some regions of the world perform them 43 percent of the time. 

In the U.S. 32 percent of births are C-sections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study could link the rise In C-sections with obesity and type 1 diabetes, but more research needs to done to determine if certain bacteria can protect against obesity.

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