Having a cesarean delivery can change a child's immunological profile, according to new research. In plain English, that means that a child born vaginally undergoes a biological change that cesarean babies don't. Scientists think that may be why babies born by c-section have a greater risk of allergies and asthma in childhood.
"Our research looked at the effect of cesarean-section versus vaginal delivery in newborns to determine whether cesarean-section was associated with reduced regulatory T-cell function," said lead researcher Ngoc Ly, M.D., M.P.H., who is assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.
"This finding is exciting because it suggests that the mode of delivery may be an important factor influencing immune system development in the neonate," said Ly. But, Ly said, the findings are preliminary. More research is needed to flesh out the connection.
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