Forced birth may cause emotional problems for babies

November 4th, 2010 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 4 (IANS) Babies born with the help of forceps or a suction cup are more likely to have emotional problems, a study has revealed.

Forceps or a suction cup is used in case the labour is prolonged and complications may have developed.

The study by Chinese researchers reinforces previous findings that assisted delivery techniques produce high levels of stress hormones like coristol, that may affect development.

The latest research also showed children delivered by the caesarean section on request of their mother have fewer emotional and behavioural problems, reports the Daily Mail.

In pre-school, they were found to be much less likely to suffer from anxiety, aggression and attention disorders.

The study, which involved 4,190 children from southeast China, looked at the links between birthing methods and child behaviour.

Roughly half of Chinese babies are delivered by caesarean section — the highest rate anywhere and twice that of Britain, according to the World Health Organisation.

The parents in the Chinese study, which is published in ‘BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology’, were asked to fill in a survey on their children between the age of four and six.

The results showed those born through an assisted delivery were 40 percent more likely to be among the worst affected by emotional and behavioural problems — possibly related to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Immediately after birth, umbilical cord blood cortisol levels have been found to be lowest in babies born by elective caesarean, followed by spontaneous birth.

Jianmeng Liu, a professor at the Institute of Reproductive and Child Health in Beijing and study author, said it was the first examination of the effect on child behaviour of caesarean delivery on maternal request.

“Cortisol levels have been linked to childhood psychopathology. However, more studies are still needed to look at this in more detail,” he said.

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