Caesarian Section Delivery Harmful to Baby’s Brain Development: Study

New studies have focused on otherwise a neglected area of caesarean births and found that baby’s psychological and brain development is a sine qua non of their birth experience.

Not merely birth, even the birth weight and the mother’s age impact child development, said York University researchers in Toronto. Especially, these babies lacked to focus on one area of interest in their lifespan, they pointed out.

“Our research has revealed that being born by a C-section slows a baby’s spatial attention, which plays a role in its ability to focus on a particular area or object of interest,” said Scott Adler, professor at York University.


Dr Scott Adler

They studied 34 infants who were given two types of object selection tasks, to measure the latency of eye movements in hundreds of milliseconds. The session that last for 30 minutes, showed that the infants were on their backs with the stimuli above them on a screen, while infrared light tracked their eye movements.

The researchers found that babies delivered by natural birth were quicker in focusing attention on an object of interest while those delivered by Caesarean section were slow and attention-less.

Adler says the findings should now address the increasing trend to go for Caesarean section delivery by mothers and doctors alike. The study has been published in the journal ‘Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics’.

The popular perception is that the prevalence of C-section is higher than needed in many countries and physicians are encouraged to bring down the number of cases by emphasizing that a long latent phase of labor is not abnormal and thus not a justification for C-section.

Other measures include changing the start of active labor from a cervical dilation of 4 cm to a dilation of 6 cm; and allowing at least 2 hours of pushing for women who have previously given birth and 3 hours of pushing for women who have not previously given birth before labor arrest is considered. Physical exercise during pregnancy also decreases the risk, said earlier studies.

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