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Birds, Butterflies and Cesareans

Imagine a bird hatching from its egg. It involves an incredible struggle for life. The human reaction is to help crack the egg and/or pull away some of the shell. Helping with the hatching process almost always results in the death of the baby bird. The same is true for a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. The process of change, from a fetus to a live baby or from a caterpillar to a butterfly, imparts strengthening and protective properties.

~ According to Dr. Sakala of Childbirth Connection, "Cesarean-born babies are more likely to have breathing problems around the time of birth and to experience asthma in childhood and adulthood. Respiratory benefits also appear to be associated with experiencing the onset and occurrence of labor. The connection to asthma is less clear and may relate to exposure to beneficial microbes during vaginal birth."

"The studies we reviewed found that a baby who was born by cesarean is [also] less likely to be breastfed and get the benefits of breastfeeding, most likely because the transition from surgery poses challenges for successful initiation of breastfeeding. The motherís relationship with her baby can be adversely affected, because a woman who has a cesarean gets less early contact with her baby and is more likely to have initial negative feelings about the baby," says Dr. Sakala.

~ In addition, "Babies born by Caesarean are nearly three times more likely to die in the first month than those born naturally," according to the BBC News. "The researchers suggest that the process of labour helps prepare the baby for life outside of the womb. As well as squeezing fluid out of the lungs, it may promote the release of hormones that encourage healthy lung function. Labour is an important part of the birthing process because it gets infants ready to breathe air and function outside the womb."

~ Finally, a Norwegian study shows that babies born by cesarean to mothers with a food allergy have a much higher chance of developing the life-long food allergy themselves. The increase of an allergy to egg, fish or nuts is seven fold. The intestines of a baby are beneficially affected during the natural birth process, and this process is bypassed in a cesarean delivery.

There are times when a cesarean delivery is necessary, either for the baby or the mother. But, cesarean births are on the rise for unnecessary reasons. Some doctors feel that there is less chance of problems resulting in lawsuits. Still others prefer the being able to have births fit their schedules, especially when their insurance carriers only allow a specified number of births per month. Just as unnatural is the new craze of mothers using a cesarean birth simply to bypass the pain of labor or so they select the birthdate (or astrological sign) they prefer for the baby. We should take a lesson from birds and butterflies.

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