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Health & Pregnancy

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C-Section Affects Moms' Response to Baby

Study Shows Women Who Have C-Sections May Be Less Responsive to Baby's Cries

Second Opinion

Calling the new study "a fascinating way of looking at the correlation between behavior and brain function," Manju Monga, MD, professor and division director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, cautions that there are no definitive studies linking C-section delivery to higher rates of postpartum depression.

"The biggest stimulator of oxytocin release is breastfeeding," she says, which is unaffected by mode of delivery. "Maternal infant bonding has been shown to be associated with how long a mother is separated from their infant from birth and whether they initiate nursing right away. So rather than worry about mode of delivery, tell your physician that you want to room-in with the baby. And if you are planning to nurse, put baby to your breast in the recovery room," Monga suggests.

"These are very interesting preliminary results," says Donnica Moore, MD, a women's health expert based in Far Hills, N.J. "This study is not going to influence a doctor's recommendation for a C-section vs. a vaginal delivery. And there is big leap between cause and effect."

"The new findings may contribute to the feelings of women who have had C-section that they may have failed by not having a natural, vaginal delivery," she says. "The goal of labor and delivery is a healthy mother and a healthy baby."

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