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Babies who are induced or born by c section face elevated health risks

Babies who are born with any sort of intervention, including induction, cesarean section, or with the assistance of forceps or vacuums, are at risk of long term health problems, according to a new Australian study.

The study of 491,590 low-risk pregnant women found that there were both short and long term health implications for babies born with intervention. Short term health problems included elevated risk of jaundice, feeding problems, and hypothermia. Long term, babies born by cesarean section were found to have higher rates of metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity.

This morning Ross and John spoke to Professor Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery at University of Western Sydney about the study.

She said most births now involve some kind of intervention, with 33 per cent of births carried out via cesarean section, and over 50 per cent of babies either induced or augmented.

“In less than 100 years we have changed a very ancient way of giving birth”, she said.

“We’re not proposing that intervention isn’t a fantastic thing when you need it, because it is and it saves the lives of mothers and babies… but we often focus on the short term risks, but this is about looking at the long term.”

Press PLAY below to hear Ross and John’s full interview with Professor Hannah Dahlen.