Babies of Natural Childbirth Found to Have Better Cognitive Development
A group of researchers from the Yale University of Medicine suggests that natural childbirth may offer mental health advantages to children compared to babies born of C-section.
The researchers investigated the impact of natural and surgical deliveries on a protein called UCP2 in mice in laboratory studies. They found that natural childbirth may trigger brain-boosting proteins in newborns that may improve their cognitive development and function in childhood.
UCP2 is crucial for the development of regions of the brain tied to short- and long-term memory. It also plays an important role in the metabolism of fat, a primary component of breast milk.
According to Tamas Horvath, lead researcher and chairman of the Department of Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, the findings demonstrate a “potentially critical role of UCP2 in the proper development of brain circuits and related behaviors.”
“The increasing prevalence of C-sections driven by convenience rather than medical necessity may have a previously unsuspected lasting effect on brain development and function in humans as well.”
The study, partly funded by the National Institutes of Health, appeared in the in Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE.
Tags: child development, cognitive development in newborn babies, natural childbirth versus C-section