Babies born through elective Caesarian section are four times more likely to have respiratory problems than babies born naturally or by emergency C-section, a new study finds.
Researchers from the University of Aarhus believe that babies may miss out on hormonal and physiological changes during labor that help mature the lungs, according to a report from BBC.
Specifically, the earlier the C-section was performed, the greater the respiratory problems, researchers said.
The study found that at 37 weeks, one in 10 babies delivered by elective Caesarean section developed respiratory problems, compared with 2.8 percent of infants delivered naturally or by emergency Caesarean section.
At 38 weeks, the proportion was 1.7 percent compared with 5.1 percent and at 39 weeks, 1.1 percent compared with 2.1 percent. The researchers conclude that significantly fewer babies would develop breathing problems if elective Caesareans were put off until 39 weeks gestation.