Feature

Do C-sections alienate mothers from babies?

Is natural childbirth a better way to go?

A "widely publicized" new study by James Swain of Yale University and colleagues claims that "mothers who had C-sections respond to their baby’s cry differently than mothers who had vaginal deliveries," said Dr. Amy Tuteur in her blog Homebirth Debate. But there’s really no cause for alarm—the study suffers from "many serious problems," such as the fact that it used only 12 women.

The researchers admit that the study is small, said New York Times health blogger Tara Parker-Pope, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t some truth to it. I had a C-section, and "when I finally heard a baby cry, it took a minute for me to realize that the sound belonged to my own baby."

But it’s also important to point out, said Andy Coghlan in New Scientist, that the researchers of this study also claim to have "as-yet unpublished" research with the same 12 women finding that the differences in mother-child attachment based on birth method "largely disappear" a few months later.

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