In the endless debate on what type of delivery is more beneficial, there is some new information regarding c-sections. A new study looks at the role having a c-section plays in the birth of multiple babies, more specifically twins. Researchers found that there is a link between a c-section with twins and psychological development and intelligence levels. Having a c-section with a twin birth carries a higher risk in relation to this type of development.
In the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the data from 160 twins were used. All the twins were born at Hospital Materno-Infantil in Málaga in 2005. During the time of the study, there were 7,000 births, almost 300 were multiples. Out of the sample of twins in the study, 55 percent were vaginal births, while 45 percent were c-sections.
"We have verified that cesarean section becomes a risk factor to development. This is why gynecologists firmly believe in vaginal delivery benefits, and we defend the use of this surgical intervention only as an option when problems arise," he adds.
Of course, there are plenty of times, especially with a pregnancy with multiples that a cesarean section is absolutely necessary. Anytime where the pregnancy and/or delivery is causing harm to mom and/or baby, a c-section can literally be a life saver. But, like with any other surgery, there could be long term effects.
"Twins are very vulnerable, since their birth frequently ends prematurely and they often present pregnancy and labor complications," says Ernesto González Mesa, Professor of Gynecology at UMA.
There were two stages to the study. First, the participating children were tested for their intelligence level, neuropsychological (brain) development, and psychopedagogical (education) development. The second stage compared the information from the first stage to pre and post natal variables. These include type of delivery, if there were any complications and which, birth weight, and maternal age. While they don't explicitly note if any of the births were premature, it's almost a given.
"When comparing all data, we found out that those children that had a lower intellectual level and cognitive development were born by cesarean delivery," says lead researcher on the study, María José González Valenzuela. González Valenzuela is also a professor from the Evolutive Psychology and Education Department.
According to the experts, in some education settings, they look for neurological factors in a delay of psychological development. This study adds a new level of understanding to what those factors may be.