New research confirms giving birth naturally has its perks.
Brain scans on 12 new moms after birth found more activity in areas linked to motivation and emotion in those who had a vaginal delivery -- and says moms who do so are more responsive to the cries of their baby and in all-around better moods than those who go under the knife.
According to researchers, contractions, which are part of a natural birth, trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin (a.k.a the bonding hormone), which is believed to play a key role in shaping maternal behavior.
However, experts say undergoing a Cesarean does not trigger the same release of hormones -- and that this procedure has been linked to an increased risk of post-natal depression.
Professor James Walker, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says, "We have long recognized that people who have a Cesarean section do sometimes have some problems bonding with their baby."
Why? The reason isn't clear. Some doctors say it's possible that women who opt for Cesarean births are more disengaged from the birth process in comparison to those who went through a natural delivery.
And although there are no studies assessing whether mothers who had a Cesarean had long-term problems bonding with their baby, doctors advise women who opt for C-sections to cuddle their newborn against their skin straight after birth.
Tell us -- does experiencing natural birth make you a better mother?