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Study: Bad Moms Have C-Sections

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New research confirms giving birth naturally has its perks. 

Mom holding and kissing baby

Moms who give birth naturally have better relationships with their infants, according to a recent Yale University study.

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?

next: J Lo, J Liar!
29 comments so far | Post a comment now
Laura September 15, 2008, 3:07 PM

Maybe it’s because the c-section mom is RECOVERING FROM SURGERY! Duh!

Linney5680 September 15, 2008, 3:27 PM

THANK YOU LAURA! i had a c-section (after 18 hours of labor) and i am very well bonded with my little man. he is such a mama’s boy!

Natalie September 15, 2008, 3:37 PM

Linney, I think they’re talking about the women who opt for c-sections instead of natural labor. You had your contractions. And no, I don’t think that c-section moms are worse. But then, I don’t know anyone who opted for a c-section. They were all emergencies!

Jennifer Nguyen September 15, 2008, 3:55 PM

My medical record says elective csection… In reality the only place I could try for a VBAC was into Georgia from south of Orlando…

I could go on.

Wendi September 15, 2008, 4:54 PM

I have had csections, one 11 years ago and one 2 years ago. I think this study is full of bull. My boys are so bonded to me. My 11 year old is still somewhat of a mama’s boy. We get along so well, and my little guy…well he takes right after his big brother. I want to also add, that I was and am more responsive to my kids’ cries than ANY mother that I know. I really can’t even sand the idea of them crying and have also given them all the love and attention they need. I really can’t believe that a study came to this conclusion. I think they need to study the moms who went through the csection, it’s not like that is all fun and games either. We end up literally getting our stomachs cut open for our little ones. Now that is LOVE :)

shanna September 15, 2008, 5:01 PM

As a two time c section mom, this study infuriates me.
it’s total BS!

Heather September 15, 2008, 5:13 PM

Natural birth never helped my mother be a good mother. We weren’t her priority then and haven’t been since. My mother-in-law isn’t any better either. I know plenty of women who have had c-sections and are much better mothers than a number of women who have had natural birth. I’m disgusted that anyone would even attempt to gauge a women’s ability as a mother based on such bs!!

April September 15, 2008, 6:54 PM

I agree - I am a better mother because I pushed mine out.

Anonymous September 15, 2008, 7:28 PM

I think this is a load of crap. I had an emergency C-Section with my son because it was the only choice I had. If I had not, he would have died for sure and it was very likely that I would have too. Granted, I did have post-partum, but I have fought with anxiety and depression for almost 20 years.

Believe me, I’m sure I am screwing up my kid as we speak, but I can assure you it is not because I had a C-Section.

I do not need someone to tell me that I am a worse mother than someone else because I chose to save my son’s life by having him cut out of me instead of pushing him out.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but mine is that you are as good a mother as you choose to be.

April, I think you need to think about what you are typing. A vaginal delivery does not a good mother make!

Pauline M Hull September 15, 2008, 8:53 PM

An irony exists on this website - - that it should present a story title that is so completely illogical, not to mention insulting.

Rather than write a lengthy post here, take a look at my recent blog post, which explains the (many) flaws in the conclusions being drawn from this (very limited) research.

It both saddens and perplexes me that there are actually be women out there who feel so righteous following a vaginal delivery that they take pleasure in circulating such erroneous copy in order to make other mothers feel bad. Shame on you.

Courtney September 15, 2008, 8:57 PM

This study also really infuriates me too! I also had an emergency c-section with my 7 week old son and I am bonding with him just fine, thank you! And I have no sign of post-partum either! This is just complete BS!

And they studied just 12 c-section moms—gee, that sounds scientifically sound and conclusive!

Like others have said, if I hadn’t had the c-section, both my son and I could have died. Is that somehow a better option!!!???!!! So infuriating and insulting to c-section moms!

All this hoopla reminds me of the bride who focuses on the wedding instead of the marriage! Parenthood is a lifelong bonding process and being a “good mom” (as defined by whom, I’d like to know!) is based on much more than if I squeezed my son out of my vagina or endured SURGERY to give birth (rant over!)

cara September 15, 2008, 10:05 PM

I’m not buying it…..what about the moms who push out the baby and leave them for dead!

I’ll share about me. My first two, both close to ten pounds, the first even 23in, so HUGE, I had both vaginally, both after 72+hour labors, the first w/pain pills, the middle, none. Actually, my water’s never broke for any of my kids naturally and I always thought if I was from back in the day, we all would of died. Anyway, I’m off the point. My youngest, the doc had me start to push at 8 centimeters and I felt like something was wrong and actually begged for a c-section. Well I was right, the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck and had I continued to push, it would of formed a noose around her neck with her being born blue. I caught flack from the doc too as I had said I would of liked for the birth to go as natural possible. (he was an ass) Suffice to say, I had my longest hospital stay, a week and had to actually have my baby in the nursery, something my others did not do, but she and I are so close, at times it seems closer then the other two. And in hindsight, because that birth was so truamatic for me, as opposed to my other two, it really made it all that more real and deep. My other two, I popped them out,went right back to normal size, know,things went back to normal in a few days, but my c-section…that was heavy and Lord knows, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom or walk or even get up without intense pain and fear of my stomach ripping open for a few weeks!! And my youngest was the smallest of the three.

M.L. September 15, 2008, 11:08 PM

I have no choice but to have a c-section, I am too narrow and can’t even go into labor. I have a 7-year-old, and a 2-year-old and they are both mama’s kids, this is a bunch of B.S.!!!!!!! Trust me if I had the choice I would have them vaginally, but since I can’t doesn’t mean I don’t bond with my kids!!!!!!!!

lola B  September 15, 2008, 11:08 PM

Its not the moms fault if these Dr.’s are pushing Csections so they can go on vacation or whatever they want to do. Some C’s are needed. I had a vaginal delivery and I feel that we (me and my baby were better for it.

Alicia September 15, 2008, 11:17 PM

I believe that it depends on the mother and not on how you deliever the baby. I delievered my by vaginal but my mom had an c section. She is a great mom. I think these studies are stupid.

Rosemary September 16, 2008, 6:50 AM

I have to vehemently disagree with this study!

Mistee September 16, 2008, 8:15 AM

Once again, doctors who think they know it all and didn’t study any further. I have had 3 c-sections, because my children were registering over 10 lbs in weight on the ultrasounds (they were right), and each of my doctors said if I proceeded with a vaginal delivery, I would be putting my child and possibly myself at risk of death. My children and I have a tight bond always have, our problem is that it’s so tight a bond, it’s sometimes hard for Dad.

MJ September 16, 2008, 8:31 AM

This is such a crappy story and there is no truth behind it. Both my babies c-section and they are my world and we have no bonding issues. What about those mothers that give up there babies after natural child birth. It doesn’t matter how you have them it’s how you will love them after the fact. There are people who just have a babies and there are mom’s who have babies.

Bailey September 16, 2008, 9:21 AM

I hope April was being sarcastic!

Shelley September 16, 2008, 10:14 AM

I’ve had three c-sections,and have very much bonded with all three of my children !!!! I’ve had the pleasure to be able to be a stay at home mom and my children are my joy.All have grown and left the nest and we are still close.

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