Study: Link Between Mother’s Bond and Delivery Type
A study published in the October issue of Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry by Yale School of Medicine researchers indicates that mothers who deliver their baby vaginally are more strongly bonded to their newborn than a mother who deliver via cesarean section.
The researchers performed brain scans on the mothers while they listened to their baby crying during a diaper change. The mothers who delivered vaginally were found (via fMRI) to have more activity in the area of the brain that regulates emotion and empathy. The researchers believe this is an indication that the process of a vaginal birth somehow “primes” the woman’s brain for becoming a mother.
While the intent of the article and its publication was to encourage women to consider vaginal births in light of recent trends towards planned c-sections, I feel that the results are questionable at best. Brain activity in the area that regulates empathy does not make a bond with a child; being a mother to the child, caring for the baby and feeding him or her creates a bond.
No mention was made as to the feeding methods for the babies. Were they all breastfed? All bottle fed? Nor was their daily care situation discussed. What percentage were at home with their baby all day? What percentage were working and left the baby with a caregiver? And how many of them had a partner to assist them in the parenting process versus those who were single mothers? All of these details can impact how a mother bonds with her baby. Ignoring them completely makes the results suspect, at best.
Source: Natural Childbirth Linked to Stronger Baby Bonding Than C-Sections via Health News Digest
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