Newswise reports an increase in cesarean sections is on the verge of a global epidemic as the World Health Organization recommends an optimal C-section rate of 10-15% while the U.S. rates I more than 30%. In some Latin American countries it may reach 50%. As reported in this article, Cesarean delivered children tend to be susceptible to infections, obesity, asthma and allergies. This occurs in part because many mothers are unable to successfully breastfeed them after a C-section. However, recent research shows that this may be culturally mediated. In some parts of the world, mothers are able to breastfeed successfully after C-section deliveries, and this practice may reduce their negative child health effects. Amanda Veile, an assistant professor of anthropology at Purdue University, and her team report indigenous mothers in farming communities in Yucatán, Mexico, breastfeed for about 1.5 months longer following cesarean deliveries than they do following vaginal deliveries. Veile believes this is possible because the mothers live in an exceptionally supportive breastfeeding environment. “Moms living in this Mexican community don’t have to hide in a bathroom to feed their child when they are in public,” says Veile, a biological anthropologist who specializes in infant and child development. “Here, it is a cultural norm to breastfeed anytime, anywhere, and to sustain breastfeeding for longer than two years. And we think that prolonged breastfeeding offers protective benefits that reduces some of the health problems we often see in children delivered by C-section.”

Veile’s research appears in the American Journal of Human Biology‘s special issue on the evolutionary and biocultural causes and consequences of rising cesarean delivery rates. Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg, a professor from the University of Delaware, are the guest editors for the special issue.

Lead Research/Investigator

Amanda Veile

Source: www.newswise.com

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