Variance in cesarean section rate can be explained by trends in adult body height
A study titled ‘Secular changes in body height predict global rates of caesarean section’ has been published. The study proposes that as opposed to socio-economic, legal and cultural factors impacting the cesarean section rate it is the height of the mother and weight of the baby that has an impact.
The study involved the collection of data on cesarean section rates and on adult body height, obesity and diabetes and computing the annual average change in body height. The data for 2 birth year intervals was examined.
The findings of the study suggest that ‘difficulty of labour varies globally owing to variation in the size of the fetus relative to that of the mother’. It recommends that:
‘Benchmarks for ‘ideal' rates of C-section should take into account local environmental factors and the historical trajectory of socio-economic development . We encourage a paradigm shift, away from purely cultural explanations of C-section rates, towards a combined biocultural perspective.
The study implies that the current focus on reducing cesarean section rates with equality of access to care, cultural changes and a shift in perspective may not be addressing a key factor impacting increases in cesarean section rates.
The full study can be read here.
Delaying a newborns first bath increases exclusive breastfeeding rate
A study from the Cleveland clinic has been published looking at the impact of a newborns first bath on breastfeeding rates.
At the facility usual practice was to provide the initial bath within 2 hours of birth as part of the study the first bath was delayed until at least 12 hours after birth.
Following the change in practice in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding increased from 59.8% to 68.2% with mothers continuing to breastfeed once home. This video explains the findings.