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New research finds link between elective caesareans and risk of babies being overweight by age one

New research has found a link between elective caesareans and the risk of babies being overweight by the time they turn one.

Researchers believe babies don't experience the stress of labour during c-sections, and aren't exposed to their mother's bacteria.

The international research also found a difference in outcome when comparing emergency and elective c-sections.

University of Auckland's  Liggins Institute examined data from more than 700 babies and their mothers in Singapore. 

In NZ, around a quarter of all births are caesarean, with more than two-thirds of those elective caesareans, Stuff reported last year. 

Child obesity expert Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, who helped with the research, said a hormone surge during natural birth could help put the child on the right path, weight-wise.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

He said there was a 'rising epidemic' in elective c-sections.

"This study waves a flag - this is a social trend rather than a health trend - and it is not without some potential costs for the baby," he told Stuff.

He said if there were medical reasons for a c-section, he fully advocated the procedure. 

Professor Peter Gluckman says it raises a flag about the number of the procedures being performed. Source: 1 NEWS