How the birth process affects a baby’s physiological development

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How the birth process affects a baby’s physiological development

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This week, continuing our series on childhood development, we are talking about the birth process itself. Did you know that the way a baby is born can actually play a huge role in the way the baby develops? There are SO many things going on during the birthing process and in this episode, I compare an ideal vaginal birth with an elective c-section. When babies are born vaginally, there are a number of things that occur that set the baby up to develop properly. Some of these include the activation of specific reflexes, the removal of fluid from the baby’s lungs, and the transfer of healthy bacteria to the baby from the mom’s birth canal.

Alternatively, when a baby is born via a cesarean section, not only is there a risk of trauma to the baby, but additionally, that baby’s body and brain are not prepared in the same way for life outside the uterus. It is true that sometimes c-sections are absolutely necessary for the health and safety of both the mom and the baby, but often c-sections are chosen simply out of convenience or due to misunderstandings surrounding vaginal birth. I hope that after listening to this episode, you will understand why this is problematic. If you have had a c-section, I am not here to judge you or shame you, but simply to inform you. There are things that can be done for babies born via c-section to help them gain the input they would have received from a vaginal birth. If you are expecting a baby soon, I hope this episode will inform your decisions as you prepare to bring your child into the world.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What exactly goes on during an ideal vaginal birth
  • How a vaginal birth supports a baby’s physiological development, reflex trajectory, neurology, and gut biome
  • “The big squeeze” and why it matters
  • Problems with c-sections during birth
  • Long-term problems with c-sections
  • How can we support the development of babies born via c-section?

Resources mentioned:

Related Episodes:

More about Connect My Brain:

Why is this happening to my kid and what can I do about it? If you’re the parent of a developmentally delayed child, you’ve probably asked this question more than once. That’s where I come in! I’m Dr. Laura Hanson and I specialize in identifying the “why” and telling you the “what.” Join me every Thursday for a deeper look at how our brains are wired and how to get the most out of your mind. Are you looking to break negative patterns, overcome mood disorders, or optimize your potential? Maybe your child struggles with ADHD, OCD or other learning difficulties. Tune in to Connect My Brain, where I explain concepts like biofeedback and neurofeedback, brainwave frequencies, and much more. Let me help you change your life by changing your mind!


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