C-Sections May Be Changing The Future Of Humans
C-sections originated as a way to save the life of a mother or a baby, or in many cases, both. Today, C-section rates in the U.S. are at an all-time high. Some of the surgeries are absolutely lifesaving and a miracle marvel to families that need them. Other surgeries are done for non-emergency purposes. And still others are due to the movement that all women should be able to choose a C-section for no other reason than they prefer it over a vaginal delivery. (This is commonly called “on demand C-sections”)
Doctors and women continue to debate what the “best” way to give birth is. Is “best” whatever the mother decides? Or is “best” what nature decides? Is there a way to combine the best of both? But in an uncomplicated pregnancy there is also one more interesting twist to the discussion:
It might appear that while we're busy wondering what the best approach to C-section is, nature is already taking matters into its own hands.
Here's the thing. C-sections aren't going anywhere anytime fast. The rate of C-sections has obviously increased. And unless the entire pregnancy and healthcare system changes drastically, the rate isn't going to drop drastically either. This means that C-sections are here to stay. And scientists have discovered that the high rate of the surgery may already be affecting how humans develop.
Essentially, new research suggests that the main way C-sections are changing the human blueprint is by allowing women and babies who may have not previously survived to make it through childbirth, thus passing on their genes. This may include women who have narrow hips and large babies, for example, or women with a genetic disposition for obesity. Those women who have children then pass on their genes and the surviving children may go on to also have C-sections. And the cycle continues.
The study noted that it has often puzzled doctors why it's so difficult for women to give birth vaginally compared to other mammals. Compared to other mammals, human births are incredibly difficult. The sizes of our babies' heads as compared to the size of the birth canal is nearly an impossible proportion. And humans are the only mammals that require assistance to give birth, primarily because the infant's head being so large can cause a lot of complications.
Babies' heads have actually gotten bigger over time and babies' weights have increased as well. But women's birth canal size or pelvic inlet opening have not. From an evolutionary standpoint, this doesn't make sense. A woman's birth canal should start to widen to accommodate bigger babies, right? That would make sense from a survival standpoint.
Except, doctors are theorizing that C-sections have kind of bypassed that development. C-sections may be confusing nature, suggesting that there is no real need to change things up because those genes are surviving and thriving just fine, thanks. It's an interesting theory and I guess one that only time will tell.