The finding is based on brain imaging scans conducted two to four weeks after delivery among just 12 women, half of whom had vaginal births and half of whom gave birth by C-section. The study, published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that the cry of a woman’s own baby triggered significant responses in several parts of the brain related to sensory processing, empathy, arousal, motivation, reward and habit-regulation. The effect was greatest in the brains of women who had delivered vaginally compared to those women who delivered their babies by C-section.
The conclusions that can be drawn from the study are limited because it involved so few women. However, it does support the theory that C-section birth may result in slight delays in attachment, putting those women at slightly higher risk for postpartum depression.
Lead author Dr. James Swain of Yale University’s child study center said the mode of delivery has been associated with decreased maternal behaviors in animals and a trend for increased postpartum depression in humans. It’s estimated that about 30 percent of births in the United States are delivered by C-section, the study says.
It’s important to note that the study measured only short-term differences in brain patterns following childbirth. There’s no evidence that delivery method has any long-term implications on a woman’s ability to parent or bond with her child or recognize her baby’s cry.. source