Are C-sections affecting human evolution?

Are C-sections affecting human evolution?

More and more women are opting to have C-sections when having a child, and researchers say it’s changing how humans evolve.

A new study has revealed that an increase in the number of cesarean sections, also know an as C-sections, could be one of the reasons why more women are having obstructed births.

C-sections have been around for many years, but they have become a lot more popular in the past few decades thanks to medical advancements that have made them safer.

But Austrian researchers say the increasing move away from natural birth, in favour of C-section births, has resulted in some major changes for human evolution.

They believe the success of C-section births have resulted in a 20% increase in obstructed births, which occurs when a baby is too big (particularly the head) to fit through their mother’s pelvis during natural birth.

A C-section would help increase the mother and baby’s chances of survival in this case.

"Women with a very narrow pelvis would not have survived birth 100 years ago. They do now and pass on their genes encoding for a narrow pelvis to their daughters,” a researcher told the BBC.

Bigger babies usually have a better childhood survival rate, but women’s pelvises are not evolving to accommodate these bigger babies.

On the flip side, a narrow pelvis is believed to help upright walking. Another reported benefit is a reduction in premature births.

So, what do C-sections mean for evolution in the future? It seems scientists are baffled as to where this will lead.

But one thing they are sure about is that despite an increase in C-sections, natural births are unlikely to become “extinct”.

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