C-Sections and Allergies

Food allergies can cause a person’s immune system to overreact to certain foods, triggering mild to life threatening symptoms. The condition can affect up to 5% of children in the United States and is becoming more prevalent. 

When the immune system see’s a food as an antigen, it sends out immunoglobulin E (or IgE) antibodies. These antibodies react to the food and cause the release of histamines and other chemicals. These chemicals can cause hives, asthma, itching in the mouth, trouble breathing, stomach pains, vomiting, or diarrhea. It doesn’t take much of the food to cause a severe reaction in highly allergic children.

The more common food allergies are: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish. 

For a long time researchers have hypothesized that cesarean deliveries could increase the risk of newborns to develop allergic disorders during their infancy. 

C-Sections Don’t Increase Allergy Risk 

In a recently published study, researchers from Australia have deciphered the hypothesis and found that elective cesarean sections do not increase the risk of food allergies in infants in the first year of their lives. The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice: 

For the study researchers reviewed data on over 2,000 infants from the HealthNuts study. The previous belief of c-section increasing the risk of allergies was based on the fact that children that are delivered this way bypass the process of being exposed to beneficial bacteria in the birth canal. 

The team found that out of the 30% of children born by C-section, 12.7% had a food allergy during infancy, compared to those vaginally born that 13.2% had a food allergy. 

Another study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that 30% of peanut allergies and 90% of egg allergies resolve naturally by the age of 6. 


Jeanna D. Smiley. (2022, May 25). Does C-section delivery increase the likelihood of food allergies? Medical News Today. Retrieved from: 



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