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Articles - What is seeding your babies Microbiome?
How can you achieve this no matter how your birth unfolds.

What is seeding your babies Microbiome?


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25/11/2018

How can you achieve this no matter how your birth unfolds.

Most people these days may have heard about how the gut health of a Mother is passed on to her baby. It begins to develop at conception and is further passed on to the baby as it passes through the birth canal. As the baby is born she is ‘inoculated’ when she swallows the Mothers bacteria, and these microbiomes are clusters of bacteria and other organisms that are essentially developing the immune system of the child. 

 One of the most important functions of the gut is to protect the body from harmful bacteria, having a predominance of good bacteria in the gut helps to keep away the bad bacteria.  Not only do the microbes in the gut perform the development and activation of the immune system they also aid in the digestion and metabolism of food, and the production of neurotransmitters that affect behaviour and cognitive function.

Seeding your babies Microbiome does not only happen from a baby being born vaginally, it can also happen after the birth.

 The next step in developing the babies immune system and increasing the healthy bacteria is through skin to skin contact particularly in the first hours after birth and when breastfeeding.  Breast milk, particularly colostrum, contains especially high concentrations of human milk oligosaccharides and prebiotics, further developing the babies immune system and lowers the risk for viral, bacterial and parasite infections.

 When babies are born by Caesarean section they miss this fundamental step of gut and immune development. If a caesarean is performed before labour starts or before her waters break the baby does not come into contact the Mothers vaginal fluid or bacteria. 

Recently introduced in a process known as ‘microbirthing’ which is known as Vaginal seeding. 

 A swab is placed in the mother's vagina for about an hour before delivery, then removed and when the baby is born it is wiped onto the babies face, mouth, eyes and body, aiming to replace the process of the baby passing through the vagina. The expectation is that this may boost their gut bacteria and lessen the danger of health issues normally associated with caesarian infants. It contributes to the seeding of the infant gut.   

Having the baby immediately placed on the Mothers chest after a cesarean further exposes the baby to the Mothers bacteria. 

 Gut microbiome plays a large role in the development of the newborns immune system, so no matter how a birth unfolds it is possible to create ways for this vital process of ‘microbirthing’ to happen. 

 

 References 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginal_seeding

https://academic.oup.com/glycob/article/22/9/1147/1988076

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681407/

 




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