Delivery mode shapes the acquisition and structure of the initial microbiota across multiple body habitats in newborns

“Our results also show that vaginally delivered infants acquired bacterial communities resembling their own mother’s vaginal microbiota, dominated by Lactobacillus, Prevotella, or Sneathia spp., and C-section infants harbored bacterial communities similar to those found on the skin surface, dominated by Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Propionibacterium spp. These findings establish an important baseline for studies tracking the human microbiome’s successional development in different body habitats following different delivery modes, and their associated effects on infant health.”


Technology in Birth- First Do No Harm

“We should not be surprised with the recent poor track record of high-tech birth. For many decades in the middle of the 20th century the number of babies dying around the time of birth was decreasing. This was due not to medical advances but mainly to such social advances as less severe poverty, better nutrition and better housing. Most important, the decrease in mortality was due to family planning, resulting in fewer women with many pregnancies and births. Medical care also was responsible for some of the decreasing mortality of babies, not because of high-tech interventions but because of basic medical advances, such as the discovery of antibiotics and the ability to give safe blood transfusions. There has never been any scientific evidence that high-tech interventions such as the routine use of electronic fetal monitoring during labor decrease the mortality rate of babies.”

C-section Babies “more vulnerable”

Dr Noah Fierer, one of the study leaders from the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, said: “In a sense the skin of newborn infants is like freshly tilled soil that is awaiting seeds for planting – in this case, bacterial communities. The microbial communities that cluster on newborns essentially act as their first inoculation.”

Baby’s First Bacteria Depend on Birth Route

Since baby’s get “cultured” with human strains of microflora while being born through the vaginal canal (especially by ones that help digest milk), those who are born via c-section need special attention in re balancing their microflora because they are instead “cultured” by whatever is on the skin of those touching them including ” potentially nasty bacteria typically found on the skin and in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter”.

Breastfeeding is also essential to continue the establishment of good microflora balance. Babies who are born by c-section or who are not breastfed, need to be supplemented with probiotics made for infants including the bacteria “infantalis”.  This is in order to help them establish optimal bacterial balance, which is essential for their current and future digestive health and for their developing immune system.’s_first_bacteria_depend_on_birth_route

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