Does the mode of delivery effect a baby’s gut microbiome?

Gut microbiome

Does the mode of delivery effect a baby’s gut microbiome?

The mode of delivery during childbirth can have a significant impact on the microbiome of newborn babies. Babies born vaginally are exposed to a unique mix of bacteria from the mother’s vaginal microbiota, while babies born via caesarean section (C-section) are initially colonized by bacteria from the mother’s skin and the surrounding environment.

Research has shown that babies born vaginally have a microbiome that more closely resembles their mother’s vaginal microbiota, which is dominated by Lactobacillus species.

However,  babies born via C-section have a microbiome that is more similar to the skin microbiota of the mother, which is typically less diverse than the vaginal microbiota.

For example, a study published in the journal Nature, found that babies born vaginally had a gut microbiome that was high in  bacteria from the Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium family, while babies born via C-section had a gut microbiome that was high in bacteria from the Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium family.

Other studies have shown that infants born via C-section may have a higher risk of developing certain health conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and obesity, compared to infants born vaginally. This may be due, in part, to differences in the early colonization of the gut microbiome.

One study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that infants born via C-section had a higher risk of developing food allergies than infants born vaginally.

Another study, published in the journal Gut Microbes, found that the gut microbiota of infants born via C-section was less diverse than that of infants born vaginally, and that this difference persisted for at least 2 years.

The mode of delivery during childbirth can have a lasting impact on the microbiome of newborn babies, which may in turn influence their health outcomes.

However, it is  important to note that other factors, such as breastfeeding and antibiotic use, can also affect the development of the gut microbiome in early life.

Want to know more? Ask your chiropractor at your next visit. 

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