Exciting news from Nature Medicine published this week.
In this small but important study, C-section babies were swabbed with mother’s vaginal fluids at birth. Those babies swabbed demonstrated greater similarity to vaginal-delivered babies.
Generally speaking, babies born via C-section are first exposed to bacteria reflective of the hospital and the medical team, rather than the mother’s fecal and vaginal bacteria, as is the case with vaginal delivery. Long term health outcomes associated with disrupted microbiome development include increased risk of allergic disease, atopy, autoimmunity.
“These results show that we can partially restore and normalize the microbial assembly that takes place naturally in babies,” says Maria Dominguez-Bello, an associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine, who led the study. “We normalize their microbiome.”
While long-term outcome has yet to be established, steps towards normalizing the microbiome are extremely important, especially during this important window of time, where the immune system is actively being established.