As strange as it may seem, how a baby is delivered seems to have an impact on their gut health. A recent study has shown that birth by C-section (as well as other factors such as antibiotics and formula feeding) could be slowing down the development of all those “good” bacteria that babies need in their guts. In addition, C-section babies seem to be growing fewer species of good bacteria as well.

As we have discussed at length (see how probiotics work) that our bodies need good bacteria. When a baby doesn’t have enough, or the right types of good bacteria, he/she is more susceptible to illness, digestive problems, and other issues. And this has many in the medical and scientific communities speculating that it might be part of the reason why the incidence of asthma, autoimmune diseases, and obesity has almost doubled in recent decades.

This could lead one to a conclusion that a probiotic supplement might be in order for babies who were delivered by C-section, as well as those who have been exposed to antibiotics or who have ben formula-fed. As always, consult a physician prior to changing your child’s diet in any way.

The scientific study specifics

The study, conducted by NYU School of Medicine, collected monthly stool samples from infants – 24 born by vaginal delivery and19 by C-section. The samples were then studied for bacterial DNA at regular intervals over the first two years of each baby’s life. At the end of two years, it was found that the babies delivered via C-section displayed lower diversity of bacterial species and a significant period of stagnation in the microbiota maturation between 6 months and 2 years.

SOURCE:

  • NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. “Changed gut bug mix linked to C-section, antibiotics and formula lasts through baby’s first year: Impact of modern practices during key time window may have long-term health consequences.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2016. sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160616110238.htm

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