When you choose to birth your child naturally, the number ONE thing that is going to happen as a result is that your baby will receive ALL of their necessary microbiota from you. In other words, you are giving your baby all of the natural, healthy bacteria that they need to flourish in life–you’re seeding baby’s microbiome.
We all have a genome, which is the complete set of genetic material that comes from mom and dad. But we also have a microbiome, which is all of the bacteria, yeast and microorganisms present in and on our bodies too.
How To Go About Seeding Baby’s Microbiome
Because your baby is in a nearly sterile environment while in your uterus, they don’t come in contact with outside microbes until they are born or shortly afterwards. Your body keeps their environment sterile throughout their growth because they are much more vulnerable to harmful things you could easily fight, off but they can’t. This is why you don’t want to eat anything harmful that could cause detrimental effects.
There are three key ways your baby receives their microbiome:
- From your vagina
- From your skin
- From your breastmilk
When you’re baby is born vaginally, there is a host of millions of microorganisms that naturally reside in your vagina that your baby gets first hand contact with. Your baby is essentially ‘bathed’ in the bacteria and flora as they come down your birth canal.
As you put them on your chest for skin to skin contact immediately after birth (which I hope you have in your birth plan), they also receive additional bacteria directly from your skin.
Another superb way is when you’re breastfeeding, your body has kept natural bacteria in your breastmilk that you baby can ingest and start to populate their intestinal track–SUPER important for their developing immune system.
Why My Baby’s Microbiome Is Important
There are MORE bacterial cells residing with our body than we have of our OWN cells.
These bacteria aren’t harmful in any way. (With one exception you’ll want to know about.) They work WITH our immune system and all of the other molecules and cells in our body in order to keep the machine of our body functioning properly.
- The bacteria in our gut create and excrete chemicals that help us with the digestion of our food.
- Microbes help regulate and control the growth and fluctuation of our immune system. Without the proper bacteria, our own immune system can’t operate well.
- Some of the DNA in our genes have been found to come from bacteria, further enhancing our development and prosperity.
The most important thing here is the benefit to our immune system. Without it, we cannot combat all of the harmful substances that also naturally exist, such as viral infections and harmful microbes that are detrimental to our health.
Many studies have shown that without a healthy microbiome gained at birth, our chances of many conditions and diseases later in life rises dramatically.
Here are just a few studies you can reference about particular conditions people face today, and how they tie from their micro biome:
|Health Effect||Study Source|
|Negative impact on infant stem cell growth||American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Center for Molecular Medicine, Sweden 2014|
|Development of asthma||Journal of Clinical Development Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 2012|
|Greater ability for infants to stay healthy||Canadian Medical Association Journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alberta, 2013|
|Reaction to increase and changes in diseases||European Molecular Biology Organization, New York University School of Medicine, 2006|
|The impact upon brain and behavioral disorders||Advanced Expertise Medical Biology, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, Ireland, 2014|
|Association with Celiac disease||Gut Microbes, Volume II, Issue II, Landes Bioscience, 2011|
|Risk of chronic diseases||Entropy, Volume 14, Issue 11, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, 2011|
|Role in gastrointestinal diseases||Journal of Advanced Gastroenterology, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co., Ireland, 2013|
|Relationship with Type 1 Diabetes||Scientific Reports, Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, 2014|
|Programming the immune system||Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, 2013|
Actions That Harm The MicroBiome At Birth
When a mother electively chooses to have a cesarean delivery, she is also choosing to rob her child of ALL the positive benefits gained from having a vaginal birth.
When a mother chooses to not breast feed her baby, she is choosing to exclude all the MARVELOUS substances and nutrients (including bacteria) that her baby needs best.
What happens when those two choices are made is a lifetime of difference for the health and future outcome of that child.
Here is a video about a documentary done by MicroBirth that clearly describes what can happen to future generations if we continue to have such high rates of unnatural birth for our children. I HIGHLY suggest that you watch it because it may change your view completely about how important natural vaginal birth is.
What Else Can I Do?
I understand that some of you will require to have your baby born via c-section. Everyone has their own circumstances and health challenges. PLEASE know that still being able to have your child in your arms, even if they’re birthed this way, is FAR better than not having that baby at all. I will never refuse a c-section if it means the life of my child and if there is no other possible way.
- You can STILL breastfeed and gain the marvelous seeding and assistance that way. Do everything you can to make this happen as long as possible. You can find help through your hospital, midwife or local health department. Such help is often free of charge.
- You can have your baby skin to skin with you as much as possible, especially right after birth. There are many more benefits from skin to skin than just adding to your baby’s mirobiome.
- Take probiotics yourself and incorporate them into your child’s diet too, once they get old enough to have foods such as yogurt that will assist in that. Also have a healthy diet that includes fungi, like mushrooms and yeast breads.
- Avoid antibiotics at all costs. Almost all antibiotic medications will kill the GOOD bacteria as well as the harmful, making it very difficult to keep a healthy level of the good bacteria around.
You can also learn about keeping harmful things away from your baby and growing children that are also detrimental to their immune system as they grow. Here is a great book you can read that covers much more than I can keep contained here. It’s recommended by the makers of the film you watched above and comes with my stamp of approval too.
One thing you NEED to understand though…
Even if you have your baby naturally…and you breastfeed…and you have skin to skin contact often…and you take probiotics with a healthy diet…and you avoid antibacterial medications and substances…and you exercise–you can STILL have a child that grows up with a disease or lifelong illness. You may STILL have a baby that is often sick.
There are SO many other things that contribute to the health and well being of your children and ourselves. Such as:
- the types of food eaten, whether they’re organic or not
- the environment surrounding, air quality, chemicals and toxins in the everyday objects we use and wear
- the thousands of genes and epigenetic variations of them that lead to infinite possibilities of the design and function of one’s body
- the everyday experiences that form character and personality, mental and social health, leading to emotional decisions that having controlling effects on our bodies
But your chances are BEST when you DO those things that keep the odds in your favor. We cannot control everything, but we can control a lot of things that may make the difference between a sad and painful life, versus one full of vitality and prosperity.
I hope this has helped you add to your decision to have a natural baby birth. Many people don’t understand the science and microbiology behind how our bodies function and what REALLY is happening beyond what we can see with our naked eye.
I come from a scientific background and this comes second nature to me quite easily. I can formulate how things fit together from start to finish, from the microscopic molecules building our DNA to choosing what foods we eat and the actions we take with our bodies on a full scale level.
If any of this is still confusing to you and something doesn’t make sense, please ask me in the comments or send me a message. I would love to help you understand the fundamentals and why they play such a HUGE role in our health and well being.
I try to keep things simple, but educated enough so that you are confident in why you are choosing to make the decisions with your birth that you are. So that you can back up your point of view when some relative scoffs at your desire to achieve the ‘unattainable.’ So that you can impress your doctor, which will make them much more likely to trust in your own decisions and abilities.
What are your thoughts? Life is amazing.