Helping Your Baby Become MicroBionic
Thanks to the Human Genome Project, scientists have been evaluating the intestinal microbiota shaped by millennia of evolution and uncovering the spectacular role of the intestinal microbiome in keeping us healthy . The founding microbiome in the human body happens at birth. This microbial inoculation is critical to prime the infant's immune system and dramatically impact baby's future health.
Immediate skin to skin contact is also important for transfer of microbes and helps to regulate baby's breathing, stress, digestion, and hormonal regulation.
Additionally, breast milk oligosaccharides (complex sugars) are specifically designed to be digested by, and reciprocate nourishment the baby's gut bacteria.
What About C-Sections?
Cesarean sections save lives, but prohibit the natural microbiome transfer crucial to health, since the newborn bypasses mom's vaginal bacteria. Respiratory processing, establishing feeding routines, and blood sugar regulation are some of the processes that can be impacted. So what can we do? How do we properly and diversely seed our precious infants' microbiomes?
Before, During and After Birth
One of the most important things we can do is employ the use of vaginal swabbing in the delivery room. During the last hour prior to a C-section, a sterile gauze is placed inside of mom's vagina to soak, then keep in a sterile container while baby is being delivered. Afterward, the swab is used to inoculate the little one from head to toe.
Breastfeeding 6 months or more elevates levels of probiotics such as Bifidobacterium and can repopulates the infants microbiota with beneficial microbes.
Prebiotics and Probiotics for your newborn. Check with your acupuncturist or other health practitioner for a recommended formula and dosage guidelines.
 The Human Gut Microbiome and Its Dysfunctions. Digestive Diseases, Vol. 31, No. 3-4, 2013.
 Probiotics Modulate Host-Microbe Interaction in the Placenta and Fetal Gut: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Neonatology, vol. 102, No. 3, 2012.