Research has shown the composition of your gut microbiome has a direct effect on the microbiome of the unborn baby.
Studies have shown that birth, breastfeeding, and the mode of delivery can impact the baby’s gut health. That is why it is essential to understand all these things to promote optimal health for your new born baby.
Here are some ways the mode of delivery affects the gut health of a baby:
- Babies born vaginally have many more species of bacteria from the mother’s vagina and gut
- Cesarean births can lead to problems such as obesity, eczema, asthma, allergy, and much more
- Babies born through caesarian have more species from the hospital environment on the skin
If you have a caesarian birth, you can use breastfeeding to offset the effects. That is because breast milk is a nutritional and potent food for babies. If your gut health is excellent, your breast milk will help the baby build a strong foundation for their gut health.
How Breastfeeding Affects The Baby’s Gut Health
Breast milk contains many substances that are beneficial for the baby. These include:
- Bacteria in the vagina of the mother
- Immunological components
The research has shown that babies that are breast fed will develop fewer respiratory infections, allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, and much more. During the early years of the infant’s life, their microbiome is unstable. That is why breast milk is the best way to add some stability and build a strong foundation for optimal gut health in the baby. When the baby reaches five years of age, their microbiome starts resembling that of an adult.
Tips To Improve Gut Health During Pregnancy
Besides breastfeeding post-delivery, it is recommended that you take care of your gut health during pregnancy too. Here are some ways you can improve gut health during pregnancy:
- Indulge in organic produce
- Reseed your gut by eating fermented foods
- Exercise regularly
- Start using natural cleaning products in your home
- Avoid using artificial fabric softeners, air fresheners, or synthetic fragrances
- Stop using non-stick pots and pans
- Avoid spraying insecticides and pesticides near your body
- Don’t stress too much as it leads to deteriorating gut health
There is a wealth of information that can help you regarding gut health, breastfeeding, and pregnancy and it’s always good to be informed. We’ve included our resources below if you’re interested in reading further.
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Babies’ gut bacteria affected by delivery method
The Maternal Gut Microbiome during Pregnancy
The Importance of Gut Health in Pregnancy
Gut Microbiome 101 Part 3 – How Pregnancy, Birth and Infant Feeding Influence the Infant Gut Microbiome
What you eat while pregnant may affect your baby’s gut