I’ve just watched ‘Microbirth’ – a fascinating documentary on the role of birth in developing the foundations of a healthy microbiome.
More and more attention is being given to the human microbiome – the ecological community of bacteria that share our bodies. In fact, there are 10 times more bacterial cells in our body than human cells – making us 90% microbial!
Childbirth is the critical time for priming our microbiome for the long-term development of a healthy immune system. Passing through the vaginal canal coats the newborn baby in hundreds of different bacteria, which are then specifically fed by the sugars in breast milk so they can mature. Some scientists are speculating that lack of exposure to vaginal bacteria during childbirth (ie caesarian births) may be associated with the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, obesity, asthma and coeliac disease.
I have already discussed with my midwife that, in the case of needing to deliver via caesarian, we wish to follow the vaginal fluid swabbing and seeding protocol currently being investigated by Dr Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello (outlined in this doco). Amazing stuff!
If you’re interested in finding out more, it’s certainly worth a look: http://muvi.es/w6565/343863