It might be possible one day to expose newborns delivered via cesarean section to all the colonies of good bacteria and ward of diseases, a small study has suggested.
During vaginal delivery, microbes are present in the birth canal and colonize the baby s mouth, skin and gut thus forming what is call microbiomes.
These bacteria are believed to have major roles in the health of the baby ranging from helping with digestion and metabolism to the support of brain development and increasing the strength of the immune system.
A cesarean delivery along with other early disruptors of microbiota assembly, such as antibiotic use and feeding of formula, have been tied to conditions that emerge later in one s life such as allergies, asthma, obesity and type 1 diabetes, said researchers.
To test whether it might be a possibility to have C-section babies helped in building their microbiomes even despite the circumstances around their delivery, researchers wrapped four of the infants in gauze soaked in the vaginal fluids of their mothers .
All of these C-sections had been scheduled which made it possible for the researchers to place the gauze in the vagina of the mother for one hour before the surgery and then to wrap the infant in gauze immediately following his or her birth.
One month following delivery, researchers retrieved more than 1,500 samples from the bodies of the babies to see what types of bacteria represented their microbiomes.
The babies who had c-sections and were exposed to the vaginal birth fluids thought gauze pads contained microbiomes the most similar to their peer who were delivered vaginally than to the infants that had a C-section.
A number of caveats exist relative to these findings beyond that just the experiment s small size. Chief amongst the caveats is that it is impossible to say if the swaddling of babies born in a C-section has any short- or long-term health benefits.
The possibility of giving benefits to newborns born via a C-section is important to carry out more studies.