Pregnancy and your newborn’s gut microbiome: what is the link?
You’re probably preoccupied with all things baby while you wait for your little one to arrive. Your family’s health and happiness are essential to you, which is why the microbiome is such a crucial component of the puzzle.
What exactly is the microbiome?
Every person possesses a microbiome. It’s a living colony inside of us made up of a variety of bacteria (both good and bad) that can be found all over your body, but especially in your intestines and on your skin. Did you know that the microbiome may be up to five pounds in weight? Wow!
A healthy microbiome can greatly improve your and your baby’s health. It promotes enhanced immunity, digestion, and metabolism, as well as protection from bacterial and yeast infections. Because of these functions, the microbiome is a vital organ without which we would be unable to operate effectively.
What happens to the microbiome as it grows?
Early in pregnancy, a baby’s microbiome develops from the mother’s microbiome, placenta, and amniotic fluid. It is critical to your baby’s growth and development both while in the womb and throughout life. After a baby is born, their microbiome continues to develop and is often similar to that of their mother, but it can also be influenced by many environmental variables.
What role does a mother’s microbiome play in the microbiome of her child?
The microbiome of a woman has a significant impact on the microbiome of her child. Mode of delivery and feeding methods are two major elements that influence a baby’s microbiota.
A baby’s microbiome will be remarkably similar to that of their mother’s vaginal and faecal bacteria when they are delivered vaginally. These babies also have a greater diversity of “good bacteria” in their microbiome, which is thought to protect them from diseases and infections in the early stages. Infants born through C-section have a microbiome made up of organisms transferred from the mother’s skin surface, as well as possibly from others in the delivery room.
The way the newborn is fed has a significant impact on the microbiota of the infant’s gut. Infants who were exclusively breastfed had a more stable gut microbiome than infants who are formula fed, according to research. They’re also less likely to have an overabundance of potentially hazardous bacteria like C. Difficile.
While we want to convey this essential information, we also want to remind you that when all variables are taken into account, vaginal delivery and breastfeeding are not always the best or most realistic options for mothers. It’s critical to follow the most acceptable practises for your and your baby’s health.
Make every effort to provide your newest family member with the microscopic companions they require for their microbiome to develop and live a healthy, happy life.