Moms Delivering via C-Section Turn to Vaginal 'Seeding' to Boost Baby's Health

One of the wonderful things about moms is that they always have their kid’s best interests at heart. From kissing boo-boos, to making dinner and even driving out the monster under the bed, mom is always going to do what is best for her baby.

So, when recent studies uncovered that babies delivered via C-section may not be getting immune-boosting bacteria found in the birth canal, moms everywhere sprang into action and thus, vaginal “seeding” was born.

Vaginal “seeding” is when a mother places saline-soaked gauze in her vagina before going in for her C-section, according to an article posted by The Guardian. Once baby is born, she will take that gauze and dab it in her new baby’s mouth, around their eyes and on their skin, in hopes that the gauze picked up some of the microorganisms that baby would have been exposed to had he or she been delivered vaginally.

This increasingly popular practice came after early studies found that babies delivered through the stomach, rather than the vagina, may not come in contact with the complex ecosystems of bacteria, or microbiome, found in the birth canal. These microbiome live throughout our bodies and help to train our immune systems.

According to a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “the contact with the maternal vaginal and intestinal flora is an important source for the start of the infant’s colonization.” Instead of coming in contact with their mother’s bacteria, a Cesarean-delivered child is exposed to the bacteria of others in a close proximity, leaving them susceptible to health problems like asthma and eczema.

Though the topic is still under study, Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, a microbiologist from New York University who has been studying microbiome for several years, told The Guardian that seeding a baby does seem to have positive impacts on the diversity of microbiome found on the baby.

“While it’s not equivalent to a baby born vaginally, there is some important restoration happening,” Bello told The Guardian.

While at first glance seeding seems rather strange, loads of people are actually supporting the practice because, had the baby born vaginally, it would have come in contact with that fluid anyway. Some, like The Guardian reader Louise Kocianová, call it common sense.

Unfortunately, if you might be interested in vaginally seeding your child, there is a chance that seeding could spread an infection to your baby. It is strongly urged that mom have a health screening before her C-section to ensure seeding your child is safe, and even then, finding a doctor willing to conduct the procedure might be tough.

What say you, Metro Parent readers? Do you seed your child when they were delivered, or would you try it? Let us know in the comments.

Photo courtesy of The Guardian

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