Can Vaginal Seeding boost a C-section baby's health?
Let's take a closer look at this labor and delivery practice that is on the rise worldwide. Is it safe for C-section moms?
Moms who deliver via cesarean section are well aware of the possible risks and complications that come with it. Various studies have shown that babies born in this way are more prone to health issues, like asthma, obesity, and diabetes in the future. Because of this, a labor and delivery practice has started to gain popularity—vaginal seeding.
Some studies suggest that babies born via C-section are at higher risk for autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies.
This is why certain practices like vaginal seeding are rising in popularity. This involves making sure a baby born via C-section is not deprived of the possible protection a baby gets when delivered vaginally.
Our bodies are home to billions upon billions of microorganisms. These make up microbiomes, which protect our bodies from infection as well as build up our immune systems.
Before a baby is born, or before a mom’s water breaks, their baby’s gut is a sterile environment. As a baby travels through their mom’s birth canal, they are coated with protective microbes that can help shield them from pathogens and illnesses after birth.
Since babies born through a Cesarean section do not pass through the birth canal, medical practitioners have come up with a way to help babies get a healthy dose of mommy’s protective microbes.
An hour or so before surgery, a piece of gauze is inserted into the mother’s vagina. It is then preserved in a sealed container. Once a baby is delivered, the gauze is rubbed on the newborn— in their mouth, on their eyes, and all over their body—coating them as if they had passed through the vaginal canal at birth.
More research needs to be done to fully back the benefits of vaginal seeding. To this day, experts aren’t 100% sure if it will work for all moms. It is ultimately a C-section mom’s choice to adopt this practice or not.
Naturally, as with all pioneering health trends, we need to be aware of its risks, like the possibility of passing on conditions that often have no symptoms, like group B streptococcus, herpes simplex virus, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
If you are a C-section mom who is interested in vaginal seeding, then it’s best to discuss it with your gynecologist. As a mom-to-be, you want to do everything in your power to deliver a healthy baby. So it’s important to discuss every possible way to achieve this with a trusted doctor.