Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

Welcome to the Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology & GI Surgery Page! With one of the largest group of digestive disease specialists in the world, Mayo Clinic has been recognized as the nation's best Gastroenterology & GI Surgery hospital by U.S. News & World Report.
Follow the page to read shared experiences, learn about clinical trials and up-to-date research, and find resources for all your gastroenterology needs. Our goal is to connect you to others, and become informed decision makers; so post a comment, share your story, own your health.

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Jan 24, 2017 11:19pm

The New Birth Trend That’s All About Bacteria

By Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, @kanaazpereira

It may sound strange, but some women who give birth by caesarean section (C-section) are covering their newborn in fluid swabbed from their vagina! A baby born vaginally is exposed to a plethora of different bacteria as it comes down the birth canal; these bacteria set up the child’s microbiome, (bacteria in human skin, guts, and mouths), which is what enables their body to defend against all kinds of diseases. Babies delivered by C-section acquire a microbiota that differs from that of vaginally delivered infants, and C-section delivery has been associated with increased risk for immune and metabolic disorders.

Based on a pilot study published in the journal Nature Medicine, Dr. Sunanda Kane discusses how babies born by C-section may receive benefits from being swabbed by their mother’s birth fluid, thus restoring the balance of the immune system. The procedure involves taking a swab from the mother's vagina and wiping it over the baby's mouth, eyes, face and skin from head to toe, shortly after birth by C-section. The hope is that by exposing a C-section baby to its mother’s vaginal fluid, the child’s microbiome and immune system will become more similar to that of a child born vaginally, and their risk of disease will reduce. Although the work is promising, more research is needed to confirm the findings. According to Dr. Maria Dominguez-Bello, who led the research: "The current study represents proof of a principle in a small cohort, and shows that our method is worthy of further development as we seek to determine the health impact of microbial differences.”

Read the full study online here.

For more information about IBD, visit mayoclinic.org/IBD.

Dr. Kane is a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Gastroenterology & GI Surgery page.

We'll include this text in the user's invitation.