Are Babies Healthier When They're Born Naturally (in the Vagina)

One of the most controversial health practices across the world is the use of medicine and technology in regards to childbirth. We all know by now that the bacteria on our skin our important, but how do they get there in the first place? You might think that they occur on your body naturally over time, but recent science suggests that they actually come from our moms- from their holiest of holes- when we're born. However, many children "miss out" on these microbes when they're removed from their mother's womb via C-section.

It actually makes a lot of sense: doctors open up the ovarian wall of a new mom, cutting into her uterus, removing the baby. Due to this process, however, all of the natural, healthy microbes that have been coating our bodies since the beginning of time are absent. Medical science has suggested that cancers, diabetes, and even heart defects are on the rise in infants and small children, but could an increase in cesarean sections (there have been approximately 50% more C-Sections now than in earliest recorded infant delivery records) be to blame?

So Are Babies Healthier When They Come Out of a Vagina?

While there is still considerable debate about the topic, scientists have been swabbing children with their mother's microbes with sterile gauze, in a procedure documented by the Scientific American . In a study testing 18 babies, 11 were born via C-Section, 7 had been born naturally, and 4 of the 11 C-sections had been swabbed with the microbial swab. The four babies that had been swabbed had started developing natural microbial counts all over their bodies (their eyes, skin, heart, lungs and intestinal tracts) while the other 7 didn't have any of these microbes on their body.

In fact, after considerable study, the Scientific American published a report about children that aren't swabbed down actually having a higher rate of developing obesity, asthma, and even skin disorders than those who are born vaginally or swabbed with their mother's bacteria.

The Science Makes Sense to Most Researchers

While we're not saying that your children are doomed, one of the researchers pointed out that the children of all mammals have been coated in these types of microbial cultures since the beginning of time. In essence, infants have to have microbes and other bacteria to naturally fight disease and train our immune system on the difference between "good and bad bacteria." Untrained immune systems are sensitive and react unnecessarily to allergens like pollen, dust, grass and certain foods; leading to asthma, bowel disorders (like IBS, crohnss disease, and ulcerative colitis) or certain cancers, and even affect our metabolisms, leading to obesity later in life. 

Unknowingly Passing On Essential Living Characteristics

What we're discovering is that all of the little things that moms do without even understanding how they work (like breast feeding or delivering a baby) can have huge, unforeseen impacts on our health. Having babies that are born naturally through the vagina actually passes these essential microbial substances and bacteria through lineages, protecting children from their surroundings. 

As chronic diseases and health issues are on the rise (and a study published by the Institute for Experimental Allergy Research found that children who were born through a C-section are 20% more likely to suffer from allergies), causality due to birthing techniques hasn't been completely established. However, it's definitely food for thought.

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