Science Questions

Do births by caesarean section reduce bacterial immunity?

Sat, 11th Jun 2011

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Question

Chris Smith asked:

Do births by caesarean section reduce bacterial immunity as you are not exposed to your mothers bacteria as you would in a natural birth when you exit through the womb?

Answer

There havenít been a huge amount of studies done comparing caesarean and normal birth, but I think if at all possible, then a normal birth is actually preferable because as you say, the baby is sampling the motherís bacteria as itís being born. Itís also immediately encountering the motherís skin bacteria as well as soon as itís put to the breast and things, and that is definitely an advantage.  I think in the greater scheme of things whether it has a long term effect on the health of the child, that's really still up for debate.

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