Babies are born by cesarean section (c-section) for a variety of reasons such as a long labour at risk of infection and if the mother or the baby’s health is at risk.
When a baby is born naturally and vaginally through the birth canal head first, it takes up the bacteria from the canal. The baby swallows this bacteria and it is deposited throughout its digestive tract. As gross as this might sound to you, this is an extremely important process for developing the baby’s digestive tract and immune system.
Delivery by c-section is associated with a moderate risk increase of allergic rhinitis, asthma, hospitalization for asthma, and perhaps food allergies as found in a meta-analysis study by Bager et al in 2008 in the journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy.
If your baby is delivered by c-section, there is still something you can do about it to help prevent these kinds of conditions from developing. Providing a high quality infant probiotic for a year can help to give your baby some of the good bacteria it needs for its digestive tract and immune system.
It is best to consult your naturopathic doctor or health care provider about this for a particular product that is best for your situation.
By Dr. Whitney Young, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine