12 Jan Caesarean Delivery
Caesarean delivery is sometimes necessary for the health of mother or child for a variety of reasons including low-lying placenta, severe pre-eclampsia, previous traumatic vaginal birth or where the baby is presenting in the breech or side-ways positions. Like all medical interventions, Caesarean delivery involves a carefully considered decision, whether it is an emergency or pre-arranged because of certain presenting factors.
While such intervention may be needed and in the long term the wiser or safer option for either party, babies delivered in this manner are not exposed at birth to their mother’s vaginal bacteria, or the friendly bugs, for example, Bifidobacteria. The Bifidobacteria contain thousands of strains that assist the immune system to respond effectively to possible food sensitivities. This is important as over-reacting to particular foods suggests a greater susceptibility to developing allergies . Bifidobacteria also prevent the colonisation of bad bugs. If these bad bugs are allowed to flourish, the result can be an imbalance in gut bacteria which may then affect general immunity .
Just as you would for any other medical intervention, in the event of Caesarean delivery it is helpful to be aware of any implications and what can be done to offset them . In terms of the possible impact on infant gut bacteria (which are vital in developing immunity), the following measures might assist to redress the imbalance. For example, if a child is subsequently breastfed, this will help to compensate as the particular constituents of breast milk enable it to promote the healthy growth of infant gut bacteria. (This will be covered in greater detail in the next section.) Secondly, where a baby is bottle-fed, adding a probiotic especially formulated for infants may be effective in supporting their immune system at least in the short term.
Whatever her personal preferences in childbirth delivery and whether circumstances may have dictated their own outcome, all new mothers share the same concerns: the wellbeing of their babies and any special considerations that may have accompanied their arrival. Navigating these concerns as mindfully as possible in the immediate post-birth phase will ensure that your child – however they entered the world – will have the best start in life you can provide. It is also a reminder that each stage of their development is an opportunity to review their emerging needs and adapt your response to achieve the maximum health benefits for your family at all times.
FIONA STOCK | THE BABY’S NATUROPATH | MELBOURNE NATUROPATH
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