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Your baby's microbiome at birth has a significant impact on lifetime immunity against disease

Research suggests that the crucial window for development of a baby’s immune system is from birth to four months. During this time research suggests the microbiome plays a significant role in setting up the baby’s immune system to help protection against a variety of diseases, like asthma, allergies, diabetes, obesity and eczema and that this can have a lifelong impact.

There are a number of things that research suggests you can do to manage the microbiome of your baby. Watch this short video for some clues.

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The way our babies are born affects their gut microbiome composition, their immune system development and their resistance to medicines, such as antibiotics, used to treat infections and diseases

Caesareans can be a life saving necessity in the birth of a baby. Current scientific research into the development of a baby’s gut microbiome suggests that the way a baby is born, i.e. vaginally or by caesarean, can have a significant effect on the early development of the baby’s gut microbiome.

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The Persistent Effects of Birth Mode on Gut Microbiota Composition, Immune System Development and Antimicrobial Resistance

It is believed that mode of birth (Vaginal or Caesarean) has a significant effect on early gut microbiota acquisition and development. Globally, the rate of caesarean birth is consistently increasing as a result of multiple factors. Among these factors are the increase in the overall income and the easy access to health facilities. In 2015, around 29.7 million births happened by caesarean, accounting for about 18% of the births in 169 countries.

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Watch our short videos

Information about the microbiome and why it is important in babies. For the full expert interviews, head to 'meet the experts' in 'the science' menu at the top of this page.

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baby with dr steven leach

Dr Leach explains where a baby gets their microbiome from.

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baby with dr steven leach

Steven explains the important role of breastfeeding and diet on the microbiome of a baby.

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baby with dr steven leach

Dr Leach explains his work looking at the benefits of prebiotics in premature babies.

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