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Birth-Mode Dependent Associations of Maternal Body Weight Status with the Infant Gut Microbiota

Written by
Dr Fathalla Ali, PHD Paediatrics


Due to the intimate contact between mother and newborn baby during birth, the mother has been found to be the most influential factor for seeding the gut microbiota of her newborn baby. This seeding mechanism is believed to play a critical role in the differential mother-to-baby transfer of microbiota that could contribute to the intergenerational cycle of obesity.

In recent study by Singh, Madan, Hoen and et al has explored the effect of birth mode on modifying the association of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index and gestational weight gain with the infant gut microbiota.

  • Authors investigated data from questionnaires and medical records of 335 mother-infant pairs. Additionally, generated microbial data for infants at 6 weeks of age by using 16s rRNA gene sequencing technology.
  • As reported from the microbial data, maternal overweight and obesity was associated with altered babies’ gut microbiota composition among vaginally delivered babies, but not in cesarean section delivered babies.
  • Maternal overweight or obesity was associated with higher microbial diversity and higher abundance 15 bacteria, including overrepresentation of Bacteroides, Escherichia, Veillonella, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus among vaginally delivery babies.

Keywords: Gut Microbiota, Birth mode, maternal body weight, vaginal delivery, cesarean section


Singh, S. B., Madan, J., Coker, M., Hoen, A., Baker, E. R., Karagas, M. R., & Mueller, N. T. (2020). Does birth mode modify associations of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain with the infant gut microbiome?. International journal of obesity (2005), 44(1), 23–32. Click here.

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