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.
Since 1990, the global rate of caesarean section has increased steadily with greatest increases were noticed in Eastern Asia (44.9% point increase), Western Asia (34.7% point increase) and Northern Africa (31.5% point increase, respectively). The latest date obtained from 154 countries covering 94.5% of world live births between 2010-2018 shows that 21.1% of women gave birth by caesarean section worldwide and is anticipated to reach 28.5% by 2030 (2).
In Australia in 2019, of the 298,567 mothers who gave birth, 107,543 (36%) gave birth by caesarean section (3). This is consistent with an increase in caesarean section rate seen from 31% in 2008 to 35% in 2018 (4)
In a recent study (1) Busi and his colleagues sought to discover whether mode of birth, Vaginal Delivery or Caesarean, resulted in long term changes in the gut microbiome of the baby that may impact on the baby’s health and development. They specifically looked at the differences that mode of delivery made to the microbiota (the various microbes and bacteria) composition of the baby’s gut microbiome and how this impacted the immune system development of the baby and the baby’s resistance or otherwise to antibiotics at 1 year of age.
The study showed:
Microbiota, Mode of Birth, Cesarean section birth, Vaginal birth, immune system, antimicrobial resistant.
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