Sunday, 4 July 2010

Birth and Bugs

Note: for some reason the links aren't showing up in this post. Just run your cursor over the words and they will show as a purple colour. I can't fix this glitch, not sure why! Sorry.

Some interesting posts about the importance of the way babies are born and the bacteria they are exposed to through the birth process are emerging in cyberspace. The information is not only interesting, it helps to inform our practice as midwives and enables parents to understand one of the many reasons why there is a concerted move in both midwifery circles and government agencies to turn the tide more towards normal birth. Concerns are being raised that environmentally triggered changes to immune cells of babies born by caesarean section are predisposing those babies to be susceptible to immunological diseases such as diabetes and asthma in later life.

A blogger has explained the importance of our exposure to bugs at birth this way.

and a teacher of molecular biology at Princeton University, Bonnie Bassler, explains how bacteria talk to each other chemically. Bonnie informs us that we are composed of 10x more bacteria cells than human cells!

This information is a powerful addition to the accumulating evidence about normal, natural, unhindered, supported birth being best for mother and baby.


traceyb65 said...

testing positive to strep B in pregnancy meant i was put on an antibiotic drip to avoid transmission during delivery. where does this fit in to this new school of thought? and btw, both my kids are asthmatic, but then, so am i! xt

Carolyn Hastie said...

Yes, Tracey, Strep B is one of those bugs that can cause mischief for some newborns. Antibiotics have their hazards too and the wholesale use of them is contributing to pollution and resistence. There are other ways to reduce the potential for Strep B sepsis in newborns. The use of Chlorhexidine douches has been found to be beneficial. The woman douches with a solution every six hours when she thinks she is in active labour or starting when the membranes break, until birth.

Keeping the membranes intact is helpful, ensuring good nutrition with adequate vitamin c and zinc intake during pregnancy is useful to maintain membrane integrity, plus of course, not artificially rupturing them.

Hope these ideas help Tracey. Sorry about the asthma, that's hard to manage at times; those white cells need taming! Some people have had success with
have you ever tried that?