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1 in every 3 American births by Cesarean & newborn's stomach flora

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I heard this statistic on an NPR show today.  The doctor being interviewed also said that babies born via Cesarean have different intestinal flora than those born by vaginal births and spoke about what probiotics as an evolving field for babies born via c/s.  Any thoughts on either topic?

post #2 of 26

I have had 2 babies vaginally and one by c/s. Only my c/s baby had a pretty significant milk/soy protein intolerance with eczema and reflux. I am a firm believer that c/s babies generally don't have appropriate gut flora, and I wish I had supplemented her with probiotics at the time.

post #3 of 26
My first son was born by a HB turned c-section transfer and we have had no issues with intolerances or nursing or allergies or anything else digestive and we did baby led weaning so he ate EVERYTHING. I didn't give him probiotics.
post #4 of 26

Yep, babies born by c/s have their gut colonised by the theatre staff. Babies born vaginally are colonised by their mother's gut flora. It is one of the many reasons I am unhappy that my LO was born by c/s.

 

There is also research which suggests that babes born by c/s have a greater risk of developing Type I diabetes in later life. I suspect the two are linked and that there may be links to other autoimmune disorders as well.

 

I would not give my newborn a random probiotic but if there was one developed specifically for babies born by c/s and it was well researched then I would almost certainly give it to another c/s baby.

 

 

Edited because I said DM II and it's actually Type I


Edited by katelove - 1/22/12 at 2:15pm
post #5 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Altair View Post

My first son was born by a HB turned c-section transfer and we have had no issues with intolerances or nursing or allergies or anything else digestive and we did baby led weaning so he ate EVERYTHING. I didn't give him probiotics.

 

I will chime in with another positive story. My DS was born by c/s and has had no digestive problems at all. Nursed beautifully for two years, we did baby-led solids, he ate (and continues to eat) everything in site, and he is never sick. I've never given him probiotics.

 

While I think information can always be helpful, I worry about adding to the fear and stigma surrounding c-section. I know many, many women who gave birth vaginally and whose little ones suffer from all manner of digestive issues and allergies.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

alittlesandy:  Yes, good news with us, too.  Our son was born by c/s and only had breastmilk for 6.5 months.  He has never had any digestive issues and has only caught a bug twice.  He is very healthy and thriving.  I was not trying to stir up c/s worries about the gut...I had just never heard about the whole flora thing and was curious.

post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

alittlesandy:  Yes, good news with us, too.  Our son was born by c/s and only had breastmilk for 6.5 months.  He has never had any digestive issues and has only caught a bug twice.  He is very healthy and thriving.  I was not trying to stir up c/s worries about the gut...I had just never heard about the whole flora thing and was curious.


Thanks Caedenmomma! I, too, found the flora thing interesting and curious. Thank you for sharing. I wasn't upset with your thread in particular. I just came from a playdate with a mama who had three home births and said, "I assume since you're having a c/s you'll be using formula." I got very defensive. I get tired of all the misconceptions. Thank you for understanding hug.gif.

post #8 of 26

I've heard this too and have been giving my 6month old Biogaia probiotics.  I think it helps him, he was a pretty fussy baby before we started them.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

Yep, babies born by c/s have their gut colonised by the theatre staff. Babies born vaginally are colonised by their mother's gut flora. It is one of the many reasons I am unhappy that my LO was born by c/s.

 

There is also research which suggests that babes born by c/s have a greater risk of developing Type II diabetes in later life. I suspect the two are linked and that there may be links to other autoimmune disorders as well.

 

I would not give my newborn a random probiotic but if there was one developed specifically for babies born by c/s and it was well researched then I would almost certainly give it to another c/s baby.


Do you have links to these studies as I would like to read more about it.  

 

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ktg_ View Post


Do you have links to these studies as I would like to read more about it.  

 



http://www.springerlink.com/content/8p3341k2rw7g32w8/ Although I got it wrong in my original post, it is actually DM I not II.

post #11 of 26
DD was born by c-section and had issues with diarrhea as a toddler. It took a couple years worth of supplementing with fermented foods and probiotics to get things more normal. I definitely think it had an effect on her gut flora.
post #12 of 26

Good thread, found it all interesting to read. I had not heard of this.

post #13 of 26

well, our anecdote with dd is that we did have stomach problem hell.  i'd be interested in whether though, the studies took into account babies born after some length of labor vs. non-laboring births.  length of time in the canal, etc. might influence this, i'd imagine.

my take on it is also that babies born by c-birth frequently have other issues- such as blood sugar, jaundice, etc.  (which in our case, we did, and for which, many times staff will supplement with formula, which according to some anecdotes/research might cause flora imbalances or different colonization).  it's worth further investigation for sure.

our problem with infant probiotics is that it is pretty difficult to find any with no milk or milk proteins/ products in it.  that kind of defeats the purpose. 

i don't think it's necessarily a scare tactic, though it does make me sad.

 

post #14 of 26

This is an interesting topic. Thanks for starting the thread.

 

Here's our story:

 

I did give DD probiotics as an infant, but it was because I developed a breast infection immediately after her birth and was on antibiotics for 12+ weeks. I was taking probiotics to try to maintain my own gut flora, and I thought it would be a good idea to give her something too, just in case. Because of the breast infection, I was also having trouble pumping enough, so when I went back to work I occasionally supplemented with a little formula, though breast milk was DD's primary source of nutrition. The good news is, my infection eventually cleared up and I ended up nursing DD until she was almost 3.

 

DD did have jaundice, though it cleared up within 10 days without any intervention other than my efforts to breastfeed her as much as possible. She wasn't colicky exactly, but she wasn't an "easy" baby, and I did wonder if she had some gut issues. She had mucous in her poop for awhile, so I quit eating dairy. Eventually, things regulated for her, and I went back to eating dairy. She's never shown any evidence of a gut issue since. Like me, she seems to be able to eat anything.

 

Overall, I haven't been able to discern any adverse effects from the c-section on DD. I am grateful for that.

post #15 of 26

My son was born 9 months ago via c-section. I thought he was just a "high-needs" baby. He would fuss for hours on end and nothing seemed to make him happy. He didn't spit up ever so I never thought he had tummy trouble.

 

Finally, I took him to a Functional Medicine doc that I saw when I was pregnant. She's also a chiropractor, and I thought that he maybe just needed an adjustment. She immediately said, "Oh he was born via c-section? He needs probiotics." She explained exactly what's been mentioned- his gut wasn't populated by my flora. We gave him infant probiotics that she described, and literally overnight there was a huge difference. All the "why is he fussing?" fussing ended in about 24 hours, never to return.

post #16 of 26
I'm trying for a VBAC this time, but I'm planning on picking up infant probiotics if I do need a c-section. We don't want to go through all of that again. She also got very fussy for a long time, and we were puzzled as to why she was so uncomfortable. I've learned a lot since then, and it makes sense in retrospect why we had those issues.
post #17 of 26

Both my girls were c/s after laboring (which is supposed to make a difference).  Both have multiple food sensitivities and both had reflux as babies.   With DD2 we found BioGaia probiotics and within 24 hours she was a different, much happier, baby.  That being said, allergies are on both sides of our family (thought my husbands family doesn't recognize most of them) and my DH also had reflux.  DD1 also had heavy antibiotics for 2days for an infection so that likely contributed to her issues.

post #18 of 26
This is very interesting. It's funny because my 2 c section babies had zero allergies/food intolerance. One of my VBAC babies had no problems and the other VBAC baby has had many sensitivities to foods, I would even classify her as a bit high needs! She's 2 now and has taken probiotics for a year. No major issues anymore.
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Partaria View Post

My son was born 9 months ago via c-section. I thought he was just a "high-needs" baby. He would fuss for hours on end and nothing seemed to make him happy. He didn't spit up ever so I never thought he had tummy trouble.

 

Finally, I took him to a Functional Medicine doc that I saw when I was pregnant. She's also a chiropractor, and I thought that he maybe just needed an adjustment. She immediately said, "Oh he was born via c-section? He needs probiotics." She explained exactly what's been mentioned- his gut wasn't populated by my flora. We gave him infant probiotics that she described, and literally overnight there was a huge difference. All the "why is he fussing?" fussing ended in about 24 hours, never to return.


Holy cow.  That is incredible.  I encourage you to post that in LWAB...you might be really helping somebody! 

 

post #20 of 26

 

My 4 mo old son was born via c/s after 24 hrs of labor. He was in NICU on 4 high powered abx for 3 weeks. Almost as soon as we brought him home, he starting having horrible gas, colic, crying fits.After a couple weeks of this every night. and dh and I were both at our wits end, it hit me one day that his gut flora is probably trashed from all the antibiotics. (I had not heard about the c/s  link though that's interesting.) We started him on some baby probiotics I found at our local health food store and the hours of crying ended within 2 days.   I highly recommend probiotics. It may not work for everyone but it really helped my little guy.

 

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