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Tag: C section

Babies Born via C-Sections Have Different Gut Microbiota

A study reported to the Journal Nature, found evidence that infants born by C-sections have different microbiota than babies born vaginally. The study found that method of delivery plays a factor in which bacteroids colonizes the intestines of infants immediately after birth. 

The study was conducted in the United Kingdom. Researchers took stool samples from 596 babies in total– 282 born via cesarean section and 314 born vaginally. Scientist took samples four, seven and 21 days after birth and samples a couple of months later after birth. They also took stool samples from 175 mothers took help determine the origin of the gut microbiota. 

Research found that babies born through cesarean section have less “good” bacteria from their mothers and more bacteria from the environment in which they are born. The infants born by c-sections contained pathogens such as enterococcus, enterobacter and klebsiella, which have been found in hospitals. Via natural birth, infants’ intestines contained gut microbiota from their mother as well as the environment in which they were born. Later on in infancy, researchers found that babies born by c-sections showed more similar gut microorganisms as their naturally-birthed counterparts. 

Scientists found that in the gut microbiota found in infants born via c-section, some pathogens contained antimicrobial resistance and bacterial virulence factors. This could potentially make infants born by cesarean sections more susceptible to infections and weaken their immune systems. 

Researchers concluded that the environment in which babies are born factor into how gut microbiota will be composed from birth to infancy. But it still remains unclear if the initial difference in gut microbiota will have any health effects later on in life. 

Regardless of this study, c-sections are still important to the health of millions of babies and mothers worldwide. In no way should this study discourage women from having c-sections; especially, if they are a necessity. Caesarean sections have saved millions of lives and will continue to do so.

Advancement in Modern Antiseptics

Before the 1870’s, sanitation was a huge problem in the growing world.  Doctors would clean tools with wine or hard alcohol, people’s teeth were falling out from not cleaning them, and people were getting infections from surgery at an alarming rate, etc.  Since so many surgeries resulted in infections, they then had to amputate that area.  Amputations had a 45-50% success rate.  This all means that if you needed surgery, you probably would die.  It wasn’t until many advances in microbiology that Joseph Lister introduced Carbolic Acid as an antiseptic in medicine.  He discovered that it cleaned surgical instruments extremely well, and prevented many infections from surgery.   This discover made the maternal death rates drop from 18% to 1%.  Later, another antiseptic, Listerine, was made by another scientist for a general sanitation, in which it was named after Lister, the father of antiseptics. 

Joseph Lister, Father of Antiseptics

You might be thinking, “All of this happened in the past, and our antiseptics are so good now, why do should I care?”  As it turns out, modern antiseptics don’t actually sterilize things 100%, and although they do a pretty good job, and there are still new antiseptics being discovered every year.  One of these recent discoveries is an antiseptic for caesarean deliveries.  A new solution of Chlorhexidine and alcohol (2% chlorhexidine gluconate with 70% isopropyl alcohol) cuts cesarean section surgical site infections by half compared with the usual solution of iodine and alcohol (8.3% povidone-iodine with 72.5% isopropyl alcohol). Dr. Methodius G. Tuuli, who is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, is responsible for this amazing discovery and has spoken at the Annual Pregnancy Meeting sponsored by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and had his work published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  

The experiment itself consisted of 1,147 patients who delivered a baby through a c-section.  The doctors then randomly used either the new solution or the old alcohol/iodine solution. Besides that, nothing else changed in the procedure for postpartum women; and then 30 days after being discharged from the hospital they were given a call to see if the surgery site had developed an infection. The only downside that is known about Chlorhexidine, is that it supposedly causes more allergic reactions than the iodine solution; however none were observed during the experiment. 

Antiseptics are often overlooked when it comes to the best inventions or discoveries in science because it is so mundane.  People never stop and think what life was like before we had all these amazing soaps and sanitary solutions. To me, it is mind-blowing that less than 150 years ago, if a person needed surgery on any of the limbs,  the odds are they would probably get an infection, then have to get it amputated, which gave them a 50% chance to live.  Do you readers agree that Antiseptics have been our greatest discovery? Let me know in the comment below!

Infants’ Feces Says a Lot about the Gut Microbiome

Who knew studying babies’ poop can actually lead to amazing discoveries about childbirth, breastfeeding, antibiotics, allergies, and asthma?

That’s exactly what scientists Fredrik Bäckhed and Jovanna Dahlgren at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Wang Jun at the Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, China recently learned when they conducted a study analyzing feces from 98 Swedish infants.

But before we get into the details of the study, let’s get down the basics first. What exactly is the gut microbiome?

Gut microbiome is the name given to the population of microbiota organisms that live in the human intestine. These microorganisms are unique, not only because there are trillions of them but also because they have milliions of genes, and can function as a person’s identity card (much like a fingerprint or a strand of hair).

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Recently there’s been a lot of buzz in the science world about the gut microbiome because it seems as though it plays various crucial functions, and this study is just one of many. The Swedish and Chinese scientists discovered a few ways in how the gut microbiome affects childbirth, breastfeeding, and development.

There are two ways to give birth: vaginally or via a cesarean section, or C-section. Comparing the feces collected from babies born vaginally and from babies born via C-section, scientists discovered that the feces from the latter contains a significantly less similar microbiome to the microbiome of their mothers.

They also determined that nutrition during the early stages of an infant’s life is a core factor in the development of the gut microbiome.

Our findings surprisingly demonstrated that cessation of breastfeeding, rather than introduction of solid foods, is the major driver in the development of an adult-like microbiota

-Fredrik Bäckhed, lead study author

Bacteria rely on the mother’s milk to grow. Once the bacteria’s access to that milk stops, the bacteria stops growing. In its place, adult-like microorganisms emerge.

In addition, the gut microbiome acts as nutrients and vitamins to the infant’s growth and development, and gives aid to important processes such as making amino acids.

The study also critiques the amount of antibiotics given to babies when they’re born. There’s speculation that the baby’s gut microbiome is negatively impacted by the overabundance and overexposure of antibiotics. Besides the obvious risk of antibiotic resistance, one hypothesis is that when exposed to antibiotics early on, the gut microbiome loses important bacteria that helps immune cells mature. This is believed to be the reason why allergies and asthma are now widely prevalent.

Though this study is just a preliminary, it’s amazing just how big of an effect the gut microbiome has on us, and how much new research is coming out.

Want to learn more about the gut microbiome? Check out other sources about the microbiome, such as it’s relationship on the brain, and how it can change the brain’s function, how it can help reduce weight, and junk food’s negative impact on it, and make sure to comment below!



Original Article

Would you like allergies with that C section?

New born delivery baby photo

Although winter is annoyingly cold, at least there are some upsides, Christmas, hot coco, and a break from allergy season. For some people,the months from March to September can be horrible…if they have allergies. Their bodies feels sickly, their noses feel itchy, and their snot is icky. The loud sneezing can be so embarrassing, and they begin to wonder what they did to deserve this cruel and unusual punishment? NOTHING! If you are one of those people, don’t feel bad, it isn’t YOUR fault. Like most things in life, you can blame it on your parents. For keeping you too clean?

Scientist in Denmark have related the amount of allergies people have to the lifestyle they had growing up. According to studies done at Gentofte Hospital, the more babies and infants are introduced to bacteria at a young age, the more likely they won’t be as allergic to things.  “Reduced diversity of the intestinal microbiota during infancy was associated with increased risk of allergic disease at school age..But if there was considerable diversity, the risk was reduced, and the greater the variation, the lower the risk.” said Gentofte Hospital consultant Professor Hans Bisgaard.

The time to being exposing babies starts right at birth and up to three months later. Wait, does this mean after birth we should make babies visit EVERY wing in the hospital.

Stranger, the fact someone has allergies could rely on how they were delievered. In the womb, the infant is protected by the mother’s immune defences. As an infant is delivered it is surrounded by new bacteria. A study showed, that those babies who were born vaginally, and were exposed to all the bactieria in the mother’s rectum,  have much less allergies than the babies from a C section who weren’t as exposed to the bacteria in their mother.

However, Professor Bisgaard isn’t stopping his research at connecting early life factors to allergies, he has also connected it to asthma and hay fever. Bisgaard’s continued research might be able to tie diseaseas such as obesity and diabetes to another early life factors as well.

Who knows what other things we’ll be able to fault are parents with in the future?

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