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Childbirth, the birth of the immune system

In the mother’s womb, the fetus is protected from all bacteria. His digestive tract
and its flora are totally free of microbes. His first contact with bacteria
occurs at the time of childbirth. During a natural birth, the baby will
harvest bacteria from her mother’s vaginal flora. These bacteria will influence its
microbiota for the rest of its life. It is thanks to the microbiota that the intestinal cells
can tell the difference between friendly and enemy bacteria. The microbiota is therefore
essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.
In the case of a cesarean delivery, the first bacteria in contact with
the child will not be the same, since there will be no passage through the vaginal flora
from the mother. The first bacteria will be transmitted by the nursing staff and by the
mother’s skin. They will therefore be different bacteria. These children are more likely
to be affected by allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes or even certain
autoimmune diseases.
To solve this problem, researchers have done studies on the subject. They have
discovered that when a child born from a caesarean was brought into contact with
compresses soaked in his mother’s vaginal secretions, he develops
bacteria similar to those of the child born vaginally. This procedure could therefore
solve the problems caused by caesarean section which is today more and more
practiced. However, care must be taken, in the event of infection or illness, it is
dangerous for the newborn to come into contact with these same secretions.