Some Doctors Are Smearing C-Section Babies With Bacteria To Boost Their Health

Some Doctors Are Smearing C-Section Babies With Bacteria To Boost Their Health

A few years ago, I came across some research reporting that the way a child is born appears to have consequences for their health. How so? Scientists believe that the bacterial composition of a woman’s vagina changes during pregnancy in order to allow certain bacteria to coat the child as it passes through the birth canal during delivery. These bacteria are thought to promote healthy development and functioning. If a child is delivered via Caesarean section (i.e., C-section), that child does not have the benefit of being exposed to those bacteria and, as a result, could potentially experience worse health outcomes than those born vaginally. However, some doctors believe there may be a way to remedy this and boost the health of C-section babies.

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More Children Are Born--But Not Conceived--On Valentine's Day

More Children Are Born--But Not Conceived--On Valentine's Day

Most people would probably assume that Valentine’s Day is linked to an increase in pregnancies. I mean, given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, that would only make intuitive sense, right? Surprisingly, however, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, the birth rate would increase nine months later, but it doesn't—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates in November.

By contrast, what we do see on Valentine’s Day is a consistent spike in births. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it.

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Halloween Is One Of The Least Popular Days To Give Birth

Halloween Is One Of The Least Popular Days To Give Birth

The number of babies born each day naturally fluctuates throughout the year. However, researchers have found that certain days are linked to consistent increases or decreases in the birth rate. Believe it or not, one of the days linked to a reliable drop in births is Halloween.

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The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

The Surprising Truth About Valentine’s Day Baby-Making

Logically, you might assume that there would be an increase in children being conceived on Valentine’s Day. Given the nature of this holiday and the emphasis on celebrating sex and romance, this would seem to make intuitive sense, right? However, it’s not supported by the data. If it were, we’d see a spike in the birth rate during the month of November, but we don’t—in fact, we actually see one of the lowest birth rates that month.

By contrast, however, there is a consistent spike in the birth rate on Valentine’s Day itself. In other words, the evidence doesn’t point to more babies being conceived on Valentine’s Day, but it does point to more babies being born on it. 

Wait—what?

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Vaginal Delivery VS. C-Section: Does Different Bacterial Exposure During Childbirth Affect Kids' Health?

I heard a fascinating edition of NPR’s On Point this week about how the bacteria that colonize our bodies impact our health, influencing everything from digestion to immune functioning (you can listen to the entire show here). The thing I found most interesting about this program was when they discussed how some of the most vital bacteria for promoting healthy development and functioning are acquired during childbirth, specifically through vaginal delivery. The bacterial composition of a woman’s vagina actually changes during pregnancy, presumably to allow certain bacteria to coat the child as it passes through the birth canal. However, if a child is delivered via Caesarean section (or C-section), that child does not have the benefit of being exposed to those bacteria and, as a result, could potentially experience worse health outcomes. After hearing this program, I just had to do some digging to learn more about the research in this area.
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