Pediatricians Speak Out About Microbiome Insufficiencies from Cesarean Births
Having attended over a thousand surgical births during my fifty years as a pediatrician, I first wish to point out two important facts:
- Surgical births are lifesaving for many babies.
- The current surgical procedures are much safer.
With that in mind, pediatricians are becoming increasingly concerned about expectant mothers and their doctors choosing a surgical/cesarean birth for convenience and not always out of medical necessity.
Growing a Healthy Microbiota
One of the main reasons for discouraging unnecessary cesarean births is the new research showing how normal and healthy passage through mother’s birth canal helps plant healthy seeds in the baby’s growing gut garden, or what is called “growing a healthy microbiota.” Growing a good gut garden early on leads to a healthier immune system for baby.
In an article in the June 2019 issue of Infectious Diseases in Children, researchers discovered a new finding regarding cesarean births. The findings were as follow:
- Babies born of elective surgical/cesarean births had a greater chance of having more respiratory infections, especially bronchiolitis.
- The study also revealed that these infants had an increased risk of being hospitalized.
Because of these studies, pediatricians are increasingly advising mothers to seek wise medical judgment and think carefully before deciding on an elective surgical birth.
Because of this new discovery of how the passage of through mother’s vaginal canal helps plant seeds in the baby’s growing microbiome garden. When a baby needs a surgical birth, immediately after delivery the obstetrician will take a swab of mothers vaginal secretions and massage baby with them.
For more about how to lower your need for a surgical birth and how to have a safer surgical birth, see the only pregnancy book co-authored by a university professor of obstetrics, a Ph.D. midwife, a childbirth educator/mother of eight, and a pediatrician – The Healthy Pregnancy Book.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.