The Importance Of Seeding Of Your Baby’s Microbiome At Birth

The birth of a new baby is a wonderful process. Everyone waits with bated breath for the new arrival. While many are focused on the labor and delivery process, there is another process, which begins prior to birth and continues after the baby is born, that is just as important as the birth. This is the process of the seeding of the baby's microbiome. Understanding what this is, and how to maximize the seeding process, may have major health implications in your child's future.

What Is A Baby's Microbiome?

The human body is composed of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, which all combine to make up your microbiome. These good bacteria, or microbes, play an important part in determining how your body will be able to handle, or fight off, the bad bacteria when it is encountered. In other words, these microbes often help to determine how your immune system will function, as well as what diseases you may be prone to. What you probably did not know is there are actually more microbial cells within your body than there are human cells. Where does this bacteria infestation come from? It literally comes from everywhere, and it all begins at birth.

How Do You Seed A Baby?

Prior to birth, good bacteria, or microbes, migrate from various locations within the mother's body in order to be transferred to the baby during the birthing process. This begins the seeding process associated with birth.

While some of these microbes are introduced during the natural birthing process, the infiltration continues as your baby takes their first breath, along with their first mouthful of breast milk. They not only ingest the bacteria which have become colonized in the mammary glands, but they also pick up bacteria from the mother's skin, as well as from the air around them. This is the first large dose of microbes a child receives.

Once ingested, the microbes travel from the child's mouth and nose to other locations within their body. Some of this bacteria ends up located within your child's digestive track and intestines. It then plays an important role not only in how well your child digests their food, but also helps to harness the energy and nutrients they receive from their nourishment.

Other microbes play an important role in keeping your baby's immune system healthy by boosting your child's immunity. A healthy immune system helps your baby to ward off many of the nasty bacteria they are exposed to in the course of life. There are still other microbial cells within the body which contribute to other healthy bodily functions.

How Can You Give Your Child The Best Chance At A Healthy Seeding?

One of the ways you can ensure your baby has the best start is to be in full control of the environment your child is born into. As already stated, not only will your child be exposed to the microbial materials being introduced by their mother, they will also be exposed to the microbes within their environment. Controlling this environment is crucial to ensuring your child is not being exposed to the bad bacteria before they have an established immune system to fight it off.

To have full control over their birthing environments, many women are choosing to participate in childbirth at home by utilizing a midwife rather than an obstetrician. Unlike midwives of ancient times, midwives of today are trained medical professionals who are able to provide a wide array of health care services before, during, and after your pregnancy. The array of services provided is often dependent on their training, as well as certification, but some include:

  • Annual gynecological exams
  • Preconception counseling
  • Family planning services
  • Prenatal care
  • Labor and delivery
  • Newborn support and a wide array of educational services in every area of reproductive health. 

Barring any unforeseen complications, being in control will allow you to be able to choose the type of birthing process you use. For example, natural birth versus having a c-section. Statistics show women who utilize a midwife only have c-sections at a rate of 5.2% versus a hospital rate of approximately 31%. You will also be less likely of being asked to have some type of intervention you may not want to have.

When you control your environment you will be in control of the types of drugs used, and even the people who are in your you and your child's presence. Another important benefit to using a midwife is the cost. The cost of a midwife assisted birth is much lower than what you will incur going the traditional route. 

A midwife understands the importance of seeding your baby's microbiome at birth, and will provide you and your baby with every opportunity to have the healthiest start. A healthy start should be the goal of every parent. If you are contemplating choosing midwife services over an obstetrician, then visit to learn more.