Newborns delivered with C-section are at a high risk of gut problems and allergies because their gut microbiota is not developed like others. It is because the immunity of the newborn baby comes from his mother and it is usually not developed until the first few months of life. The new study suggests feeding them with their mother’s fecal matter to build immunity with better gut microbiota.
Some of the studies suggested that the vaginal fluids from the mother rubbed against their skin right after they are born can reduce the risk of infections. However, this current study reveals a more practical approach suggesting them to the mother’s fecal matter. The complete findings of this study are published in the journal Cell.
The researchers suggest diluting the mother’s fecal matter into the breastmilk and give it to the baby, immediately after birth.
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This procedure is safe for all the newborns and introducing them to their mother’s gut microbiota may cause them to develop the same. This microbiota transfer is no less than a mother’s gift to her baby.
The newborn babies have an undeveloped immune system but after exposure to the microbes, the immune system eventually matures. Every person, including a newborn baby, has its own unique microbiota which accounts for all bacteria present inside the gut. Typically the microbiota is different in babies who are born through vaginal delivery and C-section babies. Due to these variations, there remains a difference in their immune system which slowly starts responding to the outer world including microbes and allergens.
30 mothers were contacted for this current study, out of which 17 decided to be a part of it. Only ten of these women experienced contraindications, for example, antibiotic exposure or any infectious disease. Finally, seven out of these mothers were scheduled for the Cesarean section and studied further.
The babies born to these mothers were fed with the fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs) immediately they were born. The mother’s fecal matter was collected and prepared around three weeks before the delivery. All babies remained in the hospital for two days after delivery. It was to make sure that there are no side effects or complications related to the fecal microbiota transplant.
The researchers tested the fecal microbiota of these newborns when they were born. It was rechecked two days later, two weeks later, and finally three months later. Reportedly, the babies were doing well right after they were introduced with a gut microbiota transplant.
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After reaching three months’ age, the gut microbiota of all these babies was almost similar to the babies which were vaginally delivered. This microbiota was significantly different from other C-section born babies that didn’t receive a fecal transplant from their mothers. Based on all these comparisons, the researches found that fecal transplants can be a helpful tool to buildup immunity in newborn babies.
The safety evaluation of this study is not fully understood but the benefits that it provides support the mother’s fecal matter transfer to the newborn for added immunity. This study is yet to be tested for risks and side-effects if any.