I’ve been teaching childbirth classes for 22 years. My students’ goal is to have a safe, healthy, and natural birth. Not everyone is able to achieve this goal. Sometimes the stars align and things fall into place. Sometimes choices my students make or choices their care providers make influence an outcome that doesn’t align with their original goal of a natural birth. There are many factors involved and some are out of their control. But before that baby arrives, my students frequently get into conversations with co-workers, friends, or family about wanting to have a natural birth. People say, “What do you want to do that for?” “Good luck with that!”; “Just wait till labor starts. You’ll change your mind.”
These statements are not very supportive, to say the least! Evidence shows that the safest and healthiest birth is a natural birth. The Lamaze 6 healthy birth practices are based on research and medical evidence that lead to the best outcomes for mother and baby. One of the most important benefits of normal birth is the Microbiome. Your baby picks up and establishes his Microbiome from the mother’s birth canal.
The Microbiome is important because that is where the immune system begins. The Microbiome consists of trillions of good bacteria that lay the foundation of a strong and healthy life. The function of your baby’s Microbiome:
- Supports the immune system
- Nutrient absorption
- Cognitive function
- Mood regulation
Without this essential Microbiome, your baby may be more susceptible to disease, and a weakened immune system. A recent study found “Babies born vaginally were colonized predominantly by Lactobacillus, whereas cesarean delivery babies were colonized by a mixture of potentially pathogenic bacteria typically found on the skin and in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter, suggesting babies born by CD were colonized with skin flora in lieu of traditionally vaginal type of bacterium.” Babies born by Cesarean delivery were more likely to develop the following:
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Celiac disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
Watch the documentary Microbirth on vimeo to learn more about the Microbiome and how important it is to your baby. I believe birth is a miracle and can be magical. Most women can achieve a normal birth but it takes commitment and preparation, support and the right care provider. Do everything you can to assure your baby will have the best start to life. If you’ve done all you can, you’ve done your very best.
by Liza Janda