Several specialists believe that babies born via Cesarean section are at a disadvantage because they don’t pick up mom’s vaginal bacteria on their way out. The first bacteria these babies experience often come from the not-so-sterile items in the room like a lamp or a ceiling tile.
Evidence suggests that C-section babies are more likely to develop allergies, asthma and Type 1 diabetes.
An intervention study did something kinda cool.
About an hour before the C-section, doctors put a cloth into mom’s vagina and let it soak up all of her bacteria. Then, a few minutes after birth, they rubbed that cloth all over the newborn. And I mean all over: lips, arms, legs, genitals, anus, everywhere. It took 15 seconds.
Scientists found improvement in bacteria culture on the swabbed newborns compared to unswabbed ones, but they still weren’t the same as babies born naturally. Promising, nevertheless.