Type Of Bacteria On Babies' Skin Depends On Delivery

A new study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) suggests being born vaginally may be better for babies.   Babies born vaginally were found covered in bacteria common to the mother's vagina (typically good bacteria). C-section babies, however, were covered with bacteria similar to those found on an adult's skin (more dangerous types of bacteria).
The mothers were tested one hour before delivery, and the babies were tested between five minutes and 24 hours after delivery. Samples were collected from the mothers' skin, oral cavities and vaginas; and from the newborns' skin, oral cavities and noses.

At all the sampled sites, babies delivered vaginally had microbial communities resembling those of their mothers' vaginas, rich in the bacterial types Lactobacillus, Prevotella or Sneathia. Babies delivered by C-section had bacteria similar to those found on the skin and were not unique to their mothers; the dominant bacteria were Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and Propionibacterium.

Jessie Schiewe of the Los Angeles Times has more: Link

Photo: Myung J. Chun/ Los Angeles Times

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