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Baby’s first bacteria depend on birth route

C-section newborns may harbor fewer helpful microbes than infants born vaginally

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2:42pm, June 21, 2010

It’s the journey, not the destination,that determines the quality of bacteria a newborn encounters in life’s first moments.

A new survey finds that babies born via cesarean section had markedly different bacteria on their skin, noses mouths and rectums than babies born vaginally. The research adds to evidence that babies born via C-section may miss out on beneficial bacteria passed on by their mothers.

 “We know from lots and lots of other ecosystems that how you set up the house has a real impact for all the later guests,” says medical microbiologist David Relman of the Stanford University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.

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