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How and When does fetus/infant/toddler get its guts colonized by "good" bacteria?

Does it happen before the birth? Or the bacteria come with mother's milk or later (external food)? How the initial 'colonization' happens? How kid's organism assures that these will be the "good" bacteria?

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level 1

The gut of an infant is almost? (or completely) completely sterile before birth. all of the bacteria in the babies' gut is obtained either during birth or after birth.

Gut microbiota is influenced by all the factors you have stated. I read a study comparing babies breast fed up to a year and babies having formula from 3-4 months in. The researchers found that the bacterial makeup of the babies' gut was completely different. There were bacterial species in breast fed babies that were completely absent in formula fed babies, and the percentages of bacterial species was completely different.

But to answering your question, the initial colonization happens during childbirth. another study compared gut bacteria and found that it strongly correlated with the bacterial makeup of mother vaginal bacterial colony. However, when babies were delivered via C-section they found that there was no correlation between mother and child bacterial colony makeup.

level 2

Yep. Just had our second child and the nurses counter anything the mother says about ‘being embarrassed about shitting during childbirth’ with ‘and that’s how you populate your child’s tummy with all the good stuff they need’. That and breastfeeding.

level 3
Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)
level 4
Endocrinology | Metabolism2 points · 6 months ago

Its called vaginal swabbing and there's currently a big clinical trial underway to see if it can mitigate the altered microbiome seen in C-section babies.

Fine if the vagina is healthy.

level 1

During delivery babies pick up their mother's microbiota through a combination of vaginal secretions and fecal matter. Further contact with the mother through breast feeding further modifies the newborns microbiome. Sometimes C-section babies are intentionally "seeded" with the mother's vaginal secretions. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/vaginal-seeding/faq-20380881

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