Doctors Warn Against The Health Risks Of Vaginal Seeding, A New Trending Practice
Babies born via c-section do not get access to a particular microbe which protects them against diseases and allergies. To provide them with that microbe, mothers opt for vaginal seeding.
Doctors warn against the risks of vaginal seeding
- Expectant mothers should refrain from the practice of vaginal seeding
- With this practice the mother may end up passing on an STI to her child
- Herpes is a health risk in babies and might even spread to their organs
Dr Christopher Zahn from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), said that "Due to the lack of sufficient data, the very real risks [of vaginal seeding] outweigh the potential benefits."
Also read: 6 Reasons Why You May Need A C-Section Delivery
"By swabbing an infant's mouth, nose or skin with vaginal fluid after birth, the mother could potentially, and unknowingly, pass on disease-causing bacteria or viruses," he added.
There are chances that with this practice the mother may end up passing on an STI to her child without even knowing about it. Dr Jennifer Wu, an expert from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York explained that vaginal seeding can lead to great health risks for the baby.
"Certain viruses, such as group B strep and herpes, can cause serious illnesses such as meningitis in newborns," she explained.
Herpes sure is symptomless in adults but it can be a potentially fatal issue in babies and might even spread to their organs.
Instead of vaginal seeding, doctors recommended a safer and better way of doing the same; breastfeeding.
"Breastfeeding for the first six months is the best way to overcome the lack of exposure to maternal vaginal flora at birth," Zahn said.
"The bacteria present in breast milk and on the nipple are sufficient for natural colonisation or seeding of the gut," he added.
"There may be some initial difference in the gut [microbes] of infants based on the mode of delivery, but research has shown that difference disappears after about six months."