'Seeding' Is the Hot New C-Section Trend -- Would You Try It?

newborn

Whether you plan on having a C-section or just end up getting one at the last minute, there's a new trend you can try that may actually boost your baby's health: "seeding," which more or less means you slather your newborn in your vaginal fluid after your cesarean.

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I know, I know: My knee-jerk reaction was also "Eww, no way." But after reading up I have to admit, it sounds like it might help, at least a bit.

Here's why: Studies have shown that babies born by C-section have weaker immune systems than babies born vaginally. The reason is as babies pass through the birth canal, they get covered in a "microbiome" of vaginal bacteria that can actually help protect them from various ailments.

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, a professor at New York University’s School of Medicine, is actually comparing the microbiomes of 17 babies -- some born vaginally, others by C-section, still others by C-section followed by "seeding." And the preliminary results sound promising.

"What we’ve found is that if you expose a baby born via C-section to vaginal fluid, you can partially restore the microbes it misses out on by not coming through the birth canal," she says.

More from The Stir: How Savvy Are You About C-Sections? (TRIVIA)

To me, this reasoning sounds similar to how breast milk lines the gastrointestinal tract of babies and improves their immune systems -- only this time it's vaginal fluid on the baby's skin.

That said, the temporary, topical nature of this seems less effective than breast milk that's ingested every day for months. So, I do think whatever benefit is conferred may be minuscule.

Plus logistically how do you ask for such a procedure? After giving birth by C-section, I think the last thing I'd want to do is tell some nurse or my husband to reach into my vadge and smear those juices on my baby. Awk-waaard!

So until the day arrives where more scientific evidence surfaces that seeding helps C-section babies, I think I'd keep my vaginal juices to myself, thank you very much!

Would you try seeding?

 

Image via Vivid Pixels/shutterstock

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