There’s a new trend in birthing suites all over Australia.
It’s got parents like me intrigued, and non-parents well, kind of grossed out. But, is there more to this practice than just compiling ammunition to freak out your kids later in life?
Enter “Seeding”; a birth practice whereby mothers who have their babies via c-section take swabs of their vaginal fluid to rub on the face, body and in the mouth of their new baby.
Weird? Yeah, kinda. But just hold up a minute before you get all grossed out by it. There may actually be more behind the idea of Seeding than good old-fashioned nut-baggery from a “wellness” blog.
It all comes from the idea that a natural birth via the lady tunnel exposes a baby to a range of bacteria to which mum already possesses a certain level of immunity.
Absolutely no filter. Babies seconds after they are born. (Post continues after gallery.)
During the natural birth process, the immunity and healthy bacteria is passed on to the baby. C- section bubs obviously miss out on this journey, and with it, the immunity and bacteria they would have otherwise received from their mother.
Studies have shown notable differences in the gut health of babies born via caesarian section to those who take the traditional escape route. Amongst these differences is increasing information that suggests that babies who depart via the sunroof have increased instances of digestive and immunity issues both in childhood, and into their adult life.
So does it actually work? Well, scientists seem to think so.
A study currently under way at New York University indicates that while not identical to the benefits of a natural birth, babies who are ‘seeded’ appear to enjoy an increase in overall gut health and a reduction in gut related disease.
Have you watched Ben Fordham talk about being at the birth of his children? It is so worth it. (Post continues after video.)
Now that we know what seeding is, the next logical question that entered my mind was uh, how?
Well, I think we’d all be pleased to learn that it’s not just a simple case of “Congratulations mum. Here’s your blue book, a hospital issue blanket and some artist-quality brushes to stick up your bits,” but rather, a practice that’s very clinical in nature.
Prior to the birth, a mother inserts some sterilised gauze into her vagina (something that she no doubt lost sight of months ago). The gauze is left for approximately one hour to absorb the natural secretions and is then removed and placed in a sterilised jar while the c- section is performed. Immediately after the birth, the baby is swabbed with the gauze including on the face, the body and in the mouth.
What’s the obsession with getting to a ridiculous post-baby body? Holly and Alys discuss it here. (Post continues after podcast.)
So, is seeding something likely to become second nature in caesarian section births? I suppose like a lot of things, it comes down to the individual preferences of the parents. Sure, it’s probably not the kind of thing your friends want to discuss over a dinner table (but neither is eating one’s placenta) but with increasing scientific evidence indicating it’s benefits it might just be worthwhile investigating.
Yes, the practice of seeding initially sounds a bit gross and probably makes non-parents vomit in their mouths a little bit, there’s really little difference in the way babies have entered the world for millions of years. Birth canal = vaginal fluid. Fact. Plus, whenever your kids annoy you in the future, just remind them of the time you swabbed them with your vaginal secretions.
I bet they’ll have nothing on that. Mum – 1 Kids -0.
What do you think of the Seeding birth practice? Have you tried Seeding, or no someone who has?
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