The Vaginal Path
Ok. Sure, no one wants to think of bacteria as something good.
We're all clean-obsessed.
But did you know that there are more microbes that are in and around your body that there are of your own body cells?
It's called your microbiome.
And it's extremely important to your health.
Gut health, brain health, immune health. Everything.
And guess where it starts?
Let me tell you a story.
The other day I was at my children's school, chatting with some other mums, and we all noticed that a recently pregnant woman was no longer pregnant and was pushing a pram with her little bundle of baby-girl joy. We were all cooing and melting over this adorable newborn, sleeping so peacefully, all covered in pink and brand new. I don't know this woman and she doesn't know me, so she probably didn't know the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy.
One of the mums asked her how the birth went. And she replied,
"Oh, it was OK. I ended up having a c-section."
So, because I love checking newborns and adjusting them, I offered that she consider having her baby's spine checked by me.
And then her friend piped in and said, "Oh, but she's perfect. She was born c-section, so her spine's fine."
Um, try again.
Actually, it's important to check ALL newborns' spines. Why? Because whether your baby was born vaginally, or c-section, the spine has been twisted and compressed and pulled and pushed just to adapt to the birthing process. Have you ever seen a baby squish out of the birth canal? Have you ever seen a doctor pull a baby out of a mother's belly during a c-section?
It's not a pretty sight. It's physically intense. No no, you’re thinking it’s intense for the mother. Sure, a bit. (Men: read “a lot”.)
But it’s really really intense for the baby.
Anyway, the other very important factor is the bacteria in the vaginal flora. One of the crucial points in helping the development of a newborn's immune system is the passing through the vaginal canal. As the baby is slowly easing through the vagina, she picks up all the healthy bacteria that help create her microbiome.
This microbiome forms the gut bacteria as well as lung microbiome. These bacteria jump start the development of the immune system and add to the synthesis and activation of the baby's white blood cells to help find off bad bacteria and viruses.
It is now well known that a c-section birth causes the baby to completely skip that critical part of bacteria transfer from the mother's vaginal flora to the baby. Some hospitals now even take a swab from the mother's vaginal and spread it all over the c-section baby to try to get that bacteria on them!
This is why it's so important for pregnant mothers to get adjusted throughout pregnancy. Because regular adjustments help increase the chance of smoother labours, efficient progression of contractions, cervical dilation, as well as calmer and easier births. This all reduces the chances intervention and a caesarean section.
To read more, here are studies referring to method of deliveries and different outcomes of baby's immune system from vaginal births compared to caesarean births here and here and here.
See you this week at your next adjustment!
— Dr MaryAnne