Pros & Cons of “Vaginal Seeding” for Your C-Section Baby

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My cousin is going to have a baby. I can say no one pays more attention to all the pregnancy and baby related ideas than me because she's my favorite sister. Recently, I’ve just added this trend to my reading list: vaginal seeding. Also called “microbirthing,” this process refers to applying vaginal fluids and microbes to a newborn child’s nose, mouth, or skin after a cesarean section (C-section).



When I first read about this, I gave a blank stare and then I was like “Awwww. It’s so disgusting. *screaming in silence*” I mean, vaginal seeding is better than consuming mom’s placenta, but it’s still VERY strange. But now that it has been so popular, I’d like to learn if it's truly helpful for the baby. So, I searched for some medical info about the pros and cons of vaginal seeding.


The pros of vaginal seeding



Although vaginal seeding sounds wacky, it does have some good intentions. This process is meant to make C-section babies like those born in natural vaginal birth.


During a vaginal delivery, the baby shares a microbial bond with the mother because his skin, nose and mouth are seeded with microorganisms from the mom's body. This bond may provide the baby with “good” bacteria, give him a stronger immune system and protect him from various autoimmune diseases.



But C-section babies don’t have such microbial bond, which may explain why they tend to have a weaker immune system than those born in natural birth.


In other words, vaginal seeding can potentially protect babies from disease and regulating their immune function.


The cons of vaginal seeding



Although vaginal seeding has potential (keyword!) benefits as I mentioned above, there hasn’t been any enough research on the safety or even benefits of vaginal seeding.


What is worth noticing is that vaginal seeding may bring babies life-threatening infections such as Group B streptococci, HIV and chlamydia. For example, if the mom has group B streptococcus (20% of pregnant women have it) and passes it to the baby, the baby may develop eye infections or neonatal sepsis, a serious blood infection that can be deadly.



The potential pro versus the potential con. What will you choose? For me, the con never outweighs the pro. After all, a mom can use breastfeeding to boost her baby’s microbiome without taking any risks.


Experts also recommend that pregnant women stay away from vaginal seeding until its long-term effects are found out.



I know all mom-to-bes want to have a perfect and natural delivery. But life doesn’t always go our way. What we can do is to get prepared.

3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Sounds like a "Planned" C section. I am a Midwife, so I look at birth from another angle. Midwifes view a planned C section with a negative view, because we know that many planned C sections are the result of a doctor scaring a women into a section because the Doctor tells her that "Your pelvis is narrow" or some other thing like that. The bottom line here may be the doctor's bottom line, because a planned C section allows the doctor to practice "Day time Obstetrics" which he can handily set up 2 do the section after office hours & he/she will be home by 6 PM. More procedures in less time! Also, I have heard that some insurance companies will tell doctor's "You need to keep your section rate about 25%". Why, because it's rarely about what a women wants, It's more about MONEY! Sections cost more because they are done in a surgical hospital room. More money for the Doctor, the Hospital, & for every dollar that passes through an insurance Company, they make at least 15% & pass on higher rates on to us! Find a Midwife you like & have a better, more memorable, rewarding birth.
I had a C section since I had a condition before delivery. I had to but I don't advocate C section, absolutely NO. Let it be natural as long as you can, it's good both for the baby and the mom. And I hate my scar.
Well, I don't know...I guess I'll do whatever my doctors recommend me to do—after all, they're the professionals here.
C sections can be necessary. Trust me. You can't say no to c sections if your baby is in an abnormal position.
Jerry you definitely got a point! C sections would increase the baby's risk for respiratory issues. Natural birth is better.
Do not let anyone tell your baby's mother what makes her a "real woman" or a "good mom."
Fifteen hours torture-like pain,the moment I saw the other lady lying with IV and the urine bag after her C-section I started to feel lucky coz I was already able to walk around as I wish.
My first two children were born the "standard way". Last was born in a "natural way". If I had it to do over, I would do the natural birth for all three.