Many women are aware that vaginal births are a better alternative for pregnancies without complications, but most people have no idea about the surprising advantages of vaginal birth that can have lifelong effects. This article will share two remarkable benefits of natural childbirth that are not commonly known.
Two Surprising Benefits of Natural Childbirth
1. Healthy Gut Flora
Gut bacteria plays an important role in digestion, the development of the immune system and overall health. The immune system is highly developed during infancy and research is showing that they type of birth has an impact on healthy gut flora in newborn babies.
Studies show that infants born via cesarean surgery were lacking a specific group of bacteria that were found in babies born vaginally. As babies pass through the birth canal they pickup beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, that help form a foundation for a healthy immune system.
Taking a probiotic supplement (where to buy) during pregnancy helps to ensure that the mother has lots of happy healthy bacteria to pass along to her baby. Babies who are born by cesarean surgery pickup bacteria from the providers who deliver the baby rather than the mother. Pregnant women and health care physicians need take into consideration this benefit when elective c-section delivery and other interventions are discussed, and how they can potentially have life long effects on the child’s health.
2. Brain Boosting Affects
Another benefit of vaginal birth was discovered in a study done in August 2012 at Yale School of Medicine. The research shows that natural vaginal birth triggers the expression of a protein in the brain of newborns that improve brain development and function in adulthood. As infants travel down through the birth canal during labor the hippocampus is stimulated which causes the release of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UPC2).
The study shows that babies born by c-section have impaired behaviors directly related to hippcampal functions. The brain boosting chemical UPC2 protects against brain damage, seizures, aids in digestion and can have behavioral effects that carry into adulthood.
So what now?
The purpose of this information is to bring awareness to the benefits of natural childbirth and educate and prevent the rising trend of cesarean sections driven by convenience rather than by medical necessity. The type of birth can effect overall health, well-being, brain development and function that are showing to be long lasting. C-Sections are a blessing when used for life threatening situations, but, given this information should be reserved only for when medically necessary.