Docs Warn Towards 'Vaginal Seeding' for Newborns

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By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay Information) — The U.S.’s main group of obstetricians and gynecologists is warning in opposition to a brand new pattern the place infants born by C-section are “seeded” by way of cotton swabs with vaginal microbes from the mom.

“Vaginal seeding” is rising in reputation as a result of it is thought that infants born by way of Cesarean-section miss out on sure “useful” vaginal microbes that may defend the toddler from bronchial asthma, allergic reactions and immune issues.

“Vaginal seeding has develop into a rising pattern for sufferers,” famous Dr. Jennifer Wu, an ob/gyn at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis. “Sufferers examine the advantages of a vaginal supply and hope to copy these advantages with vaginal seeding.”

As defined by the American School of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it is thought that contact with wholesome vaginal micro organism helps stimulate the toddler immune system, prevents the expansion of harmful micro organism and regulates the intestine.

That contact would not occur for infants born by way of C-section, nonetheless, so in vaginal seeding, a cotton swab with vaginal fluids from the mom is used to switch vaginal micro organism to a new child.

However in a press release issued Oct. 24, ACOG — the nation’s largest ob/gyn group — stated the process shouldn’t be advisable as a result of the recognized dangers outweigh any potential advantages.

“Because of the lack of ample information, the very actual dangers [of vaginal seeding] outweigh the potential advantages,” Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG’s vice chairman of observe actions, stated in a school information launch.

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“By swabbing an toddler’s mouth, nostril or pores and skin with vaginal fluid after beginning, the mom may probably, and unknowingly, cross on disease-causing micro organism or viruses,” he defined.

Wu agreed. “There are very actual dangers hooked up to this observe,” she stated. “Sure viruses, equivalent to group B strep and herpes, could cause critical diseases equivalent to meningitis in newborns.”

And Zahn pressured that there is a a lot safer method for a brand new mother to switch her useful micro organism to her new child: Breast-feeding.

“Breast-feeding for the primary six months is one of the best ways to beat the shortage of publicity to maternal vaginal flora at beginning,” Zahn stated. “The micro organism current in breast milk and on the nipple is ample for pure colonization or seeding of the intestine. There could also be some preliminary distinction within the intestine [microbes] of infants primarily based on mode of supply, however analysis has proven that distinction disappears after about six months,” he added.


If a lady does insist on vaginal seeding, her ob/gyn wants to verify the affected person understands the potential dangers, ACOG stated.

Dr. Mitchell Kramer is head of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y. He agreed that breast-feeding is an effective technique of transmitting wholesome microbes from a mother to her child, however that “the jury continues to be out on [vaginal seeding] and additional examine is critical earlier than that is advisable as a routine protocol.”

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