Babies are born Dirty, with a Gutful of Bacteria

Image – Lennart Nilsson

I am reposting this article from this website where the whole article is shared. It is still the general opinion that babies are born sterile and only come into contact with microbes as they are born, via the vagina and then the skin they come in contact with. But there is more and more proof that babies grow with microbes in the uterus. Studies have shown the amniotic fluid is not sterile, they’ve found microbes in the umbilicus and they’ve found merconium has bacteria in it too!

Babies are born dirty, with a gutful of bacteria

Source: the New Scientist
12 April, 2012

It has long been assumed that the fetus lives in a sterile world, protected from the countless bacteria that fill its mother’s gut and cover the surface of her body. A baby’s first gut flora was thought to be collected at birth – either from the mother’s vagina or from the environment it is born into. But it’s time for a drastic rethink: it appears that we are in fact born dirty – bacteria colonise our guts in the womb, where they begin to shape our immune systems and influence our risk of disease. What’s more, this collection of bacteria, or microbiome, could eventually be manipulated to ensure a baby is given the healthiest start in life.