Microbes from Mom: Vaginal Birth vs. C-Section
This short video explores how a baby’s microbiome is established during birth.
As babies emerge from the sterile conditions in the womb, they are immediately colonized by microbes from the mother’s vagina. Nearly a third of babies in the U.S. are born through caesarean section (C-section), which means that the first microbes they come into contact with are those from the mother’s skin and hospital environment, rather than ones from the vagina. Scientists are investigating whether the resulting difference in microbiomes may account for an increased risk of health conditions like allergies and asthma. They are also testing methods of restoring vaginal microbes to C-section babies.
This video is part of the series I Contain Multitudes, hosted by science journalist Ed Yong.
cesarean delivery, gut microbiome, infant, maternal microbial transmission, vaginal delivery, vaginal seeding
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
AP Biology (2019)
IB Biology (2016)
Vision and Change (2009)