For some, having a c section is not in the birth plan.
For others, it is an elective surgery and elective mode of delivery.
Either way - c-sections (or caesarean births), are life saving surgeries and in some cases crucial for the safety of baby and birth parent.
The issue is however, baby takes their first gulp too far away from the vagina!!
This means, they miss out on the microbiome that's going to help set them up!
It's not ideal, however not everything in life is! What we can do, is support both birth parent and infant in their recovery and healing process.
First of all - the birth parent has been exposed to a fair few medications for the safety of the procedure such as opioids, fentanyl, morphine, endone, tramadol, ibuprofen, paracetamol, perhaps some prophylactic antibiotics. In some cases, beta blockers. And we all know many medications come with side effects. By knowing this, is it important to reinoculate the birth parents' microbiome with some strain specific probiotics postpartum. To nourish their body with an array of essential nutrients including but not limited to - omega3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins.
For baby - we look at ways we can expose their juvenile immune and gastrointestinal system to probiotics of strains of microbiota we would find in the vagina. Including but not limited to - lactobacillus rhamnosus GG + bifidobacterium breve.
This includes lots of skin to skin time with their birth parent. Picking up the microbiome through the skin.
Breastfeeding - engaging in the microbiome around the nipples (I recommend wearing silverettes in the early nursing days to help heal your nipples as opposed to creams and lubricants).
Having bath time with babe - exposing them to your vaginal microbiota.
The WHO recommend a baby is breastfed for the first 24 months of their life. We know this is not possible for everyone whether it's ever, a few months or 1 year. We can consider probiotic support in formula in this case.
Whether the mode of delivery was c section, or a vaginal birth - the birth parent may require some support for wound healing and ongoing (ie haemorrhoid support, prolapse, vaginal tear, c section wound).
Know that however you brought your babe in to this world - you are a mega bad ass!!!! Birth is a very empowering, powerful and completely shattering experience. A birth and a rebirth happening all at once.
If you would like some post-birth support please check out my new plan "The Fourth Trimester - nourishing after birth".