Surprise! Babies Are Born With “Dirty” Guts
Babies are cute, cuddly bags of bacteria, from a microbial point of view. And scientists say thatâ€™s natural! Itâ€™s also surprising.
New studies have turned previous scientific theories on their heads. Doctors had thought the fetus rested pure and clean in the womb. A baby got his first gut bacteria during the mess we call birth, the theory went.
But now itâ€™s been shown that bacteria invade the gut of the fetus.Â University of Spain researchers found bacteria that help create lactic acid in the guts of 20 fetuses in 20 different women. They found that a pregnant motherâ€™s habits â€“ smoking, eating organic food â€“ influenced the types of microbiomes the fetus developed.
When the Spanish team presented their findings last month, scientists reacted with excitement to the possibility that a mother could influence her unborn childâ€™s microbiomes. Some microbiomes are linked to good health, and others to obesity and eczema. The possibility that a mother could pass microbiomes toÂ her unborn child that will enhance the babyâ€™s health will require further study.Â
Canadian scientists are examining whether microbiomes can affect a babyâ€™s personality. At McMaster University, researchers found that mice bred in sterile environments, with no bacteria, were overly aggressive. Once they were given a certain strain of bacteria, they behaved normally.
The Baby News reports on whatâ€™s newsworthy in the world of parenting, developmental research and health. Itâ€™s written by Mom365â€™s editors â€“ follow us for breaking stories from newspapers and journals in the US and around the world, and join the conversation about what matters to moms.