Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Micro Birth {Understanding how the small things impact baby for life}

Birth is a complex life event and mother nature is a beast! More often than not, physiological birth is best left undisturbed. However, in the United States, especially if you're considering a hospital birth, intervention free is not always the norm.

How is this impacting our culture?

More importantly, how is this impacting our species?

This film, Micro Birth is "a feature-length documentary asking if interventions in childbirth could be damaging the long-term health of our children with consequences for all of humanity."

For those of you reading this, I'd like to emphasize three smaller interventions - routine procedures - that you may not even think of as having impact on the human microbiome.

1. Swaddle Blankets

These seemingly harmless cute bundles have their place in creating a comfortable, secure feeling for our new babies - making the world seem a little bit smaller - but don't let swaddling interfere with valuable skin to skin contact!

2. Eye Ointment

Bacteria are good!
When babies pass through the vaginal canal they are colonized with our own flora, the bacteria that will start them off for life. When erythromycin or silver nitrate, which is much less commonly used but still around, is put in their delicate eyes unnecessarily, all of that bacteria will be lost. As the linked article goes into detail about, if the mother is infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea, treatment is used to prevent infection. In all other cases, I encourage you to reconsider and look at the evidence surrounding this routine procedure. 

3. Newborn Bath

Remember how we talked about that beautiful flora baby is colonized with? You might not want to wash that away just yet. Let it soak in! And let the vernix soak in. Mother nature is pretty awesome - babies are born protected from bad bacteria by their vernix, which is also a natural moisturizer, and they are born colonized and prepared for life with good bacteria! Take time to slow down and enjoy this bonding time with your newborn and enjoy that natural newborn smell. 

Slow down on the Journey of Life and enjoy a Micro Birth Premier near you!

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Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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