[Probiotics Episode 5] What kind of germs would you put in the sterile child's intestines? | Dr. Esther Lyuh

A mother's first gift to her baby

The mother's beneficial bacteria enter the baby's intestines

While maintaining acidity, the mother's acidity kills harmful bacteria from the anus and allows only beneficial bacteria to survive. The fetal intestine is naturally sterile. Because she is protected by her mother. At delivery, as her baby's head passes through the birth canal and her lips come into contact with the vaginal walls, the mother's beneficial bacteria first descend into the baby's intestines. Her mother's first gift to her baby is probiotics.

Precautions during caesarean section

However, with a caesarean section, germs in the air first settle in the intestines through the baby's mouth. Recent studies have reported that, even with vaginal delivery, if the mother gave birth while receiving antibiotics at the hospital, there were more harmful bacteria in the intestines such as Clostridium than in babies delivered through a midwifery center at home.  Therefore, for pregnant women, it is recommended to take probiotics daily to increase the number of good bacteria in the vagina.

Esther Lyuh, Doctor of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University