Is C-Section Allergy Risk Real?

Reducing Allergy Risks When C-Section is a Must

Delivering naturally is obviously the best way to protect your child from C-section allergy risk; however, sometimes a surgical birth is medically necessary. So what can be done to minimize your baby’s allergy risk if a Cesarean delivery is your only option? More study is needed, but researchers have identified some measures to explore.

Start solids sooner To reduce C-section allergy risk, one author of the Swedish study suggests feeding solids to surgically delivered babies sooner. “Earlier exposure to ordinary solid food may stimulate a higher diversity of the gut microbiota,” says Maria Jenmalm, professor of Experimental Allergology at Linköping University.

See more: Your Guide to Introducing Solid Food

Push probiotics Other ideas propose reducing C-section allergy risk by introducing cesarean-born babies to the beneficial bacteria they would have encountered had they traveled through the birth canal. During pregnancy, the distribution of bacteria in the vagina shifts so that there is a higher concentration of lactobacillus, which aids in the digestion of milk. Jenmalm suggests that giving lactobacillus probiotics to mothers during pregnancy and to infants during the first year of life may help babies develop a healthy gut environment that fends off allergies. The Swedish researchers also plan to study whether applying vaginal fluids directly to the face and mouth of C-section newborns improves the babies’ allergy immunity.

If research proves these methods effective, they could become standard medical practices that help establish healthy bacterial colonization in surgically born babies and, ultimately, minimize C-section allergy risk and other related health issues.