Birth of the Flora

We know you should be thankful for your mother for preparing your meals, cleaning up after your messes, commenting about your significant others, and now most of all, your gut flora. 

From the moment we are thrust into this world, we are packed and ready to roll. Suited up with our very own flora, we are ready to feed. How exactly do we get our flora? That’s where our mothers come in.

Given our Moms has been following the Simple Foods guidelines, Mom’s flora would be diverse and extremely healthy. On the other hand, if Mom was hoofing down pancakes and brownies, with a mix of the occasional Nicotine stick, your flora is lacking.

Your initial Flora is largely determined by these  factors

Factors:

1. Mother’s diet/oral flora

2. Normal birth or C-section


 

Mother’s Diet

Big surprise here, what Mom ate plays a pretty significant role in your little infant tummy. By eating a healthy, whole foods diet, Mom’s would be promoting a healthy flora for their precious darlings. Considering the mother’s flora is strong and healthy, these microbes would pile on in the placenta and feed off the mother’s diet. Depending on the foods that were being consumed, this would determine which types of strains would be surviving. Add in smoking or alcohol use, these damaging impacts go deeper than once thought.

What is really surprising is what the flora was comprised of. From this study published earlier this year that analyzed the placentas of 320 mothers, gave us a closer look at the strains of microbes residing in the placenta. Get this, the placenta flora was tied to the same flora strains that were in the mothers mouth. This means those mothers facing periodontal disesase or other oral microbiome imbalances would directly impact the flora of their kin. So much so, this could result in premature birth!

Normal Birth or C section

Given you come out of the womb without wanting to rip your mothers abdomen apart during the process, you will be passing through the uterus and eventually out the vagina. During the birthing process you are scooping up loads of bacteria along the way. Just like Pac Man, you are just filling up your tiny body with Mom’s special blend of bacteria. Chow down, because this meal is setting the stage for the rest of your life. Upon exit, you might even get a small dose of fecal matter. Keep on grabbing those microbes!

If the baby is in the unfortunate case (like 33% of all births in the United States), it will be lacking that introduction to these new flora microbes that need to colonize its gut and skin. Missing the microbe water slide has even more serious implications. It has now been correlated with developing asthma during youth, allergies, possibly autism, and longer term complications with colonizing the proper flora.

My Infant Flora

I myself was born via c-section and can most likely attribute my onset of asthma due to my lack of good microbes apart of my flora. My asthma had me hooked up to nebulizer during those harsher attacks. By the time I turned 12, my asthma symptoms disappeared and I was able to function like a normal kid my age. This can most likely be attributed to my adult flora colonizing the proper microbes for my body and out competing pathogenic ones. I find this is the case with alot of kids who seem to “outgrow” their asthma. Incredible on how resilient the body can be in aligning itself with the microbes that it needs.

Have you experienced anything similar?

There is hope on reversing the potential harm that might have occurred during our introduction to the world.