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New research: The composition of a pregnant mother's gut microbiome can predict child behaviour

*** Wow. Fascinating and important new research. A new study by Dawson S.L. et al., (2021) published in The Lancet shows the composition of a pregnant mother's gut microbiome can predict a child's future behaviour. That means, the types of microorganisms present in the gut of an expectant...

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New research: Induction of labour linked to increased rates of C-section (29% vs 14%), epidural (71% vs 41%) & episiotomy (41% vs 30%)

*** How does induction lead from vaginal birth to C-section? New research by Professor Hannah Dahlen and colleagues shines a light on exactly how induction can often lead to more medical intervention. (The research is explained a bit later in this blog-post.) Exactly what happened to me. I...

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New research: Sensory active compounds in preterm human milk

*** Just when you thought breast milk couldn't get any more amazing, along comes this fascinating new research on the sensory active compounds in preterm human milk. As you know, breast milk has a very distinctive smell and taste. Previous research had shown that some of the volatile...

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Blog Make-Over!

Blog Make-Over Over the past 4 years, I've written over 260 blog-posts on the science of the infant microbiome. It's an amazing resource - with the blog-articles explaining recent research relating to the microbiome, birth, breastfeeding and gut health. But in its current format, this blog is...

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New research: Bacteria do not colonise the infant gut microbiome before birth - it happens during and after birth

Big news in the world of the infant microbiome…. New research finds the colonisation of the baby’s gut microbiome STARTS DURING and AFTER birth, and NOT BEFORE. In the study published in Nature Microbiology, scientists found bacteria was NOT detected in meconium PRIOR to birth. The...

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New report: In Australia in 2017, around half (43-56%) of elective C-sections did not have a medical or obstetric reason.

To me, this is really worrying. A new report from Australia found that approx half of the elective C-sections performed in 2017 did not have a medical or obstetric reason. Of particular concern were the 13-19% of planned C-sections that were performed BEFORE 37 weeks without a medical or...

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New research (in mice): Strain of E. coli identified in the gut of female mice may cause a mother to 'neglect' her offspring

This is interesting not just because of what it suggests about the gut-brain axis, but also what it might suggest about how the gut microbiome can influence the behaviour of new mothers. A new study has identified a specific strain of E. coli bacteria that when found in the gut of female...

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New discussion paper: The importance of 'watchful attendance' by midwives during labour and childbirth

Really interesting discussion paper by Ank de Jong, Hannah Dahlen and Soo Downe making a strong case for 'watchful attendance' by midwives during labour and childbirth. (Professor Hannah Dahlen is featured in our FREE mini-course and also in our Infant Microbiome & Epgienetics full-length...

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New research: Keeping mothers and babies TOGETHER after birth could save more than 125,000 lives.​

New research on the life-saving power of skin-to-skin! Among infants born preterm or at low birthweight, previous research has shown that kangaroo mother care (KMC) reduces infant deaths by as much as 40%, hypothermia by more than 70%, and severe infections by 65%. Kangaroo care is a...

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New research: In a global survey, over 85% of neonatal healthcare providers feared for their own health due to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health systems worldwide. It has also taken a heavy toll on the health and wellbeing of maternity health professionals around the world. In a global survey of 1120 neonatal healthcare providers, more than 85% of health personnel feared for their own health...

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