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New research: 4 simple strategies are dramatically reducing C-section rates in Brazil

*** Every year in Brazil since 2009, more babies are born by C-section than are born vaginally. According to Rudey et. al (2020), of 11,774,665 live births in Brazil between 2014 to 2017, 55.8% of births were by C-section. In many private hospitals in Brazil, C-section rates are even...

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New research: Species of gut bacteria linked to enhanced cognition and language skills in baby boys

Wow. This is so interesting. Another really fascinating piece of the puzzle highlighting how gut bacteria could be really important for neurodevelopment. Infant girls are more likely to have higher proportions of a gut bacteria species called Bacteroidetes. Infant girls also tend to score...

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New Study: The power of babywearing to improve breastfeeding rates

A new study finds the power of babywearing (carrying a baby in a sling) as a fantastic yet simple way to hugely improve breastfeeding rates 6 months after birth. As you know, immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth increases initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Indigenous...

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Today is International Fathers' Mental Health Day

*** Childbirth can be traumatic for fathers and non-birthing parents. During labour and birth, health professionals mainly focus on the mother and baby’s physical health. Then after the birth, new mothers are (usually) routinely screened for postpartum depression, and consideration is given...

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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...

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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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