2. VIDEO: Introduction to the science of childbirth


Video 2: Why is the science of childbirth so important? (2’59)

Sue Carter, Executive Director of the Kinsey Institute and Rudy Professor of Biology at Indiana University

I often think that, if people came from another planet and asked us how do we reproduce ourselves, and we were to describe the human birth process, they would probably not believe us. It's so complicated. And now we've gone one step, over the last hundred years, we've gone from it being a complex, mysterious process, to something we think we can improve upon by giving medicines and drugs. We are flying blind. We are flying without a guide book to tell us what are the costs and benefits of these procedures. There are, we hope, some benefits to some of them. There may be costs that we're not aware of, especially for the child.

Aleeca Bell, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago

We don't have a clue as to what kind of long term heritable, intergenerational changes can take place. So, we have this narrow, very narrow minded view of childbirth and our research needs to broaden and really get in there and investigate what are the consequences to humanity?


Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and of Anthropology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

I think this is a concern for humanity because all these malfunctions of the immune system is leading to a life, a quality of life, which is not optimal. And we aim to improve health. And we want to live longer, but live well. And we are now wondering will our kids and grandkids,

will they live as long as their grandparents? If they live through these conditions of high inflammation, there are consequences to that. And they might not be living as long and as well. So, we do want to be healthy and have long lives, but healthy.


Rodney Dietert, Emeritus Professor of Immunotoxicology, Cornell University

The single most important thing we can do for a healthy baby, across a life course,

is to ensure that microbial seeing occurs completely, at birth through vaginal delivery when possible, that skin-to-skin contact occurs, and that the microbes are supported through breastfeeding of significant duration. This should be on every birth plan. Every health professional, every medical professional tending to the pregnant woman, to the birth process, through infancy, should be aware of these through infancy, should be aware of these things, should be aware of the importance of the microbiome and supporting a healthy microbiome, because that's what's going to influence the health,

across a lifespan, versus one filled with disease for that child.


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