Thursday, June 28, 2018

Are You Seeding Baby's Microbiome?


We are not just single individuals roaming the planet, but we are walking, talking Ecosystems. Like the Earth, the human body too has many varied environments, each with a unique set of living conditions and factors, that influences and determines - Life.
These environments within our body, are filled with different microbes, bacteria, viruses. They reside in our gut, ears, tongue, hands, hair, everywhere, in our kidneys and brains, and outside on our bodies too. They live as microbial colonies, just as communities of plants, insects and animals do.
Microbes interact with each other, within these communities, and respond to their surroundings. They coordinate and perform many functions within our body, from digestion to thinking!

And, Just like Earth's many creatures, our microbial populations too, shift with the winds,travel, and seasons. When environment and lifestyle factors change, they adapt, respond and have the power to overtake systems.
The micro organisms in a particular environment, including a part or parts of our body, are collectively known as the Microbiome. The Human Microbiome is really all of our microbes' genes. They can be considered as a counterpart to the human genome, which means all of our genes. Genes in the Microbiome, far outweigh the genes in our genome by 100 to 1! We are only 1% Human, the rest we outsource to microbes. 90% of the cells in our bodies are microbes.
We acquire ours from the environment at birth. As we grow, our microbial profiles grow and change along with us. The human microbiome is a very delicately and finely balanced ecosystem of different kinds of microorganisms. We have about 1000 species of bacteria in our gut, 700 in our mouth and 700 on our skin. This diversity keeps the microbiome and its owner healthy.
As the foetus slowly grows in the womb, it develops in a near-sterile environment, relying on its mother for protection. The moment the baby encounters the world, and emerges, microbes colonise their bodies. Depending on how and where we are born, we are colonised by different types of microbes.
The first dose of microbes comes from the mother. Babies delivered naturally, are covered in a film of microbes as they pass through the birth canal. The birth canal is chock full of bacteria. During that journey, a new baby gets completely covered with bacteria, giving it a brand new Microbiome. In this mix are even bacteria that help babies to digest their first meal. This first entry of microbes is very crucial in kickstarting our immune system and protecting us from diseases. 
Babies who are born at home finder it easier to work with rather than against the outside bacteria. They are stronger, less colicky and irritable, and sleep well at night.
The remarkable natural process of priming the baby with the right bacteria ultimately impacts the child's immunity. This is how bacterial populations are passed from one generation to the next. It continues a chain of maternal heritage and ancestry for thousands of generations, especially when breastfed and born naturally. A child's microbiome and all the trillions of micro organisms, that live on and in the child, will resemble not only the mother's, but also the great-great grandmother's!
This is the beginning of an incredible relationship and process to create the child’s bacterial diversity.

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