At birth mothers pass on a rich flora of tiny microbes onto a baby. These microbes form a baby’s microbiome that lays the foundation for a newborn’s life-long health and is further nurtured when a mom breastfeeds a new-born. The oligosaccharides or sugars in breastmilk help to nourish the good bacteria in a baby’s gut, supporting healthy development of the gut and immune system.
It is becoming better understood that C-section born babies have a disturbed gut microbiome because they miss out on the good bacteria passed on through the birth canal. This can lead to an unbalanced microbiome when there are more of the potentially harmful bacterial species and fewer of the good bacteria. A baby with a compromised gut microbiome in early life has a greater risk for childhood infections and non-communicable diseases later in life.
Further analyses of the results of the JULIUS study investigate if and how a baby formula with a blend of synbiotics can help re-balance the gut microbiome of a C-section born baby so it’s closer to that of vaginally-born and breastfed infants. As part of the study that was carried out in Singapore, Thailand and Europe, baby poop samples were collected and analyzed over a period of 22 weeks.