First of all, one of my biggest pet peeves is when women call a vaginal birth, a natural birth. It makes those that couldn't have a vaginal birth feel very un-natural. Let's be mindful of our verbiage.
As a lot of you know, there are a lot of health benefits for the baby when they are born vaginally. The vaginal flora will coat the baby and will help with the baby's digestive system by allowing good bacteria to grow and colonize. Also, the compression and spiral action through the birth canal, helps with the baby's lungs and physical development.
A baby born via Cesarean section is at an increase risk for type 1 diabetes, Crohn's, MS, and allergic diseases, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis (eczema). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110651/ This shows how important the gut flora is for your health.
What can we do for your baby to mitigate some of the risks associated with a C-section?
- Vaginal Seeding -- this is when a gauze is inserted in the mom's vagina prior to a C-section and it is then removed with all of the good flora and wiped on the baby's face and mouth in order to transfer the good bacteria to the baby. This mimics a vaginal birth. In the first 3 months of life, bacteria can colonize in the baby's intestinal tract.
- Bring your baby to a good osteopathic practitioner. They are able to do a maneuver that allows the baby to go through the compression and spiral action of a vaginal birth. It's like a "right of passage". This has numerous health benefits. Talk to your osteopath for more information.
- Try your best to breastfeed your baby. Seek out help by a lactation consultant and participate in breastfeeding groups.
Regardless of vaginal or C-section birth, you should give your baby a good probiotic and 400 IU of vitamin D a day. Ask a naturopathic doctor for specifics.
Healing of the C-Section scar:
- Homeopathic Arnica works wonders.
- Collagen and vitamin C can help with tissue healing as well. (Remember to continue taking your pre-natal vitamins for at least 6 months post birth as well as a good dose of fish oil and probiotics.)
- After about 6 weeks, when the scar is healed, you can rub castor oil on it and massage it so to remove scar tissue.
- Visit an osteopathic practitioner to work on your scar tissue and your abdomen in general.
The good news is that a Cesarean delivery is a blip in the baby's life and there are lots of things to "correct" the possible ill-effects. The most important thing is that mom and baby are healthy.