In recent years, there has been increased interest regarding how different means of childbirth might affect everything from infant brain development to immune system strength and respiratory risk.
Although, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh has taken a different approach to this same question.
More specifically, they analyzed how different baby delivery methods impact infant vaccine responses.
A cohort of one hundred and twenty babies– who were vaccinated at both eight and twelve weeks against lung infections and meningitis, respectively– participated in the study.
The goal was to analyze and compare the relationship between the gut microbiome and antibody levels following vaccination.
So, the team first tracked how each child’s gut microbiome developed throughout the first year of life.
Additionally, the children’s immune responses to the vaccines were tested and tracked via saliva samples taken at twelve and eighteen months.
And interestingly, the researchers found that babies who were delivered naturally had double the amount of antibodies protecting against lung infections as compared with the children born via caesarian section (C-section).
Nursing was also found to be more beneficial– with the children who nursed possessing antibody levels three and a half times higher than the children who were formula-fed.