The impact of delivery type and other influencing factors on early childhood development
The composition of microbiota at birth can be regarded as the important “control centre” when starting out in life. The foundation of the microbial composition is laid at the start of life by the maternal preconditions, the gestational age, the type of delivery and accompanying (medicinal) interventions. The microbiota is also subject to constant change and is influenced by many other factors such as nutrition, stress and genetic constitution.
1. An infant’s microbiota is significantly in¬fluenced by the type of delivery. In the case of a C-section, the lack of transferral of vaginal ¬ fluids to the infant is not the only influencing factor, as it is also in¬fluenced by accompanying medicinal interventions and the altered composition of the colostrum.
2. When compared to vaginal delivery, infants born by C-section have an altered microbiota and a delayed bacterial colonisation. One consequence under discussion in this context is the increased occurrence of various diseases. This is particularly the case for allergies, metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and increasingly also neurological disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).