When I went to medical school we were taught that the pregnant uterus was a sterile environment. However research over the past 10 years is proving that to be wrong. It turns out that diverse microbial species colonize the uterus, amniotic fluid, placenta, and even the umbilical cord blood. Even baby’s first poop (meconium) already has a microbial community that develops in utero. Some studies (1,2) suggest that the microbiome of the mother has a significant impact on the fetal microbiome. Other studies (3) suggest that the mother’s microbiome during pregnancy can have a significant impact on whether the infant will go on to develop childhood allergies.
What's this all mean for moms-to-be? Whether you are contemplating pregnancy or already pregnant, your microbiome needs attention! It may have a profound and far-reaching impact on not only your health, but also your baby's.
Get your gut healthy and get back to living.
Hu J, Nomura Y, Bashir A, et al. Diversified microbiota of meconium is affected by maternal diabetes status. PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e78257. Published 2013 Nov 6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078257
Collado MC, Rautava S, Aakko J, Isolauri E, Salminen S. Human gut colonisation may be initiated in utero by distinct microbial communities in the placenta and amniotic fluid. Sci Rep. 2016;6:23129. Published 2016 Mar 22. doi:10.1038/srep23129
Baron R, Taye M, der Vaart IB, et al. The relationship of prenatal antibiotic exposure and infant antibiotic administration with childhood allergies: a systematic review. BMC Pediatr. 2020;20(1):312. Published 2020 Jun 27. doi:10.1186/s12887-020-02042-8