Last week two stories in the news broke my heart.
The first, from the June issue of Pediatrics, mentions a study which found C-Sections may increase the risk of celiac disease, as opposed to those infants born vaginally.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which leads to inflammation of the gut when the person consumes any foods containing gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye). In terms of the western diet, that’s a toughie.
The researchers have no certain understanding of the process at this point, but hypothesize that perhaps the phenomenon is linked to the fact that infants born via C-Section miss out on the squeeze down the vaginal tract. We know that action helps eliminate fluid in the respiratory tract, but now scientists think perhaps there are other important microbes an infant would ordinarily encounter which trigger some sort of digestive colonization. As in all closed systems,when one part malfunctions, the result has a domino effect.
Another story, out of the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology, mentions a study of over 20,000 pregnancies in Scotland spanning a period of 60 years. The results are glum: mothers who were themselves born early (defined as 24-37 weeks gestation) were 60% more likely to have a preterm baby. Although there is no cure at this time, just knowing it, makes a case for early prenatal care.
Hang in there, mothers. The March of Dimes is working as fast as they can to find a solution.