C-section babies have weaker immune systems – study

  • 11/09/2015

By Lucy Warhurst

Scientists at the Malaghan Institute in Wellington say the way we are born could impact our long-term health.

There are concerns babies born by caesarean section may not be exposed to essential bacteria to develop a healthy immune system.

The immune system gets a natural kickstart in the birth canal, where the baby is exposed to trillions of essential bacteria.

It essentially provides a bacterial code - a map of our future health. The concern is that babies born by C-section may be missing out.

One in three babies are born by C-section in Wellington and Auckland, and studies show they are at higher risk of developing diseases like asthma and obesity.

But there may be a solution – scientists say swabbing caesarean-born babies with birth canal bacteria may help build better immunity.

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