C-section and formula milk could lead to asthma in kids
New research warns that babies born via Caesarean section or fed formula milk are more at risk of asthma.
There's apparently a link between the illness and bacteria in a baby's gut which is passed on from mothers through breastfeeding. Tots who don't have the bacteria by the time they're three months old are believed to be 20 times more likely to be diagnosed with asthma aged five.
The study, helmed by scientists from the University of British Columbia, tracked the health records of over 500 babies from birth until five years old. From analysing stool samples, they discovered that youngsters who were missing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella and Rothia at three months were 21.5 times more likely to get the disease than those who do.
It's unsure where the bacteria actually comes from, but it's believed it could be passed on through childbirth. This is why kids who were born via C-section could be more prone to asthma, and without breast milk babies are lacking nutrients to help boost the 'friendly bacteria'.
Findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine also claim excessive cleaning and use of antibiotics could affect the bacteria protecting babies as it's thought being exposed to a bit of dirt helps strengthen the immune system.
Researchers believe if they can work out which babies are at risk early on, they can be given a probiotic drink to get the bacteria.
Lead author Dr Brett Finlay explained: "It shows that gut bacteria play a role in asthma, early in life when the baby’s immune system is being established."
"This discovery gives us new potential ways to prevent this disease that is life-threatening for many children," researcher Dr Stuart Turvey added.
A new guidance report, published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, urges women to try for a natural birth as it's safer for most females, and carries a lower risk of complications.