Prompt: List and describe potential factors that the mother or the infant could be exposed to that could influence the colonization of the microbial community in the newborn infant (in positive or negative ways).
Gut microbiome very similar to that of their mother’s
Infants born vaginally have a gut microbiome very similar to that of their mother’s vaginal and fecal flora. This occurs through vertical transfer of the vaginal-perianal microbes of the mother as the infant passes through the birth canal. (Dominguez-Bello et al., 2010)
A healthy microbiome is developed within the first three years of life and plays a number of critical roles throughout the lifespan. Breastmilk nurtures the microbiome for a infant with beneficial bacteria, until it is fully mature. Breastmilk also has been shown to lower risk for chronic diseases like asthma, obesity, allergies, dermatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Breastfed babies have higher levels of beneficial gut bacteria and healthier growth patterns than babies who are not breastfed.
School of Medicine the Moore Institute. OHSU. (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2021, from https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-medicine/moore-institute/breastfeeding-and-microbiome.
Yang, I., Corwin, E. J., Brennan, P. A., Jordan, S., Murphy, J. R., & Dunlop, A. (2016). The infant microbiome. Nursing Research, 65(1), 76–88. https://doi.org/10.1097/nnr.0000000000000133