It’s not every day that a new book geared to new parents promotes an entirely new understanding of birth—yet that book is finally here, and it’s called Your Baby’s Microbiome. Written by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford (authors of the award-winning documentary Microbirth), this book is an important read for would-be parents who want to bring a new baby with the highest prospect of lifelong good health into the world.
As the authors explain, with every new birth there is another crucial event that happens simultaneously. This event kick starts the immune system, protects the infant from disease, and shapes the health of this new human over a lifetime. It is the seeding of the baby’s microbiome.
Backed by an A-team of experts, the authors define the microbiome as a community of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that you carry with you throughout your life. It forms around childbirth and is established before we turn three years old. A thriving microbiome is vital for human health, while an imbalanced microbiome has been linked to multiple chronic diseases.
Despite its importance, the microbial transfer from mother to baby is still not well understood. In countless hospitals throughout the country, the seeding event is compromised by common practices such as the use of synthetic oxytocin, antibiotics, Cesarean sections, and formula feeding. But the authors approach these issues with compassion rather than judgment. Nervous mothers who undergo Cesareans or depend on formula will find solutions and options for building up their baby’s microbiome.
Your Baby’s Microbiome is fascinating both for its scope and implications on what it means to be human. That’s why Selene River Press is proud to offer our readers this empowering, informative, and compassionate book that can profoundly change maternity care in this country for the better.