"If someone else holds the baby and takes the baby to a nursery, its gut is going to be colonised with bacteria from the nursery or the nurse's."
By Nicholas Cheng The Star/Asia News Network Sunday, May 26, 2013
PETALING JAYA - Experts have advised women to choose natural childbirth over Caesarean section because natural birthing has long-term benefits for both mother and child.
It was noted at the Second International Conference On Birth Without Borders Malaysia that more women were choosing Caesarean births as opposed to natural delivery.
The two-day conference, organised by the Malaysian Breastfeeding Association, the Health Ministry and the International Mother-Baby Friendly Initiative Coalition, was attended by about 100 obstetricians, gynaecologists and midwives.
Childbirth and midwifery expert Dr Robbie Davis-Floyd spoke at the event, saying that besides risking infection, Caesarean births could also impede the breastfeeding process and bonding between mother and child.
"When you give birth vaginally, your body receives a cocktail of hormones, one being the biggest rush of oxytocin you could have in your life.
"This rush helps you fall in love with the baby and helps your milk let down, creating a pheremoneal connection with the child.
"The baby smells the milk that is being let down and is able to latch on better for breastfeeding, which would be more difficult to achieve after a Caesarean birth," she said.
Dr Davis-Floyd also highlighted the need for babies to be in constant physical contact with their mothers.
"This is going to sound weird but when the baby is born and the mother touches the skin, the baby's body is colonised with the mother's bacteria.
"That's what you want because the baby is going to grow up in her household, so it needs those bacteria.