My kids’ pediatrician meets with prospective new patient families during their pregnancy. A few weeks ago a woman asked: “what do you think about me wiping my vagina with a cloth and spreading it all over my baby’s mouth”. He knew she was talking about vaginal seeding but was surprised by the bluntness of her description (I mean, come on, he’s a pediatrician) and didn’t exactly know how to answer. He remembers saying something like “ummmmm, that’s not usually a good idea”
My son’s appointment was the next day so he knew he had the perfect audience for this story and the perfect opportunity to discuss it. He wanted to know how often this is actually happening in the delivery room (as a general pediatrician he isn’t at deliveries) and what exactly did happen during the vaginal seeding process. And finally, what is the best way to answer that question?
People have taken ahold of this concept and essentially “advertised” it to women as a good option to help expose baby to the benefits of the vaginal microbiome bacteria if she has to have a c-section. According to one of my patients, “everyone” has told her this is “now common practice”.
Is this the whole truth? Is it a good alternative? Is it safe? Is everyone doing it? Or are we better off without ever knowing this was a thing?
Vaginal seeding – help or harm?