Early Influences on the gut microbiome
There are many factors that shape our gut microbiome including our mother’s gut microbiota, vaginal microbiome, and even dental health.
Our Initial exposure to these organisms and our own inoculation occurs at birth and during breastfeeding. For example, if delivered via vaginal birth, you will be exposed to the lactobacillus species early because that species tends to be present in the vaginal canal the most abundantly. For those born via C-section, the first exposure to a microbiome is through the skin allowing for a different set of gut bacteria
Another exposure is through breastfeeding, especially within the first three days after birth where you are exposed to Increased immune factors in early breastfeeding (colostrum).
Continued Influences on the gut microbiome
We have an established microbiota by age 2-3, although there are many factors that continue to influence the microbiome:
- Nutrients from food – this has the largest impact