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Ann Nutr Metab. 2018;73 Suppl 3:17-23. doi: 10.1159/000490843. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

C-section and the Neonatal Gut Microbiome Acquisition: Consequences for Future Health.

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Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC), Villaviciosa, Spain.
Diet, Microbiota and Health Group, Health Research Institute of Principado de Asturias (IISPA), Oviedo, Spain.
Department of Pediatrics Service, Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA-SESPA), Oviedo, Spain.



The human gut microbiota is assembled during infancy with an increase in diversity and stability. The correct colonization and the establishment of this microbiome are linked to the early and future health status of the individual. It is known that caesarean delivery alters this optimal microbial foundation. C-section (CS) is a common obstetrician surgery; however, it is not without risk for the mother/infant dyad. The World Health Organization recommends not exceeding 10-15% of the total deliveries; nevertheless, this rate has been increasing rapidly worldwide in the last decades.


This review discloses the clinical parameters for correct CS recommendation. Moreover, the major microbial changes in the infant gut microbiome acquisition as a consequence of delivery mode and medical practices surrounding it, as well as, the early and long-lasting effects for both mother and babies are discussed. In addition, some strategies for the gut microbiota restoration are analysed. The aim of this review is to show the need for the development of strategies for minimizing or limiting the impact of caesarean on the microbiome development, favouring future health.


C-section; Delivery mode; Gut; Health; Infant; Microbiota; Restoration strategies

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