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To slather, or not to slather—that is the question that has been roiling doctors, scientists, and new parents recently.

And a new ruling by a doctor’s group stands to muck up the debate further.
Amid the birth of microbiome research, some scientists have advocated for smearing bacteria-laden vaginal secretions on any newborns who missed out—namely those born via Caesarian section.
Scientists keenly hypothesize that such a gooey glaze can “seed” a more-or-less sterile infant with life-long microbial companions.

These wee chums may help train an infant’s immune system and dodge issues like allergies and asthma later in life.
Several studies have indeed found correlations between C-section deliveries and higher risks of those conditions.
With that, motherly coatings caught on. More and more parents are now requesting “vaginal seeding” for babies delivered via C-section.

But infectious disease experts, pediatricians, obstetricians, and gynecologists have pushed back, questioning the safety and noting that there’s no evidence of a health benefit.
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