Intended for healthcare professionals


“Vaginal seeding” of infants born by caesarean section

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 23 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i227

Re: “Vaginal seeding” of infants born by caesarean section

We read with interest the editorial by Cunnington et al (February 2016) on vaginal seeding after caesarean section. Although the contemporary evidence does not advocate introduction to medical practice, the logic in exposing the infant to the vaginal microbiota warranted debate. Indeed, similar logic prevailed with faecal enemas to treat Clostridium difficile infection. However, the concluding statement “the simplicity of vaginal seeding means that mothers can easily do it themselves” is questionable from a practical point. Following caesarean section, women often remain relatively immobile for several hours while the epidural wears off. Furthermore, those having undergone unplanned caesareans may be exhausted following prolonged or difficult labours. We, therefore, find it hard to believe that physically performing the seeding will be simple for all mothers. Perhaps this will emerge as a role for the father?

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 March 2016
Llion Davies
Public Health Registrar
Linda Bailey, Public Health Consultant
Oldway Centre, 36 Orchard Street, Swansea. SA1 5AQ.