Natural Childbirth and Immune System Development

Nature needs no help, only respect, understanding and encouragement! That is a profound statement that applies to the way we were intended to birth, feed and nurture our children. I know we all love our children and want the best for them…health, happiness and the ability to thrive in this crazy world. I will start by describing the most natural and healthy way to accomplish those three objectives. This is based on my 50+ years raising 5 healthy happy children doing the best to let nature have her way!

I am not giving medical advice of any kind. I do believe that sometimes with birth, medical interventions are necessary for both mother and baby. I myself, was born by Cesarian Section (C-section), a surgical procedure of removing the baby. I was my mother’s 7th child and she was hemorrhaging for several days before I was born. It was possible that she or I would have died if not for that procedure. I encourage parents to do everything possible to avoid unnecessary medical procedures that are common practiced today and are NOT life-saving! Most are done for convenience of the doctor, hospital or staff, not for safety issues. I am sharing what I have learned as a natural health care advocate and a researcher. Let us start at conception where Mother Nature’s magic begins!

When the sperm and egg get together, a new existence begins and is systematically and miraculously forming. The development of a human being is magical and is under the direction of Innate Wisdom far beyond anything man can understand with his finite mind. We must realize that we are still learning so much about what goes on in the womb of a woman while making a child. We do know that every day, millions of cells are multiplying and dividing in just the right way to create a new human being.

The Brain and Spinal Cord

The brain and spinal cord (tail of the brain) is the first major organ to form and everything else follows under its orchestration. By the 5th week of gestation (development), the thymus begins to make stem cells that eventually learn to become T-cells which direct immune response. This is where “natural immunity” starts!

The Immune Systems 2 Arms

There are 2 basic arms of the immune system, Th1 and TH2, both with completely different functions. The (TH1) arm of the immune system begins in utero but is suppressed in utero so baby doesn’t attack mom and mom doesn’t attack baby. Th2 is not active at this time. Balance and harmony in this system is very important for optimum function. This delicate balance is influenced by mother… Mother must be very careful what she is exposed to while pregnant because many things pass into the placenta and can harm the developing baby. Let’s assume that Mom is eating a well balanced nutritional diet, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of clean water, getting fresh air and sunshine, some exercise and is feeling really good! She is also avoiding those things that she knows could possible affect the baby in her womb such as exposure to heavy metals, recreational drugs, prescription medications (antibiotics, pain medications) and over-the-counter drugs, alcohol and cigarettes which have a direct affect on the baby’s nervous and immune system while it is forming.

The TH1 Arm

The TH1 arm of the immune system is to identify acute illnesses, thru multiple exposures, process them and excrete them resulting in dominant Th1 arm. Healthier children have a Th1 dominant immune system and life-long immunity because Th1 cells are the infection fighters, especially intracellular viral infections. (More on this later) This is where “Natural Immunity” starts! TH1 is responsible for the production of fevers, swollen glands, skin rashes, diarrhea and vomiting and many other functions that are going on inside the body…what we refer to as sickness or “acute” illnesses. I like to call them symptoms of imbalance or the body working to bring balance back! I do not see these normal functions as “bad”, but signs that something is going on and we need to support that function, not interfere with it!

The allopathic medical model refers to symptoms as intrinsically “bad”, that they must be removed or changed through the use of chemicals. Example: For years they have encouraged fever reducers for babies, completely denying the role of the fever in fighting infections! We now know so much more about the immune system and how it protects us that we did not know 10-15 years ago. A knowledgeable doctor will encourage parents to let a fever run.

The TH2 Arm

The TH2 arm of the immune system is the arm where long term immunity lives, is in the background, takes years to develop and requires multiple acute illness exposures in order to develop strong and efficient. It needs training thru ought life in order to be vibrant and healthy. That training is gotten by all the exercise taking place in the TH1 arm over the first 5-7 years of life. Now, back to the baby!

The Important Journey into the World!

Remember, I am describing the most ideal scenario for the best outcomes! Since the beginning of time, women have been birthing children unassisted just like the animals do in the wild. (When was the last time you saw a squirrel strapped into stirrups giving birth?) It has only been the last 100 or so years that we treat birth like an illness and intervene with all kinds of medical devises. Mother Nature has profound reasons behind everything, even though we may not understand those reasons! The most beneficial way to make the journey into life is through a vaginal delivery for both Mom and baby.

Vaginal Birth and Immunity

Many beneficial and essential things happen during this natural vaginal delivery process. In this article, I will just focus on the immunity benefits. Mom’s body, by contracting, is equipped to turn the baby and slowly (sometimes quickly) rotate the baby while pushing it out. This journey through the birth canal is the first stage of natural immunity stimulation. The child picks up necessary bacteria and flora from mother through their mouth and nose and ears. A baby is born with a sterile digestive track and needs this introduction of bacteria and flora so that it can colonize the gut. Healthy gut flora is essential for digestion, assimilation and absorption and detoxing chemicals and heavy metals. Babies who are not born vaginally by Cesarean section (C-section) are at a great disadvantage because they do not get introduced to the beneficial flora.