An itchy mystery may be solved. Eczema may be caused by birth mother’s microflora.

Greg – at Daddy Types – continues to examine all corners of parenthood. In a February 19th post, he reports on research coming from Sweden – about the connection between the birth canal and children’s eczema.

According to Science Daily:

“The composition of a child’s bacterial flora is dependent on the mother’s microflora, since she is the primary source for the child’s bacteria at the outset. Göran Molin, professor at Lund University, co-directed the study and says, ‘A healthy vagina is totally dominated by lactobacilli, or lactic acid bacteria. With a vaginal delivery the child will come into close contact with the mother’s bacteria. If the mother has a good flora of bacteria, the contact is an important help for the child to be able to be colonized by bacteria in the proper way.'”

Children’s eczema has increased substantially since the 1950’s. Pediatric dermatologist Julie Schaffer says there are several theories.

She says, “One of them is called the hygiene hypothesis: Kids today don’t get exposed to as much dirt and germs and childhood illnesses, and one thought is that their immune systems don’t mature in quite the same way and might be more likely to be directed to allergic type responses.”

A true man’s man, Greg uncomfortably admits at the end of his post that he’d like to write a more in-depth piece, but he’s become a bit weary of the subject.

He writes, “I’d hoped to discuss some of the sources of these healthy, probiotic lactobacilli, but I’m afraid I’ve already maxed out my 10-year quota on the phrase, ‘vaginal bacterial flora.’ All I can say is ‘sauerkraut.'”

Sources:;; Today’s TMJ4

One thought on “An itchy mystery may be solved. Eczema may be caused by birth mother’s microflora.

  • February 20, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    first baby came c/s and had eczema at 2m
    second was va… but show signs at 6m
    I use a natural oil to help them build the immune system ans see very minor flares since- at
    Many people swear by probiotics
    some by lactobacillus tabs
    and many do dairy elimination which is very sad

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