Increasing Rate of C-Sections

Rates of caesarean section have increased from 17% in 1995 to 28% in 2010.  Failure to progress in labour is the most common reason cited for performing a caesarean section.   Factors that contribute to failure to progress include: maternal stress/anxiety, a contracted pelvis, poor strength or coordination of contractions, fetal malposition (breech presentation) and large fetal size (macrosomia).

The benefits to both mom and infant of normal vaginal delivery are numerous:

  1. Lower risk of post-partum depression
  2. Greater infant-maternal bond
  3. Better digestive health for the baby as he/she acquires his/her normal flora as he/she passes through the birth canal.
  4. Lower risk of death for mom and baby
  5. Lower risk of injury to mom and baby
  6. Lower risk of infection for mom and baby

Naturopathic doctors can effectively manage the factors that contribute to c-section through diet, stress reduction, exercise, vitamin and mineral balance, and even acupuncture and moxibustion to turn a baby that is in breech position.


  1. Deneux-Tharaux C1, Carmona E, Bouvier-Colle MH, Bréart G. Postpartum maternal mortality and cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;108(3 Pt 1):541-8.
  2. James E. Swain,1 Esra Tasgin,2 Linda C. Mayes,1,3 Ruth Feldman,1,4 R. Todd Constable,5 and James F. Leckman1 Maternal brain response to own baby-cry is affected by cesarean section delivery. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2008 Oct; 49(10): 1042–1052.
  3. MacDorman MF1, Declercq E, Menacker F, Malloy MH. Neonatal mortality for primary cesarean and vaginal births to low-risk women: application of an “intention-to-treat” model. Birth. 2008 Mar;35(1):3-8.

B Vitamin Status and Miscarriage

In a 2014 study, women with adequate levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid, were found to be more resistant to the detrimental effects of the environmental pollutant DDT and therefore and lower risk of early pregnancy loss.

Measuring B12 status can be done through blood testing, however, there is controversy as to whether a normal serum B12 level is indicative of a normal tissue B12 level.  Urinary Methylmelonic Acid is considered to be a better test for this or an organic acid test, which identifies imbalances before any abnormal findings on a CBC or blood work. Organic acid testing can indicate the functional need for specific nutrients, diet modification, antioxidant protection, detoxification, and other therapies.

Source:  F. Ouyang, M. P. Longnecker, S. A. Venners, S. Johnson, S. Korrick, J. Zhang, X. Xu, P. Christian, M.-C. Wang, X. Wang. Preconception serum 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2,bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane and B-vitamin status: independent and joint effects on women’s reproductive outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014; 100 (6): 1470 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.088377

Group B Strep in Pregnancy

Group B Strep (GBS), otherwise known as Streptococcus agalactiae, can cause serious, sometimes fatal infections in newborn babies. Pregnant women in Canada are routinely screened by a vaginal swab for Group B Strep at around 35-37 weeks gestation. Guidelines for Group B Strep positive women recommend IV antibiotics during labour to prevent infection for the baby.

A positive test for GBS is very common (25-30%). It isn’t very common for babies to contract it, especially if the mom does the IV antibiotics during labour. The rate of GBS infection is only approximately 0.4 babies per 1000 births, and only 10% of those babies infected die from it.

Your best bet is to do the IV antibiotics during labour. Prior to that, taking a good quality probiotic can help. Probiotics are the good bacteria that normally populate the vagina and which the baby will pick up at delivery. Keep your immune system healthy with diet, sleep, stress reduction, exercise and be sure to breast feed. Breastmilk, especially the first milk called colostrum, is full of antibodies that will help keep the baby healthy and fight infection.

You can also use a vaginal probiotic. There are specific strains of probiotics that benefit the vagina and help prevent Group B Strep from being able to take hold. Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri are two such strains.

Here is some relevant research, the second study specifically studied the effect of lactobacillus rhamnosus on streptococcus agalactiae (group B strep).