Recruiting protective microflora is the very first thing we do in life. Put yourself in the mindset of an infant. You're born, you are dropped in the mud, literally, where the microbal community thinks of us as lunch. So you must develop a community that protects you for life ... If you're a preemie and you probably came out by C-section and you're not breast-fed, you're acquiring bacteria in your gut from the hospital that will reside there for the rest of your life
That's not the way you want to do it. Normally, the mother hands down bacteria to her infant by means we still don't fully understand. If there's a successful transfer, it will be handed down mother-to-daughter for generations. Now we think one C-section could break that chain ... You've lost touch with your genetic ancestry.
--- Bruce German
Infant Microbiome Project
University of California, Davis
As quoted in Breast
©2012 W. W. Norton & Co.