Jonathan is off having a baby; well his wife is having the baby. So this week on Futureproof we’ve put together a special show all about the science of babies and how they come into the world.
You’ll hear about the cutting edge science that is showing that the first few hours of a baby’s life are hugely important in terms of making that baby a healthy person for the rest of their lives. Increasingly scientists are focusing on a baby’s ‘microbiome’; this is the collection of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that are unique to each individual and play a huge rule in our health for the rest of our lives. When a baby is born it’s essential that the baby’s microbiome is ‘seeded’ with the mother’s bacteria. However due to many modern health practices such as antibiotics, C-section and formula feeding, this microbial transfer from the mother to baby is interfered with and isn’t allowed to be completed. We speak to Rodney R Dietert, Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, who tells us that the baby’s microbiome is the blueprint for the health of the adult human. This is all part of a new documentary called ‘Microbirth’.
We also look at fascinating and strange research that shows that expectant parents can learn what kind of parents they can be by practising with a doll for five minutes; fact!
We also speak directly to Dads. For a long time fathers weren’t consider as important in the raising of children as mothers were. When science looked at the role of parents they tended to focus primarily on the mother’s influence. This has started to change and Paul Raeburn has looked at all the scientific studies about a father’s influence on children in his book ‘Do Fathers Matter? What science is telling us about the parent we’ve overlooked’. One of the many fascinating things that science is showing us about Dads is that their early involvement with their daughters’ leads to a reduced risk of early puberty, early initiation of sex and teen pregnancy.
And of course we could not do a show all about babies and not speak about the baby that has been growing alongside this show; we speak to our IVF couple Lisa and Gary who are due their own baby in early December.
If you have children or you’re about to, you’ll want to tune in this Saturday from 10am