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The Snake Oil Bulletin: Please Do Not Smear Your C-Section Baby With Vagina Goo. Really.

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Welcome back to the finest little chuckwagon medicine show this side of the Rio Grande. It's the Snake Oil Bulletin! This week, we bring you a fine concoction of pregnancy woo, all bundled up snug as a bug in a gluten-free hypoallergenic doula-sewn rug. Let's brace ourselves, take a few deep breaths, grit our teeth and PUSH our way into our first story.

Please don't rub your baby with your bajingo juice

"Trendy births" are a thing that continues to baffle Yr Dr. la Volpe. We had thought for so long that birth was a perfect event full of blood and muck and cabbage patch storks or something (we skipped that day of medical school; no one's called us on it yet). Little did we know that there are a myriad ways to birth a babby, and that many people see even their own Spawn-Squatting Day as a chance to one-up each other in the perpetual "I'm the Bestest Parent" competition that no one is actually having.

That's why we nearly horked up our lunch breakfast six-cocktail brunch when we heard about the latest trendy way to propel crotch fruit out of your muck canal: vaginal seeding. The term alone is enough to make our skin crawl, and the practice is enough to make us molt out of our skin altogether.

Vaginal seeding involves an expectant mother placing a strip of adhesive gauze along the inner walls of her velvet curtain. She then tries to get her juices flowing as much as possible, presumably by watching a few gifs of Colin O'Donoghue's eyebrows.

Oh dear. It seems we're pregnant again.

In the event that the mother is forced to have her baby by C-section, she then removes the gauze strip from her silk purse and rubs the stuck-on juices all over the newborn baby's skin, making sure to really grind in all the squirt and crust that the babby somehow didn't encounter in the 9 months before it popped out. Even more eww, several "seeding" resources actually advise women to swab their newborn baby's mouth and eyes with her genital juice. Unless that kid's got to pass a drug test to work in the Trump Ltd. Salt Mines & Luxury Work Camp, you do not need to be swabbing its mouth.

The working theory behind the practice is that when a newborn comes screaming out of its mother's birth canal, it passes through a great big swamp of bacteria that colonize on the baby's skin and in its tummy. Newborns birthed via C-section, however, don't travel through this microbe soup. The hypothesis at test is that C-section babies may be at risk for higher rates of diseases later in life because they were not exposed to these vaginal microbes at birth. Ergo, artificially applying the microbes to the baby after surgery might help babies develop more like their vaginally birthed peers. It's an incredibly interesting theory, and one that seems to have lots of microbiologists excited at the possibilities, but the research is practically a preemie at this point.

The only research examining this possible link comes from a preliminary NYU study in Puerto Rico. Naturally, like most things in science, the study has been misinterpreted by lay people across the board, with many non-medical experts like film directors touting the procedure as essential despite the fact that there really is no full study yet.

First of all, the entire operation is only a proof-of-principle study, which is one of the most preliminary of preliminary studies. Basically the study is only testing if a larger concept is even feasible, or if the test will have any effect at all, let alone a relevant one. Because of that, this study's sample size is tiny, topping out at a minuscule eighteen babies. Of the eighteen, only eleven babies were born via C-section, and of those eleven a grand total of four (4) babies were swabbed using the seeding method. There are play dates with more babies than this study. Hell, the Duggars have had more babies than this study. What's more, the study has only tracked infant health for the first few months so far -- way too early for any sort of final conclusion, which isn't even the point of the study, as we outlined before.

Of course, that hasn't stopped the press from running with the idea, which led to it spreading like vaginal fire throughout new mom groups. Slate's own resident OB/GYN, Jennifer Conti, felt obliged to respond to the nonsensical furor and penned the wonderfully headlined article: "Forget What You’ve Read. Swabbing Your Baby With Vaginal Juices Is Pointless and Weird." In a nutshell, Dr. Conti's argument boils down to take a chill pill on wiping your juices all over a vulnerable newborn until we know more stuff please:

...Let’s be clear here: The results of the study are not so clear. We have no idea if this practice protects anyone. And there are several scenarios wherein it may actually cause harm to the baby. For example, if the mother is Group B strep positive. Group B strep is a bacteria that is present in roughly 25 percent of all women in the U.S. and is the leading cause of meningitis and sepsis in the newborn’s first week of life. Another example is the presence of chorioamnionitis, which is an infection of the baby’s bag of waters that affects up to 70 percent of preterm deliveries, 13 percent of full-term deliveries, and 12 percent of C-sections. It’s not rare.

Is it possible that wiping newborns in mommy muck will help them develop better immune systems? Absolutely. Are you, Moonraven Duggar, qualified to make that determination yet? Almost certainly not. If the study does lead to more substantive tests with better results, then perhaps vaginal microbial transfer (please never call it "seeding," ugh) will become a more common practice in maternity wards. But until then, don't rub your crotch on your baby. Let qualified doctors and nurses rub your crotch on your baby.

Man who had gay sex convinced he's birthing a babby

Speaking of birth, while some sciencey type folks are debating the right ways to birth a babby, one gentleman needs a few pointers on how babbies are formed at all. Coming out of the Times of India, a 52-year-old man in the city of Kozhidoke, India, is claiming that he is pregnant with a child after a vigorous diet of gay sex.

The man (who goes unnamed) had been complaining of stomach pains for some six months, telling family members that he could feel a baby kicking inside him. After his family (no doubt patiently) explained to him that dudes do not yet have uteruses (or duderuses, if you will), he finally agreed to see a doctor about the, er, "baby." During the intake, it was discovered that the man had an adolescent history of playing rumper cars with other boys, and that after taking an extended chill to get hitched up to a lady he had recently had gay sex with another man again. The resulting gay mind control waves no doubt shattered his sense of self and forced him to hallucinate that that single act of picking twigs and berries with the boys was enough to get him knocked up with a butt baby.

Doctors diagnosed him with an acute case of GAYS (God Almighty YAAAAASSSS Syndrome), and prescribed him anti-psychotics to break the delusion, though in an interesting move the medical report also noted the following:

After a series of counselling sessions, he stopped indulging in homosexual activities. Now, the patient is recovering and we are measuring his progress during periodic check-ups.

Oh. Well, it's good to know that the poor dear is being watched over day and night for any recurrent signs of gayness by all those tall, handsome doctors we imagine.

Listen, sugar britches, allow us to break it down for you how babby is formed. Consider it our treat. Ahem, when a man and a woman love each other very much, or when a man and woman hate each other but stay together because they're emotionally stunted children, or when a man and woman don't even know each other's names but OMGTHISISMYSONG comes on, or when a twenty-something likes white wine spritzers and boys with chin straps just a little too much, they give each other a very special hug with their no-no bits. After 30 eventful seconds of frenzied rutting, interrupted by a mere twenty-two minutes of frantically alternating between unrolling the condom and trying in vain to hoist the main sail again before finally giving up and throwing the stupid thing away, a beautiful thing happens: a babby is borned in the lady's tumtum! And that's all there is to it. So don't let a little psychotic delusion distract you from your dream of popping the first cisgender male baby bump. As Harvey Milk once said, "Two men can't reproduce, but God knows we keep trying." And Stan/Loretta has the right to a baby, no matter what the Romans say.

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[Pink News / Times of India / Slate / Guardian / HuffPo / Image from Threadless.com]

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