All About Your Baby’s Microbiome

New research tells us that the microbes that are present during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can have an effect on the development of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, lupus, colitis, and celiac disease. Dr. Rodney Dietert is here to tell us how can you encourage a proper seeding of your baby’s body, to help fend off these maladies, and some suggestions on getting things back on track.

Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • What is the microbiome?
  • What does the microbiome have to do with diseases such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, autism and other chronic ailments, as well as food allergies?
  • The three parts of seeding the baby’s microbiome
  • The importance of probiotics
  • Antibiotics: friend or foe?
  • What to do during different birth scenarios: vaginal birth, vaginal birth with antibiotics, cesarean births
  • How lactation relates to the microbiome


Related resources*:




Image courtesy of Dr. Rodney Dietert

About Dr. Rodney Dietert

Rodney Dietert (Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin) grew up in San Antonio, Texas.  He is Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and has been on the Cornell faculty for 38 years.  Rodney has more than 300 publications with most concerning early-life environmental risk factors and programming of later-life, non-communicable diseases (also known as chronic diseases). His research helped define the critical windows of vulnerability associated with immune development as well as the interconnections among non-communicable diseases. More recently, Rodney has focused on the role of the microbiome in lifelong health and disease and the importance of ensuring that each child has a healthy, robust microbiome.

Rodney previously directed:

  • Cornell’s Graduate Program in Immunology,
  • the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors
  • the Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology
  • and served as a Senior Fellow in the Cornell Center for the Environment.

Recently, Rodney appeared in the 2014 award-winning documentary film on the microbiome: Microbirth.

His prior book written with his wife is titled Strategies for Protecting Your Child’s Immune System and is available via Amazon.  Rodney’s forthcoming 2016 book on the microbiome is titled: The Human Superorganism (published by Dutton of the Penguin Group/Random House).

Rodney teaches creative problem-solving in a Cornell University course, at new student Cornell orientation, and off-campus public workshops. His favorite hobby is….swing dancing.

You can keep up with Rodney at or on Twitter at @RodDietert.

His email contact is rrd1[at]cornell[dot]edu

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