Before Birth - Prenatal Care
Life begins much earlier than we think. Contrary to what most of us realize, life does not actually begin the moment of birth. Conclusive studies now show that life begins far earlier, and that we are very aware of our environment from within the womb.
Mom's mental state during pregnancy plays a significant impact on the development of her unborn child. A fetus is biologically responsive to its environment before birth because it needs to be for its survival after birth. In other words, nature is preparing the baby to survive in the environment its mother is already a part of. No matter how great our genes may be, the environment we are raised in has a substantial impact on how these genes can and will be expressed.
Genes vs. Environment - A Wake-up Call
In his book The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Dr. Thomas Verny, a pioneer in prenatal and perinatal psychiatry, states that our influence on children begins in the womb. Neuroscientists are discovering that the fetal nervous system has the sensory capability to be significantly impacted by its environment. In fact, experiences in the womb can profoundly influence long-term health and behavior.
There is mounting evidence that conditions in the womb are equally and perhaps even more important than our genes in determining our mental and physical health. A wide range of chronic diseases ranging from osteoporosis to depression have been intimately linked to prenatal developmental influences.(1) Low birth weight due to conditions in the womb are also linked to adult conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes and obesity:(2)
- A male child who weighs less than 5.5 lbs. at birth has a 50% greater chance of heart disease than a male of normal birth weight.(3)
- Underweight babies are 3 times more likely to develop diabetes by the age of 60 yrs.(4)
Dr. Daniel J. Siegel,
“For the growing brain of a young child, the social world supplies the most important experiences influencing the expression of genes, which determines how neurons connect to one another in creating the neuronal pathways, which give rise to mental activity,” writes Dr. Daniel J. Siegel in his book The Developing Mind. Siegel states it is the environment that helps determine which genes are activated and which are not. In essence, this means that as parents we act as genetic engineers.
A Healthy Pregnancy
After a child is conceived, the attitudes of the parents play an important role in the development of a growing fetus. Studies show that what a fetus experiences in the womb helps lay the foundation for personality and emotional traits. The environment of a pregnant mother can and will affect a developing fetus. When a mother experiences stress, the body physically responds by producing stress hormones that enter the blood stream. This response alters the distribution of blood flow in the fetus and changes the character of a developing child's physiology.(5)
As mothers, our bodies are biologically built to birth a child (unless we have a physical condition preventing us from doing so). All we need to do is supply our body with what it needs to support this growth. Understanding how best to treat our bodies during pregnancy is extremely important for both mom's health and for the health the unborn children.
Cultivating healthy habits, while reducing and eliminating unhealthy ones is a big part of this process. We cannot simply pass this responsibility over to our pediatrician, or avoid responsibility by popping an array of prenatal vitamin pills (most of which are now manufactured in China, and some very common ones which have been clinically proven to be dangerous for our health. Is folic acid a supplement you are taking? If so, seriously rethink that choice.
synthetic pre-natal supplements can do more harm than good:
The Body Healer Protocol...
Despite what the supplement industry tells you, unless you have a diagnosed deficiency, supplements are NOT necessary if we eat a healthy and natural diet that is filled with fresh, whole foods. A good doctor (usually a Naturopathic Doctor) will help you to understand that supplement pill-popping is no substitute for real food. When did we come to believe that health depends on supplement pills?
The unborn child is dependent upon its mother for food and oxygen, and for a child to be well nourished, a mother needs to be well nourished. Ill health, an unhealthy diet, or emotional trauma that mom suffers can lower the health and vitality, as well as the immune system of an unborn child. The healthier you are as a mother, the healthier your unborn child will be. Undernourishment from a poor diet may not only manifest as a physical condition in your baby, but can also affect their temperament and personality.
What does a mom need for a healthy pregnancy?
Let's take a look:
- Why kids are getting sicker & fatter
- Before birth - prenatal care
- Baby's first food
- Beginning solid food
- Healthy eating guide for children
- Why breast feeding is important
- Bone broth
- Pasteurized vs. raw dairy
- The health benefits of raw milk
- The importance of organic during pregnancy
- Serious dangers of pesticides in our food
- Vaccinations & children
- Healthy, strong teeth
- Tips on raising happy & healthy children
- Nurturing creativity & individuality
- Discipline & setting boundaries
View Sources & References
- (1) Gluckman & Hanson, 2004
- (2) Life in the Womb: The Origin of Health & Disease, by Dr. Peter W. Nathanielsz
- (3) Dr. David Barker, Univ. of Southampton, England
- (4) David Leon, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- (5) Lesage, et al, 2004; Christensen 2000; Arnsten 1998; Leutwyler 1998; Sapolsky 1997; Sandman, et al, 1994