Of course we take care to give our children good meals, see to it that they are dressed for the weather and try and make their colds and blues go away, hoping that our efforts go to make their lives healthier and happier. But by that time the seeds have already been sown, scientists say, and we can only make insignificant alterations to the trends that have been set.
A number of researches established that the whole lifespan of a person – especially in terms of health – is determined by the conditions he or she was exposed to during the first 1,000 days of life, that is, the fetus period plus two first years.
Practically all the factors related to the body and its function, like weight, life expectancy, the chances of developing cancer or cardiovascular diseases, seem to stem from those 1,000 days – this is the basic idea of a decade-long research conducted by a team of scientists from Southampton University led by Professor David Barker.
According to their theory, a child’s development passes through a number of phases each having its critical period; any problem or irregularity that crop up within these periods can bring on grave health issues later in life.
Womb development, as Professor Barker found, is the period when the child is most vulnerable to influences that have the most impact on the health of the adult. The nutrition stipulates the work of the placenta and the fetus’s weight, and the mother’s every intake of drugs or alcohol, every cigarette and period of stress digs into the well-being of the unborn baby.
The weight at the birth, for example, is in direct correlation with the risk of developing a heart disease at a mature age. The findings show that a baby who weighed under 5 lb 7 oz at birth has two times higher risk of dying from a heart attack than a baby who made 9 lb and over.
Further discoveries show that if there is not enough food in the womb it goes to the brain with the heart left underdeveloped. The way of the pancreatic cells that generate insulin are coming along when in the womb have to do with the future development of diabetes. The state of the uterus is linked with the person’s weight through the life.
All those influences, Professor Barker is sure, cannot be corrected by later care and medication. And the main factor, in his opinion, is proper eating habits not only during pregnancy, but all the time. It is the question of “building a body that the baby can live off,” he said. One cannot expect a baby to thrive on snacks and tidbits.
The professor called the results of the research “a window of opportunity where we can make better people.”
In what ways can a mom ensure that she will have a child whose health will never be a cause of worry for her?
- avoid drinking, especially during the first trimester
- avoid smoking, and tell your hubby that you are not to inhale the fumes from his smoking
- avoid stressful situations
- avoid overeating and eating sugary food, but take care to feed well
- before you set about getting pregnant try and slim down to lightest comfortable weight
- take folic acid every day when you begin planning for a family.
Source of the image: Photl.