In recent years more and more evidence emerges showing that lifestyle can affect fertility in many ways. A relatively new field of research, fetal origins or developmental origins, shows predispositions to certain diseases or even personality traits tracing back to the first nine months before birth. The old saying “You are what you eat” has to be expanded and proves to be true.
However you turn the subject of lifestyle one cannot deny that how we live shapes our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In an article published in Time Magazine Annie Murphy Paul, author of the book ‘Origins’, writes about phenomena going well beyond the conventional answers to ‘What makes us the way we are?’ She writes that “the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives, permanently influencing the wiring of the brain and the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver, and pancreas.”
According to latest research a mother’s lifestyle and environment can predispose her fetus at a higher risk to develop heart disease, diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and many other problems later in life. Pioneers in the field assert that “The conditions we encounter in utero… shape our susceptibility to disease, our appetite and metabolism, our intelligence and temperament.”
Knowing this is a great advantage. Parents are naturally concerned with providing a good future for their children. While college funds and education are certainly important, research shows that taking care of yourself during pregnancy can be one of the best investments and the most precious gift a mother can give to her child.
In Chinese medicine we value a balanced lifestyle as the key to longevity. It is interesting to see how this ancient wisdom coincides with the latest findings in cutting edge research. Acupuncture significantly reduces stress, leads to less complications during labor, and reduces the chances of low birth weight significantly. This makes it such a popular form of therapy, recommended by many gynecologists and obstetricians.
Specializing in supporting women’s health through the pregnancy cycle, this information is a fundamental part of my care. Optimizing a couples health before conception and a well-rounded care for the mom-to-be through gestation leads to a more enjoyable pregnancy and lays the foundation for healthy and happy babies.
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