You can make a difference to the physical, emotional and mental health of your baby. As he or she grows from a tiny fertilised egg to a fully-grown adult, the long term needs of this new and unique person depends on a constant supply of nutrients to provide the basic building blocks essential for growth and development.
These same nutrients also improve fertility in the adult woman, help conception to occur, help to prevent miscarriage and create the environment for a healthy full-term pregnancy and an easy trouble free birth and breastfeeding experience.
It takes very healthy parents to make a healthy baby and preconception health care for both parents is the ideal way to achieve this. The mother's egg takes approximately 100 days to mature before ovulation and the father's sperm need about 116 days to form. During this time, both are very susceptible to damage. A period of 4 months for preconception health care enables sperm and egg to develop in a toxin free and nutrient rich environment to enable optimum health of both. This provides the best possible conditions for the long term health of the baby.
While a good diet is a sensible starting point for good nutrition, unfortunately on its own it is not enough to guarantee optimal nutritional status. Australian soil is low in many nutrients and traditional farming has further depleted the soil of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Pesticide use increases the need for many nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc.
We are also constantly exposed to toxins, such as chemicals, heavy metals and radiation, which use up our antioxidant store, and reduce nutrients. These toxic substances, which can harm sperm, egg and the developing baby, can be gently removed from the body, during the preconception period, through the use of antioxidant nutrients and cleansing herbs.
I am now very happy to be offering Natural Fertility Management in my practice, having completed the Natural Fertility Management counsellor's course with Francesca Naish.
During the first three months after conception, the mass of the embryo increases 20 million times. This is the time when cells differentiate and organs are being formed. Sometimes nutrient deficiencies may be so great that the pregnancy cannot continue. In other cases, the deficiency is not so severe but may still be detrimental to the health of the unborn child. For example, this is the case in spina bifida, where levels of folic acid are insufficient for satisfactory closure of the neural tube and the spine covering does not fully develop.
Other, less obvious problems, such as allergies, asthma, behaviour problems and infections (for example, middle ear and respiratory infection) are far less likely to occur in children when parents enter into conception with adequate nutrient status and low toxicity levels.
Your growing baby is rapidly developing new organs and body tissues and needs lots of good food and good nutrition to complete this growth and development in optimum health and vitality. The food you eat and the supplements you take before and during pregnancy act as a supply of nutrition for these developing organs and tissues.