Are you setting your child up for metabolic failure?

Reading time: 4 minutes

Are you planning for pregnancy? Or are you currently pregnant?

We are currently riding through rough times in the obesity epidemic, with Australia weighing in heavily on the scales, something needs to be done. Currently, there is a lot of research being done in the field of microbiota. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, the microbiota is the community of microorganisms that live within you. These little things possess an insane amount of power and I strongly believe that they play a large role in your health.

During my studies, we discussed the importance of the mother’s weight pre-conception and it’s role in determining the babies future. In the medical field, it is common to view us humans as 90% bacteria and 10% human, pretty funny but it’s actually so true. These tiny little bacterias play a massive role in both you and your child’s health. So what did I find out? Your pre-pregnancy weight actually plays a huge role in your child’s metabolic future. So in a normal healthy lean to-be mother, there is a diverse ecology of gut microbiota, and during pregnancy the ‘good’ diverse variety of gut microbiota is passed onto the child where he/she will eventually develop a healthy metabolic outcome which helps them maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives! Pretty powerful stuff. So now if you take an overweight/obese to-be mother, the fact that they are overweight results in disrupted gut microbiota and increases the ratio of ‘bad’ to ‘good’ microbiota. This is not a good sign as it passes onto the baby during pregnancy and sets the child up for metabolic failure. As the child is born it will possess the same genetic and microbiotic traits as the mother and so your child will already be predisposed to obesity from birth.

Now combined with environmental factors such as the type of milk the baby receives, medicines, delivery mode (vaginal or caesarean section) and even intrauterine contamination, all of which affect microbiota growth and diversity. Your child is likely to develop obesity and an adverse array of diseases further down the track of life. Being obese and overweight will really hurt your child, the world is getting fatter because we are getting lazier. This will really hurt your future! Some consequences of being overweight whilst pregnant include larger baby sizes, higher risk of obesity and diabetes, miscarriage, and even foetal death. This list goes on and on, it’s really quite sad.

All of what I have said so far is pretty scary isn’t it? This information has definitely helped me for when I need to plan for my own kids. How can you ensure that your baby will be as healthy as they can be? How can you play a massive role in our fight against obesity?

Here are some even scarier stats: 93% of us plan for a holiday, 90% plan for a house, 73% plan for retirement but only 50% of us plan for conception!! That’s so scary, this is potentially the most important point in your life, where two people come together to create new life. So please plan for your pregnancy.

Here are my top 5 tips for a healthy baby:

  1. Get into a healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9), refer to your doctor or dietitian to determine the body weight you need to be at.
  2. Eat healthily and nutritiously, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but make sure to balance it out with lean meats as well.
  3. Avoid all smoking, drinking and drugs.
  4. Exercise consistently before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy. Please consult your doctors on their recommendation on exercise.
  5. Take a high-quality supplement that contains folate, try to avoid shelf products and seek out high-quality GMP pharmaceutical grade supplements.

Lastly, I just want to stress how important it is, to be honest with yourself. I know a lot of people like to hide that bad habit or shave a few kilos off the scale. But when it comes to health, honesty is by far the best policy. Know when to seek out help because there are professionals out there who will help you achieve those health goals!

Just remember, pregnancy is a vital part of both your life and your child’s life. Those 9 months determine the entire future of your child!! Your body is a temple, eat, drink and breathe for your child, they’ll thank you for it down the track and you’ll also minimise chances of them developing nasty diseases.

Wishing you all the best of luck for you and your child!

AF

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