Its bad when something goes wrong with our health and body but its worse when our health affects someone else’s well-being and intellect, especially when the other person affected is our beloved son! Its time now that we all realize the effect we have on our children and their successive generations-directly and indirectly. What we eat and how we behave teach children ample things-they follow our food habits by keenly observing what we like and don’t like and this is direct impact. But, even before these little ones are exposed to the outside world, they grow inside the mom’s womb hearing and seeing more that what we assume. Don’t misjudge your darling foetuses-they all have extra sensory power and if you don’t believe its time to read about it at www.firsteatright.com. The child not only hears and understands the mom’s feeling, emotions and voice but also starts reciprocating in its own way. Maybe that’s why most people take utmost care to keep the pregnant woman as happy as possible.
Despite repeated recommendations from physicians to stay fit through the reproductive years, women don’t pay much heed to their words and end up facing the effects of poor health and weight issues once they conceive and even after childbirth. During pregnancy, overweight and obesity might manifest in the form of other problems such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and more while after childbirth it seems that a mother’s obesity in pregnancy can affect her child’s development years (physical and mental) later in life. This is the result of a study published in the reputed journal ‘BMC Pediatrics’ where the researchers studied more than 350 moms and their kids right from pregnancy and when the kids were 3 and 7 years old. At 3 years of age they found that the kid’s motor skills were comparatively low when moms suffered from maternal obesity during pregnancy. Again, at age 7 when the boys’ motor skills were measured it was seen that boys whose mothers were obese/overweight while pregnant were almost lower by more than 5 points in their IQ score compared to that of the boys whose mothers weighed normal during pregnancy. But such difference in motor skills and IQ scores were not present for girls. The surprise element here is the striking difference seen in age-appropriate developmental assessments seen through early and middle childhood.
Its maybe because fetal development is affected by factors such as inflammation, metabolic stress, hormonal disruptions and high amount of insulin and glucose that become prominent when the pregnant woman is obese. We also have results from other studies where it was observed that kids with high IQ scores were born to those moms who consumed more of certain fatty acids found in fish. Nature does affect kids’ inborn IQ and health but nurture plays a determining role in moulding their knowledge-providing them with educative books, toys, a nurturing home environment and the way parents interact with children did play a positive role in enhancing the IQ levels and lessen negative effects of obesity. Firstly, try to stay in shape or get into normal weight before getting pregnant. If you have conceived even before you could do this at least try to eat a well-balanced diet that’s full of colourful fruits and vegetables, take your prenatal supplements, eat enough fatty acids and stay active. Have an open discussion with your physician regarding your weight issues, follow-up on the diet with them, stick with minimal weight gain levels prescribed and give your child the best home environment to minimize the effect of your weight on their development.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.