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This article looks at the five core pillars being identified by modern science as crucial players in modern health and particularly for conception, pregnancy and for a little person. We look at what, how and most importantly how you can use this awareness to put yourself in a better position.
Trying to have (and actually having) a young baby is one of the most exciting times but it is also can be one of the scariest times. More than anything, you want to do your best and have a happy and healthy little person. Particularly as growth from conception to the early years sets the most important foundation for a person’s future health.
However, modern life can make this tough…
So, what to do?
It can all seem super confusing and intimidating. It doesnt have to be though! As always, we like to thing that knowledge is empowering. The latest research points to five core things that really matter whether you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or have a small person. When it comes to fighting back, its all about knowing your enemy – awareness really is 90% of the battle. The next 10% is simply knowing some easy fixes and practical ways how to tackle it:
Here we go:
One: GUT: by now the pioneering research around just how powerful and significant this organ is to our health, brains and future health is filtering in to the mainstream. Keeping that healthy (which at this point means no major imbalances and lots of diversity) is important for our immune system, our hormonal balance and even neurological and mental health development of a small person. The trouble is many features (discussed below!) of modern life do a fantastic job of knocking it off course. We now know that for a baby it starts to build during pregnancy and the foundations that are built in the first few years are crucial for long term health, immunity and even for brain development and mood.
We have a huge amount on this subject (click on each to learn more) from why keeping it healthy matters so much for you and for a baby’s future health. Plus we look at what is actually effective in changing it for the better and what isnt worth the money. If you’re in a hurry just click here for the five quick ways you can improve its health.
Two: PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRESS: ok, so this may seem like a really obvious point, but, too much stress is bad – for everyone. It really cannot be underestimated. It is also not just the mental form, physical stress is as damaging as mental stress and just as prolific in modern life.
Reducing stress is one of those things we sort of know rationally we need to do, but often dont fully appreciate how much of a very real effect it can have on our bodies. It’s also annoying when people tell you not to be stressed! (Never works!). So, let’s get really practical….
Not all stress is bad of course (some can keep us alive) but the ones to watch for: Firstly, there is the obvious type: mental stress. We all feel that pressure to do it all, to look perfect with our instagram lives, 100% of the time. Exhausting. The worst thing is the anxiety is now rife in children too – scary. Mental stress is tough to deal with and is typically very individual. However, it’s all about your priorities. Taking care of your stress levels and health wont’t necessarily come naturally, especially in this day and age. One very simple way to do this is to simply say no a bit more (where you can obviously!). Prioritising your health and wellbeing is more important than most of us realise and shouldn’t be something that you feel embarrassed, guilty or apologise for. Own it. Click here for all you need to know about anxiety in our kids and here for some quick very practical tips to minimise from both us and our kids from our resident expert.
Then is also less obvious, but equally powerful kind of stress, PHYSICAL STRESS: like exercising too intensely (we all love a HIIT class these days) and the stress we put on our bodies by what we eat: processed food full of artificial ingredients, steroids, antibiotics, hormones. Other common modern culprits: eating to be a size zero, including cutting out major food groups if we don’t have an intolerance and sleeping too little. Most of us are guilty these days of putting our bodies through a lot, and it can have a huge impact. The good news is – once we know what the culprits are, we are in a better position to do something about them and the physical kind are a touch easier to avoid. Simply put: when you’re under stress: getting pregnant is much harder (your body wont allow pregnancy if it feels in danger), chronic inflammation goes up, which plays havoc with your hormones and can have a knock on to our children’s physical and mental development – so do what you can to reduce where you can.
Click here to learn much more about what and why it has an impact. How exercise can contribute and how to do it better, plus, how and why our children are paying the price – and most importantly what you can do about it!
Three: HORMONES: related to above – nowadays for a lot of us, our adrenal glands operate in overdrive pumping far too much cortisol through the body. Common symptoms: fatigue, trouble sleeping, weight gain on the belly, anxiety and irritability and difficulty with controlling appetite and cravings. Hormones are very delicately balanced and pushing one off can cause a knock on effect throughout the body. Mental stress, too much stimulation chemically (alcohol/caffeine), too much sugar, eating meat, fish and milk pumped with artificial hormones and steroids all serve to knock our hormones off. Then you have plastics (BPA) and ingredients in our skin and personal care items. Given the amount we are exposed to all of these on a daily basis its unsurprising we are having health problems. All of this certainly isnt helpful for conception or for growing a healthy small person. Once again – there are very real consequences.
Click here for what is happening from where, what the impact is on a developing baby and once again some easy ways to avoid and put yourself in a better position.
Four: PESTICIDES: not only are these endocrine (hormone) disruptors, but, research is increasingly showing a very real (and negative) effect of too much exposure on a small and growing person. It has been shown to have impact on hormonal balance and gut permeability and subsquent immune defence. They have also been shown to even potentially have an impact brain development.
Click here for much more detail plus here for some easy (and budget friendly) ways you can avoid.
Five: CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND OXIDATIVE STRESS: the root causes of most modern day chronic disease and infertility has been linked to these two. Oxidative stress in a nutshell happens when our bodies are working overtime (which can include dealing with toxic threats/infections etc) and when there isnt enough of the natural defence (antioxidants) on the other side. The key thing to know is that too much Oxidative Stress can damage cells/proteins and DNA – not what you want for a developing person. Inflammation is the body’s response to attack. Great in the right setting and generally an indicator that something is wrong. However, when not what you want when it is persistent and low level. These two interact together and have been linked to everything from preterm birth, infertility, autoimmune issues and neurodevelopmental problems in children.
Click here to learn more about oxidative stress and its impact on boys in particular. Click here for more on inflammation, how you can avoid it and most importantly a couple of ways you can boost your body’s own defence system/antioxidants.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.
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