What is health? Is it absence of disease as is the popular belief or is it the elixir of life ?. Healthy state in simple terms is the state in which our body and soul is in harmony with the surrounding environment. In recent times a lot of importance is been given to emotional and spiritual well- being, but this is not a latest funda because our forefathers were pioneers in it.
We, as child specialists firmly believe that the sapling for overall health and wellbeing is sown at a very period that is in the mother’ s womb. The parents not only transfer genes to their baby but also condition their baby’s responses to various stimuli. This is the concept behind FIRST 1000 days of child nutrition which is the software on which the entire life of the person is mapped onto.
This time starts from preconception, through pregnancy to first two years of age during which all human organs develops and matures. It would be great if we do correct lifestyle practices from the beginning of the cycle.
For example, a woman who conceives a child in an optimal environment and health gives the best genetic make up for the future offspring.
Some important preconception tips:
Always plan a pregnancy to avoid unwelcome surprises, ex a gap of at least 3 years between pregnancies.
General health measures are important because the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is the time when all organs are formed.
Follow the mantra of good night sleep (7-8 hrs/ day), healthy diet, adequate physical activity, happy mind and positive thinking.
Get medical help for health issues like diabetes, obesity/ overweight, anaemia (low red blood counts), thyroid disorders, menstrual issues prior to conception since they adversely affect the baby and becomes difficult to control during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins like folic acid may be prescribed by your doctor in case you are at risk of deficiency.
Physical activity need not be strenuous work out in the gym. Even light exercises like walking/ cycling/ swimming improve your metabolism and trigger positive health.
Last but not the least, pregnancy is to be enjoyed. So have an adequate emotional back up (family and friends) and a happy fulfilling relationship with your spouse.
“A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside… when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.”
Every second counts and this is the time of life where the feeling of carrying a little soul within you is magnificent, so make it count.
First 1000 days starts from next edition ……
– Dr. Divya Srirangarajan,
Paediatrician and Paediatric Emergency Care Specialist