How can pregnancy affect you in life

Pregnant! - What you can do now for your child

Even before birth, many courses are set for life. With little things, future mums can give their babies a better start. While the child grows in the womb, it is connected to the mother via a unique supply system. Nutrients, trace elements and metabolic products reach the baby via the placenta and umbilical cord and ensure that it develops optimally.

But: Stress hormones, stimulants and the like can also penetrate the child - and trigger processes that can be the predisposition for later chronic diseases. The good thing: Pregnant women can influence the health of their little one.

Pay attention to your weight

Too many kilos on the scales can program the baby to overfeed while in the womb.

Forget the saying “If you are pregnant, you have to eat for two”. As long as you are not underweight, you can cover your additional calorie requirements with about an extra cheese sandwich a day. You should keep this in mind if you struggled with the pounds before your pregnancy.

Because doctors know today: a constant excess of food programs the unborn child to overeating. The hormone probes in the child's brain are incorrectly calibrated and release large amounts of insulin. They take abundance as normal, which affects babies' hunger perception.

"These little gluttonous people are very likely to develop overweight themselves later," explains Professor Berthold Koletzko from Dr. von Hauner's Children's Clinic at the University of Munich. "And so the children carry the risk of secondary diseases such as high blood pressure, increased blood lipids, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

Therefore, experts advise overweight women to lose a few pounds before pregnancy, if possible. When the baby is on the go, diets are taboo.

Instead, the following applies to pregnant women: Access fruit and vegetables to your heart's content. Whole grain and dairy products are also right at the top of the menu. “Valuable omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain development, for example,” says Professor Koletzko. Pregnant women should therefore eat sea fish (for example salmon or mackerel) twice a week.

It is best to discuss with your doctor whether you also need iodine, iron, calcium or magnesium. Folic acid intake is recommended for women who want to have children and in early pregnancy. The B vitamin is important so that a neural tube defect (open back) does not develop.

Control sugar

An exercise test for diabetes should be performed between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.

Most of the time it is symptom-free, and in 90 percent of cases it goes undetected. But gestational diabetes can have similar effects on the child as overeating. This is where the mother's and therefore the baby's sugar metabolism gets mixed up. That is why experts recommend having a sugar stress test carried out between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.

It is not a compulsory health insurance benefit, but some have recently paid for it. It is worth asking. What else you can do: In addition to the right diet, exercise has a positive effect on glucose levels. Going for a walk, walking, swimming or cycling is good for you and your baby. Just 30 minutes five times a week is enough.

Deal with stress

Continuous stress, especially at the end of pregnancy, can affect the child's psyche.

Every now and then a little everyday stress - that won't disturb your little one. "If the mother's stress hormone level is permanently elevated, especially in the last weeks of pregnancy, the fetus regards this as normal," explains Professor Dr. Matthias Schwab from the Jena University Hospital. The regulators in the brain are set incorrectly.

The children may then be more anxious and more sensitive to stress later on. Your body releases more cortisol. "Too high a level promotes the development of depression, as the mood enhancer serotonin is suppressed," says Schwab. Better: allow yourself enough sleep and breaks. Then the neural networks in the child's brain can mature undisturbed. Therefore, consciously relax every now and then.

Avoid pleasure poisons

Alcohol and cigarettes can do serious harm to the baby.

Steer clear of alcohol and cigarettes! They can cause serious harm to the baby. Example smoking: Oxygen and nutrients no longer flow freely to the child. The nicotine, however, reaches the baby in its entirety - with consequences. His risk of later suffering from hyperactivity, learning difficulties and poor concentration increases.

Even small amounts of alcohol can permanently impair the baby's mental performance. It is therefore worth practicing a little waiver during pregnancy - so that your baby can start life with the best possible conditions.

Author / source

Petra Ritzinger, Baby and Family / HealthPro


Created on December 3, 2008, last changed on November 16, 2009