The fetal origins hypothesis proposes that certain genes in the fetus may or may not be “turned on” depending on the environment that the mother is exposed to while pregnant (Hampton, 2004). Healthy embryo and fetal development is highly dependent upon the growth rate and the complexity of the easiness of how deficit any nutrients needed during the stages of development could affect the delicate process. Folic acid is important for the first four weeks because the central nervous system is forming. Lacking of folic acid could potentially result in neural tube defects. Iodine in the early stage is important for brain development and without it there could be damage to the brain leading to effects like mental retardation. The could also be other nutrient deficiencies that are less damaging but would still impact the health of a child during their life. Even in the womb the fetus is able to store nutrients such as iron, vitamins D and B12, and fat that will last during the last few weeks to help with development outside of the mother.
There are many conditions associated with gestational diabetes because of poor nutrition. In normal conditions during pregnancy the mother’s body adapts to make sure that she is receiving enough glucose continuously for the baby therefore becoming insulin resistant. Leaving gestational diabetes untreated leads to risks of being stillbirth or even macrosomia. Furthermore, studies show that as many as 70% of all women with gestational diabetes will eventually be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (Kim et al., 2002).
Bad and Good Nutrition
All pregnant women at some point has been advised to avoid certain foods that are considered to pose any type of health risks for pregnant women and their developing babies. Caffeine has always been an important concern during pregnancy. This is because it crosses the placenta to the baby, which is bad only due to the baby’s metabolism is still maturing and is not able to fully process it. Many women finds that it is helps to eat smaller meals and frequently. There are a lot of bad foods that are not good such as fried chicken, pizza, French fries, cakes, soda (especially caffeine), etc,. What is good for the baby and mom are healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat meats and dairy.
Breastfeeding vs. Formula
Breastfeeding has many benefits over formula in many ways. Breastfeeding has always been a better choice to feeding a baby over formula. It is best for a mom to breastfeed her baby the first six months until a year and then add in solid foods. Breast milk has antibodies in it that helps to fight off infections. This is something that a baby can not get from regular formula.
There are many different websites and workshops that offer information on nutrition. Nutrition is an important part of pregnancy that is good for the baby and mom. Eating the right food with exercise will do justice for mom and the baby because will help in reducing the risk of diseases for both.
Hampton, T. (2004). Fetal environment may have profound long- term consequences for health. JAMA: Journal of the Ameri-
can Medical Association, 292, 1285–1286.
Kim, C., Newton, K. M., & Knopp, R. H. (2002). Gestational
diabetes and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: A systematic
review. Diabetes Care, 25(10), 1862–1868.