You Probably Never Considered These Pre-Pregnancy Essentials!

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Interviewer: Dr. James Dowd, author of the Vitamin D Cure. Can you talk a little bit about vitamin D's role in children's early development and even preconception? Do parents have to take better care of themselves as they're trying to conceive.

Dr. Dowd: Yeah, I'm a really strong advocate of nutrition and, if necessary, targeted supplementation in the peri-conceptual period, during fetal development pregnancy and in very early childhood. I think that this is when most of our biology is determined. We sort of have... we all have the same notes. We're all the same 88 keys of the piano, but how we play that piano. We learn how to play that piano in those first... during pregnancy and in those first 2 years of life. And we end up playing the same tune over and over again after that. And so you want to get the piano lesson in good then. And so, let's look at the peri-conceptual period. Okay? This is like farming.  The soil has to be good before you plant the seed or what's the point? Right? You can put a lot of fertilizer on afterwards, but if the soil is lousy it still isn't going to be optimal. All right? So it's important for a woman who's thinking about conception to really think ahead. Initially, I thought some [inaudible] some movie start on something say, well I'm preparing my body for pregnancy.  I think what, what are you talking about lady? Okay, this is what she's talking about. Okay?  She's talking about this idea of making the soil fertile for the growth and development of this new human being. And it involves diet, making sure that you're getting enough protein and that you have enough protein stored. If you're somebody who's been eating deplete diet and not enough vegetable matter and a lot of micro-nutrients are missing, then some of these micronutrients can take months or a year to replenish. How... that's not possible, if once you're already pregnant you're to play catch up. You see what I'm saying?

Interviewer: Yeah.

Dr. Dowd: So you want to make sure that you're in the best, best fitness for pregnancy and you want to start thinking about this probably about a year before you want to try getting pregnant. Okay, so that's going to involve diet and exercise and the sooner you think about this, the more natural stuff like foods can play in this role and the less supplements and the less other things may be necessary.  The closer you get to go time, or, you know, the starting gun, the more these targeted supplements become more important because you haven't spent enough time or given yourself enough lead time. So, you want to make sure that the soil is ready for implantation, literally and figuratively. Then during pregnancy, you want to make sure that you're adequately nourished. Protein is absolutely essential.  I mean, you think about it. The human being... a fetus is a construction project. Okay and when you ask yourself, okay, what material are needed to grow bone and muscle and brain and when you think about it, you say okay let's go through the major food groups here. Okay. How many of these things can you make with sugar? None. Okay? How many of these things can you make with protein? Most of them need protein, okay. How many of them need fat? Most of them need fat, but healthy fat, a healthy balance of fat. Okay? How many of them need all of these vitamins and minerals and micro-nutrients? All of them do. So all of a sudden you look at them, oh so, I can't make anything with carbohydrates, so that should be the least than I'm consuming. I should be consuming a moderate amount of healthy fat, a moderate amount of protein, and food that contain a lot of these micro-nutrients which are vegetable matters and/or targeted supplemented that cover some of this. Okay. So you want to make sure than you're getting these things during pregnancy because this is where the rubber is meeting the road for the first time and where you're actually constructing these things. And you're building the foundations during fetal development and that's critical for the function of the entire unit for the rest of... for the rest of their life. And then in the first 2 years of life, this immediate post conceptual period, we know that this is also a critical time where you develop a relationship with bacteria in your gut and your skin and the brain is still doing a tremendous amount of development in those first 2 years. Think about it. You learn how to walk, you learn how to talk and communicate, you learn in motions and how to use them. This is a lot of stuff to learn. And, anybody who has, I mean we had this unfortunate accident with Gabby Gifford and this brain injury and she's having to learn all these things. Go ask her if it's not difficult. Sure it's difficult.

Thinking of having a baby or already pregnant? What could you be doing to give yourself and the baby the best odds of staying healthy during and after pregnancy? Dr. James Dowd discusses some things you should know and do before getting pregnant and through to the first years of the baby's life.

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