There's a list of conventional answers to these questions. We are the way
we are because it's in our genes. We turn out the way we do because of our childhood experiences. Or our health and
well-being stem from the lifestyle choices we make as adults.
But there's another powerful source of influence you may not have
considered: your life as a fetus. The nutrition you received in the womb; the pollutants, drugs and infections you were
exposed to during gestation; your mother's health and state of mind while she was pregnant with you -
all these factors shaped you as a baby and continue to affect you to this day.
This is the provocative contention of a field known as fetal origins, whose
pioneers assert that the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives, permanently
influencing the wiring of the brain and the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas. In the
literature on the subject, which has exploded over the past 10 years, you can find references to the fetal origins of
cancer, cardiovascular disease, allergies, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental illness. At the farthest edge
of fetal-origins research, scientists are exploring the possibility that intrauterine conditions influence not only our
physical health but also our intelligence, temperament, even our sanity.
As a journalist who covers science, I was intrigued when I first heard
about fetal origins. But two years ago, when I began to delve more deeply into the field, I had a more personal
motivation: I was newly pregnant. If it was true that my actions over the next nine months would affect my offspring for
the rest of his life, I needed to know more.
Of course, no woman who is pregnant today can escape hearing the message
that what she does affects her fetus. She hears it at doctor's appointments, sees it in the pregnancy guidebooks: Do eat
this, don't drink that, be vigilant but never stressed. Expectant mothers could be forgiven for feeling that pregnancy
is just a nine-month slog, full of guilt and devoid of pleasure, and this research threatened to add to the burden.
But the scientists I met weren't full of dire warnings but of the
excitement of discovery and the hope that their discoveries would make a positive difference. Research on fetal
origins is prompting a revolutionary shift in thinking about where human qualities come from and when they begin to
develop. It's turning pregnancy into a scientific frontier: the National Institutes of Health embarked last year on a
multi-decade study that will examine its subjects before they're born. And it makes the womb a promising target for
prevention, raising hopes of conquering public-health scourges like obesity and heart disease through interventions
Origins: How the Nine
Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul, published in September by Free Press.
Problems In Pregnancy Signal Future Health Risks
Vegetables Can Protect Unborn Child Against Diabetes
From World to Womb Webinar
Watch ob/gyn Doug Odom, MD below describing the importance of
Juice Plus+ in his practice. His experience is documented in this article on
Juice Plus+ and Pregnancy.
There is no doubt: Juice Plus+ contributes to tremendously healthy pregnancies; based on the article above and the new
'science of fetal origins' this improved health will extend throughout that new human's life. What could be more
Who do you know whose unborn child would benefit from the mother
taking Juice Plus+?