New research shows that your health and lifestyle factors around the time of conception can have a significant impact on both your chances of achieving a healthy pregnancy as well as the long term health of your child. In fact it may be even more important that your genetics.
What are epigenetics?
Epigenetics are the tiny DNA changes that alter their structure and function.
Our DNA is not as ‘set in stone’ as you may think. Just because you have a history of heart disease, does not mean you will automatically pass this on to your child. In fact, during the crucial preconception period, you have the chance to actually improve your genes!
Our genes are sensitive to the environment to which they are exposed. This means that genes can change the way they are expressed depending on their environmental conditions. These changes are known as epigenetic changes.
Factors such as
can have a positive or negative influence over these epigenetic chances
We have long known that these changes occur in utero, however research now shows that you can start influencing the health of your future child before you even conceive.
Healthy diet and lifestyle factors combined with availability of important nutrients can influence the environment in which your egg and sperm grow and develop, encouraging positive epigenetic changes.
I love the saying “when you were just a twinkle in your Fathers eye”. That is when you start being a parent. That is when you are already carrying all the genetic material that has the potential to become your future child. The nourishing and the nurturing starts now.
Both the egg and sperm have around a 90 day developmental cycle, where they progress from immature follicle into the mature egg and sperm ready for potential fertilisation. It is during these critical 90 days that you can positively influence your DNA which has the potential to become your future child.
My motto is ‘being the best Mum starts well before birth’. Now research is showing that the nourishment you provide before you even conceive, may be more important than ever.