Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mammalian placenta reflects exposure to stress, impacts offsprings' brains




"Most everything experienced by a woman during a pregnancy has to interact with the placenta in order to transmit to the fetus," said Tracy L. Bale, senior author on the paper and an associate professor in the Department of Animal Biology at Penn Vet. "Now we have a marker that appears to signal to the fetus that its mother has experienced stress."
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-03-mammalian-placenta-exposure-stress-impacts.html

This type of articles have fascinated me since I read about biology, evolution and genetics as a child. Intelligence, goodness and creativity were the traits I admire the most all my life. Both in friends and in romantic interests. My curious nature always led me to try and find the connection to nutrition, environment and genetics, preparing myself for when I started my family.
There is no much anyone can do about their genes, aside from selecting a suitable mate with the qualities you want more in the world of course. Once we have the mate we dreamed on, the actual actions we can take to ensure good brain health for our babies are:
  • Good nutrition for yourself before, during and after pregnancy and for all the members of the household specially babies, 
  • Provide a stable, consistent environment, 
  • Breastfeed,
  • Stimulate brain development from early on, one to one interaction seems to be better than anything else. Create a strong and safe emotional bond. 
According to science this seem the key points in creating a set of conditions that help, whatever IQ points their parents can pass into their children, to reach their maximum capacity and allow to develop the highest amount of brain power.
I tried to get pregnant for a few months even using ovulation prediction kits to accelerate the process. Patience is not my strong suit.
I was already taking prenatal vitamins when I finally got my two lines in my pregnancy test. I went to all my appointments and followed all the doctor's recommendations. My pregnancy was really uneventful the first weeks I didn't got nausea or vomited not even once.
I kind of guessed everything was going to be smooth, though. My mother never looked happier or healthier than when she was pregnant and she told me this was a family trait. I just got a bit of 'food stinks' syndrome the first three months and with that I developed an aversion to garlic. I used to love it, but for some reason the smell became too strong and to this day I still haven't gotten back to my old garlic lover self. I ate a lot of eggs, chicken, beef, fruit and salads. I delegated kitty litter cleaning duties to husband.
I got acid reflux when the baby started to grow pushing my stomach up to my neck around week 30. And given that I was carrying a huge baby, my back was killing me. The last 4 weeks aside from wanting to eat the whole fridge, and having a bad time sleeping. I could barely stand up for more than 20 minutes.
My husband and I get along pretty well so I didn't had many stressors during my pregnancy. Except for a couple of situations at work and an ill encounter with a friend. I did made an effort to avoid situations that might end up making me stressful and tried to keep myself surrounded by positive supportive persons. Is too early to know how my choices will impact Orion's development but I had always believed, is better to try and fail than to never try.
At the very least the baby is crossing his milestones a tad earlier than expected so I'm hoping I did something right. No matter what, I love him and that is probably the best gift I can give to him to ensure whatever her capacities are going to be he will be happy. That is all that matters in the end to me.

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