The importance for good maternal nutrition during pregnancy has been emphasized for a long time. Of course in this case it was up to the mom-to-be to avoid toxins, such as smoking and alcohol and to take prenatal supplements along with sensible nutrition. Enticing the women away from the excesses of the standard Western diet would yield handsome health benefits for the country. Dr. David Barker, a medical advisor to the British government pointed out, that this approach would reduce heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases in the mothers as well as in their offspring. This concept does not address all the aspects, which are important for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
For the past 20 years a group of around 20 British family physicians, obstetricians and researchers under the name of Foresight has been putting a program into practice, which identifies and addresses the health deficiencies in prospective parents. Almost all couples that followed the pre-conception program had previously experienced problems relating to conception, pregnancy and birth. In one follow-up study of 367 couples that followed the Foresight program from 1990 to 1992, 327(89%) of the women became pregnant and had healthy, well-developed babies. None of the babies suffered malformations and none was transferred to special care. Of the 367 couples, 217(59 %) had suffered from infertility (from 1 to 10 years) and 139 (38%) had histories from 1 to 5 previous miscarriages. Eleven (3%) had previously given birth to a stillborn child, 40 had small-for-date babies and 15 had already had a low birth weight baby (less than 2,500 g). Seven couples had a previous baby with malformations and three had lost a baby to sudden infant death.
In a larger follow-up study of 1,076 couples, almost all of whom had previous fertility or miscarriage problems, 846 conceived success rate of 78%, as reported by Belinda Barnes, who runs Foresight. There were four problem pregnancies, including one Down syndrome baby, two terminations and one child with an adhesion of the intestine, which was correctable. This is a complication rate of only 0.47 %.
As the complication rate in the general population amounts to 6.43%, the pre-conception program has only 1/7th of the complications, a strong indicator that a pre-conception program does make a difference.
More info about healthy nutrition: http://nethealthbook.com/health-nutrition-and-fitness/nutrition/
Reference: The Medical Post, September 27, 2005, page 33
Last edited October 29, 2014