Helping Prevent Autism and Other Health Problems in the Newborn
The Importance of Preconception Planning
- In 1975 only one child in 5000 was born with autism. Today, one in every 50 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
- Autism spectrum disorders are increasing 10-15% per year.
- During the past two decades, autism has increased 1500%, ADHD over 400%, asthma 300% and allergies 400%.
- About one half of all teens, age 13 to 18, have some type of psychiatric disorder such as anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism, Eating Disorder, Mood Disorder, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia or Personality Disorder.
- One out of every ten children is diagnosed with asthma and 25% of all children suffer from allergies, either respiratory or other allergy.
These are pretty bleak statistics, but what we want you to know, is that most of these childhood afflictions can likely be prevented, if the parents, especially the mother, are better prepared with regards to their own health, prior to conception of their child. This is what Preconception Planning is all about.
It is extremely important for parents to understand the impact their diet and health have on their children. Making sure they are healthy before conception provides their child a strong beginning that will affect them the rest of their lives.
The following is just a small sampling of what researchers have discovered in relation to pre-conception planning:
- One study found that children exposed to prenatal PCB’s (a chemical toxin found in many processed foods) had significantly lower IQ, speech and reading comprehension scores. Jacobson JL et al. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. (2002)
- Thyroid hormone is indispensable for fetal brain development, and maternal thyroid hormone deficiency is thought to result in severe and irreversible brain impairments in learning and memory. There is evidence that even subclinical hypothyroid in the mother can cause brain impairment in her newborn child. Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]. Maternal Subclinical Hypothyroidism Impairs Neurodevelopment in Rat Offspring by Inhibiting the CREB Signaling Pathway
- If the mother has a thyroid or adrenal deficiency, her body will “steal” these hormones from the baby by the middle of the first trimester, when the baby’s glands are becoming fully functional. Nature gives priority to the mothers’ health over the baby. The child may therefore be born with underdeveloped, dysfunctional, or even completely missing glands, which may lead to a lifetime of health challenges. (quoted from B. Lundell, 2014).
- Mercury is especially toxic to the health of the newborn. The development of the child in utero and early in life is at particular risk. Mercury exposure and children's health. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2010 Sep;40(8):186-215. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.07.002. Common sources of mercury exposure are seafood and dental amalgams (silver fillings).
- The Environmental Working Group found 232 different chemicals and pollutants, including lead and mercury, in the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants. See www.ewg.org
- Published research suggests that the stress a mother experiences while pregnant can have a significant negative effect on the mental development of her baby. Stress wears down the adrenal glands and can deplete cortisol production. The potential influence of maternal stress hormones on development and mental health of the offspring. Weinstock M1. Brain Behav Immun. 2005 Jul;19(4):296-308. Epub 2004 Nov 19
- Studies have shown that the most detrimental effects of iodine deficiency occur during fetal and neonatal growth and that the most common preventable cause of mental retardation in the world is iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy: the effect on neurodevelopment in the child. Skeaff SA1 Nutrients. 2011 Feb;3(2):265-73. doi: 10.3390/nu3020265. Epub 2011 Feb 18
- The development of the immune system, particularly in the prenatal period, has far-reaching consequences for health during early childhood, and throughout adult life. Childhood asthma and allergy are considered to be due to prenatal exposure to toxins that damage the newborn's immune system. The effects of environmental toxins on allergic inflammation. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2014 Nov;6(6):478-84. doi: 10.4168/aair.2014.6.6.478. Epub 2014 Oct 15.
What is important to understand?
What is important to understand is that if the parents, and especially the mother, have excessive toxins in their bodies, low adrenal or thyroid function, have an inadequate diet or are stressed too much, it may have a significantly negative effect on the development of their new baby and could contribute to the child developing autism, ADD/ADHD, other mental disorders or allergic problems.
We strongly encourage parents who are planning to become pregnant, undergo a Preconception Health Evaluation to determine the state of their own health before conception occurs. Doing this will help minimize the development of cognitive and brain development disorders as well as immune system defects in their child, that have become epidemic today and affect millions of children and their families.