Why preconception preparation matters

Mother and baby preconception health
Photo credit: Shutterstock 363565127

Yesterday, Professor Michael Crawford posted an article on this site asserting that preconception health is vital to a child’s health. Dr Antonella Sansone responded articulately to his article – this is her response in full:

“This research-based theory of the crucial importance of preconception preparation months before conception is profound and makes so much sense in evolutionary terms. As Professor Crawford said in his article, anything we do that is really important we prepare for; and not just reproduction itself but everything related to it.

For example, among indigenous cultures, a 6 year old girl regularly carries a baby, looks after a toddler, sees other women breastfeed and handles babies, to prepare for birth and childcare years before these occur. These routines are practised by default.

An African indigenous woman told me that months before conception, not only do they improve their diet, but they prepare mentally by conceiving the child also with their thoughts. Every day, after they have decided to conceive, they go into the bush and call the spirit of the child until the day they hear it. Then they go into the hut and conceive it straightaway. The nutritional and emotional nurture interweave remarkably in these women.

Biology of beliefs

Cell biologist Bruce Lipton extensively tells us about the biology of beliefs, the biological substrate of thoughts, consciousness… Sadly, this kind of preparation, both nutritional and emotional (and spiritual) is lacking or poor nowadays, with the resulting high rates of fertility problems, miscarriages, premature and still births. These people we may call ‘primitive’ cleanse their body and mind much in advance of conception, as they consider this of crucial importance. And I have more fascinating stories I report in my book. There is certainly more wisdom in our ancestors’ practices than in modern ‘civilised’ prospective parents.

The earlier the preparation, the more likely we are to unlock the generational transmission of faulty patterns, mental ill health and other kinds of diseases – the stronger the epigenetic impact.”

Dr Antonella Sansone is currently developing a research project on mother-prenate communication as a precursor of attachment, with mindfulness intervention on depressed mothers. Her integrative approach acknowledges the invaluable role of maternal mindful nutrition in baby’s brain healthy development. She is particularly interested in the entanglement of emotional and nutritional nurturing since before conception, and believes in the important role of early parenting in preventing and counteracting later influences of media on children’s eating disorders.

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