Does your Birth Month Determine Your Health?
Recently, a study by researchers at Columbia University was published that indicated certain birth months are correlated with higher rates of certain diseases. It was a fairly well designed study with a sample size of 1.7 million patients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/CUMC between 1985 and 2013.
Does this mean your baby due in October (the month associated with the most increased disease risks) is doomed to poor health? No, absolutely not. Firstly, this study only looked at residents in New York City. Environment, weather, climate, pollution, lifestyle, and a myriad of other factors could have influenced the results of the study. The study's authors know this and are looking to expand the research to other locals.
What it does mean is that general practitioners can look at the data available for your birth month and monitor you more closely for certain conditions. With further study and possibly more definitive data, it might provide a sort of road map for preventative care.
What can you do to ensure your child's health; in the face of so many fears and concerns? There are a few simple things you can actively do to improve your child's start in life.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet with good, natural sources of protein. Drink plenty of water; so much water!
- Stay active. Walk, walk, walk, walk while pregnant.
- Take a great whole food prenatal (with folate not folic acid).
- Try to relax and de-stress.
- Get regular prenatal massages.
- Engage in a healthy sex life (as long as your care provider has cleared you).
- Employ Chiropractic care to maintain healthy posture and avoid injury.
- Consult your care provider about taking probiotics.
In the coming weeks we'll talk more about each of these actions and the specific benefits of each to pregnancy and to fetal development. By being engaged and aware during your pregnancy, taking care of yourself, and investing time and energy in your well being, you are giving your baby the best chance at a good start in life.