Why consider preconception care?
The role of early-life complications:
Taking into account maternal health prior to & during pregnancy seeks to decrease "early-life complications (ECLs) that is, potentially adverse events that occur during pregnancy and labor, at delivery, and early in neonatal life." 1
The role of epigenetics in pregnancy:
"The research showed that these genes are “turned on” in the placenta during complicated pregnancies and signal a placenta under duress.
Researchers found a prominent interaction between genes associated with risk for schizophrenia and a history of a potentially serious pregnancy complication.
Individuals having high genetic risk and serious early life complications have at least a 5x greater likelihood of developing schizophrenia in comparison to individuals with similarly high genetic risk but no history of serious obstetrical complications." 1
Optimal Health Functional Considerations:
Many women unknowingly have iron-deficiency anemia from increased bleeding during menstrual cycles. This can lead to poor oxygenation of major tissues such as the brain & other vital organs.
Restorative sleep is crucial for apoptosis, new cell regeneration, and brain development. Finding out the reasons for poor sleep can be a game changer.
"Regression analyses showed that the quality of the children's sleep significantly predicted the quality of maternal sleep. In addition, maternal sleep quality was a significant predictor of maternal mood, stress, and fatigue." 8
Chiropractic Care. "Sacral misalignment may contribute to 3 primary causes of dystocia via (1) uterine nerve interference, (2) pelvic misalignment, & (3) the tightening/ torsion of specific pelvic muscles & ligaments.
The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth." 4
Omega-3 Deficiency. "Imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids, and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are observed in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia)." 5
"In addition to the microbiota, nutrition is an important component of inflammatory regulation & nutritional deficiency could also be an important risk factor for ASD." 5
Exercise should be an integral part of everyone's physical and emotional health. The same is true for hopeful mamas and the future little ones to come.
BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION.
hypoglycemia / pre-diabetes / insulin resistance
Incorrect ways food and liquid intake can affect energy and metabolic rates of mama and baby.
"Animal studies have shown that exposure to environmental insults in-utero leads to altered response to stress postnatally, with effects on brain development and behavior that are partly mediated by gene expression changes in placenta a key environmentally sensitive organ during development." 2
IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION.
"Maternal immune activation (MIA) is a common environmental insult on the developing brain and represents a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders." 3
"Abnormalities in immunity could be closely linked to the gut microbiota and dysbiosis in ASD. The gut microbiota stimulates both nonspecific and specific immunity in the first years of age & has been recently suggested to regulate microglia activity.
After birth, the low-grade inflammation, although generally beneficial, triggered by the continuous immune stimulation provided by the gut microbiota could be detrimental in children at risk for ASD because of genetic synaptic dysfunction." 5
CHEMICAL BODY BURDEN.
"Parents of children with ASD demonstrated a significantly higher frequency of estimated occupational exposure to chemicals during the preconception period compared with parents of non-autistic children with intellectual disability, and TD children.
Potential susceptibilities to toxicants implicated in some individuals with ASD—including altered detoxification, genetic factors, lower GSH levels, oxidative stress, altered neuronal development and synaptic function, and hormonal factors—could act synergistically and amplify the adverse effects of toxicants during critical periods of neurodevelopment, particularly during the prenatal and early postnatal periods." 6
“Inflammation is an important and normal part of the immune system and, in early pregnancy, prevents the mother’s immune system from attacking the fetus. However, when the inflammatory reaction is protracted or more intense than is optimal, it may lead to worsening depression in a subset of vulnerable women." 7
1 Lieber Institute for Brain Development Press Release "Genes, Environment and Schizophrenia:
New Study Finds the Placenta is the Missing Link" Baltimore, MD. May 2018
2 Ursini, G., et al. "Convergence of placenta biology and genetic risk for schizophrenia" Nature
Medicine volume 24, pages 792–801, May 2018. DOI:10.1038/s41591-018-0021-y
3 Labrousse, V.F., et al. "Dietary omega-3 deficiency exacerbates inflammation and reveals spatial memory
deficits in mice exposed to lipopolysaccharide during gestation." Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, June 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2018.06.004
4 Ohm, J., Alcantara, J. "The Webster Technique: Definition, Application and Implications" International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
5 Madore, C., et al. "Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota." Neural Plasticity Volume 2016, Article ID 3597209. DOI:10.1155/2016/3597209
6 Rossignol, D.A., Genuis. S.J., Frye, R.E. "Environmental toxicants and autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review." Translational Psychiatry volume 4, page e360 (2014) DOI: 10.1038/tp.2014.4
7 Lena Brundin et al. “Inflammation and kynurenine pathway dysregulation in post-partum women with severe and suicidal depression”. Brain, Behavior and Immunity doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2019.10.017.