Preparing the Incubator: What to Do Before You Get PregnantSep 25, 2013
There are things you can do before you get pregnant to increase the possibility of a healthy baby. Dr. Kirtly Jones of the University of Utah provides tips for families planning to add a new member.
Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: Today on The Scope we are going to talk about priming the incubator, planning your pregnancies.
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Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones: It takes a village to raise a child, but how about planning your babies? What a thought. This is Doctor Kirtly Jones from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University Healthcare.
Over 50% of pregnancies in this country are unplanned, but there are consequences of not having baby when the time is right. So why plan your children? Well, having your babies too soon, when you're too young means that the babies are not... don't grow as well and there is a higher rate of caesarian section. Too young before you are 15 or 16. What about too late? Women who postpone their child bearing until after 35 are less likely to get pregnant and they're more likely to miscarry and babies and more likely to have problems.
So there is a time when everything's the best and probably, that's going to be 18 to 35. Spacing your children. Clearly as we evolved as humans all over the planet, babies just happened. Well, they just happened but babies died. And people naturally, through breastfeeding and starvation, spaced their babies about four to six years apart. But now here in the U.S. of A., we have moms who are not starving and if they don't breastfeed, could have babies about every year and a half. It turns out that for the health of the incubator, that's you mom and your uterus, you should space your babies 18 months to 2 years apart.
Babies that are born within that interval, that's closer together, what we used to call Irish Twins, babies born just a year apart, because Irish didn't use contraception so Irish twins, those babies were more likely to be premature, they were more likely to be smaller and moms were more likely to be anemic and have difficulties in their pregnancy. So for the incubator, 18 months to 2 years, birth to birth.
There's evidence that babies that are spaced three years apart do better in school. They have more reading readiness. They have better language skills and they grow better. So there are reasons to wait until your baby can walk, potty and feed themselves and get their language skills launched before you have another baby. So spacing your kids.
How about getting the incubator ready? We now know that the environment in which the embryo grows may set the tone for the health of that child forever. Women with medical problems, women who are overweight or hypertensive, women who are very stressed in their life. Those babies born in that environment or raised in the uterus may have difficulties later in life. So get the incubator ready.
How about detoxing? Well, we're not talking about fancy detox diets but there are some chemicals you are exposed to in your skin, your lotions. Maybe you drink diet coke out of a can lined with a chemical called bisphenol A. You can get rid of that chemical in two weeks if you decide not to eat canned foods and not to drink out of cans. So there are a number of things to clean out the incubator.
Now we all know that pregnancies don't exactly happen on the month that you want them and planning could make you give up all these canned things for a long time, but, you know, that would be good for you anyway.
So, let's get ready. Let's plan our pregnancies. Not too soon, not too late. Space those babies and clean out the incubator.
Thanks for joining us today on The Scope.
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