Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives

I know this may be a bit overdramatic but the weather just changed basically overnight and now I am freezing! Our building has not turned on the heat yet and now I am huddled under my blanket in sweatshirt and socks trying to formulate my post for today. But on to more important things.
Have you seen this article yet? Its about the book Origins that has been in Time magazine and reviewed in the New York Times Book Review this past week. A journalist and researcher named Annie Murphy Paul used her pregnancy as a time to research the long-term effects of the environment: stress, caffeine, etc. on the unborn fetus. A relatively new scientific field called fetal origins. She doesn't have any conclusive evidence but lots of food for thought...and guilt? The author denies that her book is intended to make pregnant women even more neurotic and guilt-stricken about their pregnancies.
I wonder how that can be true. Women today are already hyper-vigilant about their pregnancies: They do pre-natal yoga, try to eat organic or at least healthy foods, they to avoid alcohol,...we really do try our best to be mindful of what our babies are exposed to. Why then should we be even more worried how stress is affecting our unborn child or how living through a natural disaster may change the fetus in some way. Why should a woman have anxiety that something she does during her pregnancy may cause her child to have diabetes or asthma later on in life?
 I have not read the book but in my humble opinion it is overkill. At some point in pregnancy, a woman needs to realize that she can only do so much for her baby. Things are out of her control and reading more books or swearing off corn syrup will not change that. In order to give birth, she really needs to let go of that need to control everything and make it perfect. Therein lies the beauty of pregnancy and birth- its unpredictability. Just my thoughts- what do you think?

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