Pregnant Couple

Apart from smoking and alcohol, parents’ health including obesity and poor diet can have a strong impact on the growth and development of their children before their conception.
Recent research findings show that smoking, alcohol intake, caffeine intake, diet, obesity and malnutrition in either or both parents increases the child’s risk of developing heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, immune and neurological diseases.
The research shows the need for preconception health awareness along with improved guidance with an increased focus on diet and nutrition to improve the overall health.
As per the research, our gametes and early embryos are sensitive to numerous environmental conditions like poor parental diet which can change the process of development, thereby affecting growth, metabolism and overall health of the newborn. Maternal obesity is known to increase the hormonal levels and inflammatory process which can directly alter the development of the egg and the embryo. In men, obesity means poor sperm quality, quantity and motility.
While the focus on risk factors like smoking and alcohol intake is important, we must also prepare both the parents nutritionally for pregnancy.