Windows of Opportunity: 10 day nugget for Mothers with children Pre- Birth – 3years

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Rosey Sembatya is the founder of Malaika Children's Mobile Library. She is enthusiastic about early childhood and child protection.

When I got pregnant, the only thing I was prepped about were the cravings; that I would crave the weirdest of foods. There was not much else, at least not in the detail that the cravings were being talked about. From the time I conceived to date, I have read extensively about these baby things and would like to share

There is this term referred to as Prenatal Programming. This means that a lot of what the child is about starts way before they are born. This is not about genetics really because my study did not get into the science but of course there are good genes out there.

I am going to refer to the child to mean both before birth and after because I believe life starts at the point of conception and not at birth.

When it comes to prenatal programming and feeding, the mother ought to understand that the brain is among the first organs to develop, and the whole functioning of the child in the womb will depend on the brain. What happens when you starve yourself is that the baby in the womb will learn that the times are hard, and will feed reservedly. They will eat as they keep because they are not sure about your feeding patterns. This will affect their growth and thriving. Later in life these children may become picky eaters (under eat because they are used to it and don’t want to be bothered) or children that tend to eat much (over eat because they are never sure about when next they will eat). When a child is deprived, they are likely to have a low birth weight and prone to diseases.

What will happen to the brain is that it will have almost what it will need before birth , it is only the functionality of the brain that keeps growing with what is in the environment of the child after birth.It is therefore important that  the pregnant mother  pays keen interest to her nutrition to ensure that there isn’t much compensation she is required to do after the baby is born.

I struggled with food when I was pregnant. I only liked cold bushera, lemon cake, green olives , doodo and pawpaws, mushrooms and mashed potatoes. The Doctor advised me to keep eating whatever I liked to my fill. This helped me ensure that the child had much. It is difficult to explain cravings to someone not experiencing them and that is why I advocate for women having their own money so that when you crave olives, you can afford to buy them to your fill.

I will next talk about prenatal programming and stress.

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