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Maternal nutrition & Autism

Many of the mums who have had more than one child come into my clinic tired and run down.  During their health assessment it often becomes quite apparent that their health declined following the birth of each child.

Rarely do women replenish their nutrient levels following a pregnancy.  Many supplement during pregnancy to ensure the health of their unborn child but what about themselves?  Research has now shown that the declining nutrient levels may lead to increased risk of autism in subsequent children – particularly if the pregnancies follow closely.

Closely spaced pregnancies were associated with an increase in the odds of a second child being diagnosed with autism, according to a study involving California children.

The study, which the journal Paediatrics published online, showed the sooner conceptions followed the prior birth of a sibling, the greater the likelihood of the second child having an autism diagnosis. The study looked at more than 660,000 second-born children in California between 1992 to 2002. The study measured the time the second child was conceived relative to the first child, and then looked at autism diagnosis of the second sibling.

The study found that second children who were conceived less than 12 months after the first child’s birth were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than children spaced further apart. Second children conceived less than two years after the first had almost twice the odds of receiving an autism diagnosis.

Quite apart from the increase in autism, the mere fact that nutritional deficiencies also increase susceptibility to environmental toxins, should motivate all women to ensure their own health is at optimum levels PRIOR to conceiving.   Read more about preparing your body for conception and the importance of detoxing well before starting a family.

Vitamin D

Maternal vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy is significantly associated with offspring language impairment. Maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of developmental language difficulties among their children.   

Always ensure proper assessment of your Vitamin D levels is undertaken prior to any supplementation. 

Supplements should be quality products as prescribed by a qualified natural health practitioner.                 

Source: Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development;  Andrew J. O. Whitehouse, PhD;  Barbara J. Holt, BSc;  Michael Serralha, BSc(Hons);  Patrick G. Holt, DSc; Merci M. H. Kusel, MBBS, and  e H. Hart, PhD