PARENTS

Babies' Lives Are Shaped Whilst Still In The Womb

09/03/2011 18:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

A new book claims that babies lives are shaped by their mothers and the world whilst they are still in the womb.

In Origins: How The Nine Months Before Birth Shape The Rest Of Our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul, the author argues that scientific discoveries have proved the nine months spent in the womb profoundly affect a baby's health and well-being into adulthood.

A mother's emotions, diet, stresses and exercise are all shared by her unborn baby.

The author says these findings fundamentally question our assumption that major illnesses, from heart disease, to diabetes, to cancer, are caused by a combination of bad genes and bad adult habits, and that it is the third risk factor of which we've taken too little account - our experiences in the womb.

Based on findings from Project Viva, a Harvard Medical School study of 2,670 ­pregnant women, which began in 1999, Annie Murphy Paul also claims that mothers' diets and weight are linked to children's subsequent weight and relationships with food.

Comparing the teenagers of women who had moderate weight gain during ­pregnancy with the adolescent children of women who had excessive weight gain, the study found the women who put on more weight had children who weighed more and were more likely to be obese. Ms Paul suggests this comes down to bad food choices women make during ­pregnancy which can then influence the later food tastes of their children.

What do you think?

Do you believe that children's relationship with food can be shaped by what their mums ate when pregnant?

Does your child enjoy a particular food that you ate a lot of whilst expecting?

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