Although our continuing evolution can never achieve our perfection, we long for our children's birth and health to be near-perfect. Many children are born healthy, though fewer than is possible. Birthing and health rapidly improved generally due to modern housing, sanitation and medicine, as well as birth interventions. Arguably interventions have exceeded the optimal level, without enough regard for natural physical and intuitive resources. Conception, often too easy, receives too little personal preparation unless a couple has problems. Nurturing the health of sperm and ovum seems hard to focus on, yet is needed by both parents - and even by the four grandparents. What are the key factors? Positive: The fields of hormones/emotions and of nutrition/metabolism. Negative: stress, poor nutrition, toxins, diseases; much being due to poverty. Positive and negative both have structural and also epigenetic effects. Interventions, essential or inessential, are seldom without negative side effects. Health can best, and most economically, be generated at the beginning of life, through healthy conception, gestation and birth. Understanding prime needs improves initial health. It also informs therapy of any early-life problems. Healing is therefore more efficient when transgenerational, and much more powerful than individual healing. My vision of healing is safeguarding our evolution in progress. Children's choices - eating, exercise, emotional attitudes and relationships - are already profoundly affecting any children they may have, their mental and physical health. The most practical starting point seems to be educating boys as well as girls. Childhood is therefore the time to educate them in choices. The correction of often unnoticed problems- nutrient deficits, toxins, uro-genital disease - has enabled nearly nine out of ten couples to bear fully healthy babies, even following severe problems - infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths and malformations. Correcting problems before conception prevents both structural faults and wrong setting of gene-switches. Children's habits set. Once courting most are preoccupied and many pregnant unintentionally. Childhood is the time to be adopting a healthy lifestyle, the way to healthy babies The mother's nutritional and emotional status throughout pregnancy continues to affect her child's future physical and mental health, behaviour and ability. Before conception a woman needs to build her appropriate body stores - vitamins and minerals, proteins, docosahexaenoic acid. Before bearing another child, a replenishment time of 3 years is desirable. A return to childbearing in the 20s and early 30s could reduce risks that have risen with the recent shift towards conception by school children and by women in their late 30s or more. Governments, schoolteachers, health professionals, need to adopt this policy of transgenerational health. Empowerment with knowledge is the one way to fend off the growing pandemic of mental ill health and related disorders and to make the most of a nation's genetic potential. Financially there could be no better investment, let alone in enhancing people's lives. Childhood is the most appropriate time for education in this way to generating a healthy, able and peaceful human race. Essential to our amazing genetic systems are the resources of land, sea and air. We are one with our biosphere. We need urgently to follow up the vital work of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and of Far East initiatives in sea-bed and sea husbandry.
Keywords: Nutrition; behaviour; brain; conception; crisis; development; environment; epigenetics; evolution; mental.
© The Author(s) 2013.