Avoiding raising a heffa-lump begins on day one

Below  is one of the presentations I gave as part of Doula Week 2013, hosted at the Ladybird Corner.  Scroll down to read the transcript.

As part of the programme I put together a series of TIPS to help Expectant Moms create Better Body Chemistry…

 Better body chemistry for expectant moms

If you are an expectant Mom or know someone that is – invite them to participate, so they can create Better Body Chemistry during their pregnancy and raise a HAPPY HEALTHY little one.  

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Transcript of Doula Presentation…

The obesity stats are scary…..

It is estimated, 22 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight/obese.  In South Africa, 17% of adolescents are overweight, 4.2 % are obese.

FAT KIDS ARE EVERYWHERE from Athens to Zimbabwe

There is no doubt about it…………. we’re  RAISING GENERATION HEFFA-LUMP

But the world’s children are not just chubby…..

This generation is dealing with other health scourges… .

  • 1 in 10 children suffers from asthma
  • 5 – 8 % of children worldwide have ADHD (a disease which was  only listed as a disease in 1980)
  • 1 in 100 children is diagnosed with autism
  • Allergies and auto-immune diseases, such as type I diabetes & celiac disease is on the rise


Maybe on some nights – as you contemplate what the future holds for the little life developing inside. 

You’ve wondered what if………….

  • Will your child face health troubles…
  • Will you  be able to cope…..
  • How much will it cost……

So the question is why is the current generation in so much trouble, why are we raising a generation of Heffa-lumps.

I believe the current generation  is  caught at the intersection of  BAD genes,  BAD neighbourhoods and BAD advice

We can’t do much about our genes – exchanging your parents is not an option.   So I am going to concentrate on the other two, especially the BAD neighbourhoods…

Bad neighbourhoods can begin before birth… 

The trouble sometimes arises because of the presence of “toxic” chemicals that spill over into the womb –  some you’re familiar with, such as nicotine and alcohol, others are nameless environmental toxins, that increasingly pollute our outer world and intrude into the inner worlds.

When things go wrong during the pregnancy, high blood pressure, high sugar levels and infections  can create difficult environments for the developing infant.

I know you’re doing your best to limit your little ones exposure to these as best you can.

Sometimes there is a problem with the feeding line.   It can be a quantity problem when the placenta is not functioning optimally, it can be a quality problem too – Mom has not got access to enough food or is not eating the “right” foods leaving baby scrounging for those all important building materials.

I know that this is also something already on your radar. 

The focus today is on the neighbourhood in which your child lives.  No this has nothing to do with whether you’re living in Houghton or Alex.

This is ALL ABOUT child’s “FRIENDS”…… and their influence.

These friends form the Welcoming Committee that celebrates your little ones birth.     Who shows up, depends on what happens during birth.

Now don’t be misled, this has nothing to do with your friends and family anxiously waiting in the hallways of the hospital. 

These friends are not human, they’re microbial.  

Babies born naturally have a crowd of  Mom’s closest friends show up.  

You see, getting that big head (humans are blessed with REALLY BIG BRAINS), down a very narrow tube, requires lots of pushing shoving and SPUTTERING.   Since the task is performed head first – a whole heap of fluid gets swallowed, en route to the outside.  The fluid would ordinarily be  considered to be “DIRTY”, because it is jam packed full of the bugs which reside in the vagina.

But the bugs residing in Mom’s vagina are her friends ………….   and these Friends of Mom are usually the GOOD GUYS.  

Babies born by C-section make friends with the bacteria that typically hang out in a hospital.

Hospitals are full of BAD GUYS, guys that make people sick..

The process of making new friends continues……….  through kisses and cuddles and the milk supply.

The first foods

It is quite exciting and challenging for the gut cells to experience food for the very first time.  So the first milk that Mom produces is very special – it is called colostrum. 

It  includes chemicals which help the gut cells work together and is loaded with bacteria which help to get the digestive tract up and running

Using fancy molecular biology techniques – researches have found 700 different bacteria in breast milk. 

It seems that who ends up in the milk is also impacted by the birthing process. Women who have a c-section don’t have quite as many different kinds of bacteria as women who give birth naturally.  It seems that the physiological stresses of labour, create just the right chemistry for these bacteria to thrive.

Feeding baby and company

Feeding on breast milk, does not just send the “right” bacteria down the pike, it is amazingly intricate, providing all of the nutrients necessary to sustain and strengthen baby and those bacteria.  

In fact, breast milk includes special types of sugars, known as oligosaccharides which can only be enjoyed by bacteria. Humans don’t have the enzymes necessary to break down these sugars. 

These oligosaccharides encourage the growth of a group of bacteria known as the Bacteroides

Helping Mom survive

And mother nature also helps out Mom.

She slips junior a “mickey fin” encouraging junior to sleep through the night by increasing the levels of a chemical known as adenosine.  Adenosine signals the nervous system to shut down for the night.

Something a breast feeding mum really appreciates.

And why too much coffee ……………………creates nightmares for a breast feeding Mom.

Caffeine, our favourite stimulate………. works by interfering with .

Our gang

We end up with trillions of bacteria in our gut. That means, bacteria outnumber you.  For every 1 cell that is “you”, you have 10 bacteria.   Healthy guts have over a 1000 different species. 

Now everyone has a unique combination of “friends” and it is pretty much “set” by your 2nd birthday  – in fact, just like you have fingerprints you have a microbial print. 

The exact combination depends on your genes and the environment, especially the early environment.   As a rule, babies who were born by c-section and/or formula fed have fewer kinds of bacteria.

So does it matter ?  Well bacteria are not just along for the ride, enjoying the nice cozy warm environment and endless food supply………..WE NEED THEM. 

Why bacteria matter

They do lots of different things.

The first big job they do, is to provide us with energy – they breakdown non-digestible carbohydrates aka fibre. Thy also break down protein, lipids and cholesterol. And help to synthesize a whole bunch of vitamins including,   vitamin B and vitamin K

They like to hang around just above the cells lining the gut.  And this layer of bacteria … ends up protecting our cells. From all sorts of toxic things……… chemicals and other bugs, bad guys that manage to get through our body’s defences.  They do this by “eating” the bad guys or spraying them with toxic chemicals.

They also train our immune system to be able to recognize the good guys and the bad guys.

The influence extends way beyond the gut – they’re continually sending the brain messages, shaping our behaviour.

They involved in regulating our appetite and even influence out moods.

But in generation Heffa-lump…. These good guys are in trouble.

The good guys are moving out…..

  • Widespread use of antibiotics
  • Fear of dirt
  • Drinking chlorinated water and pasteurized milk
  • Modern diet…. in processed food, we’re deliberately adding chemicals to KILL the bad guys, but at the same time we kill the good   guys too, we also don’t include as many fermented foods, we eat foods with lots of acellular carbohydrates, which promotes the growth of bad bacteria.
  •  And living in the modern world is S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L.  Cortisol, our stress hormone tends to drive the good guys out
  • Natural birth and breast feeding gives your baby a better start….
  • Decreasing the chances of  health problems that arise from “BAD NEIGHBOURHOODS”.

The obesity connection…

There is more to it than EAT LESS AND MOVE MORE.

Several studies have shown that “FAT” kids, eat less than their skinny counterparts, especially when we look at older kids. They actually are weight watching…..  cutting back their food,  to try and lose weight.

And they’re not moving less, at least not to begin with…. they end up moving less, but that is because it is hard to move a lot of you around. But they don’t necessarily start out as mini couch potatoes.

When scientists look at the microflora inside people…………they always find, the bacteria in people with weight problems are “different” from the bacteria in skinny people.

Fat people have fewer Bacteroides bacteria and more of a group of bacteria known as the  Firmicutes.

The Firmicutes actually are more efficient at extracting energy out of the food – so the same bite of food actually ends up delivering more calories.  Ouch.

The NATURAL welcoming committee tends to be made up of BACTEROIDES…. 

A big reason to work towards a natural birth and breast feeding…

Most modern health problems stem from bad body chemistry, little things can make a difference to your body chemistry.

Also put together a special gift for ladies attending Doula week.  It is a series of articles to help  Expectant moms create Better Body Chemistry,  if you would like to receive them, fill in the form below… 


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