Tag Archive for childresn health

Personality is Developed in the Womb

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

The personality of a child begins in utero.  We know this to be true by looking at our children and the difficult circumstances many of them faced before even being born.   Its no longer, just the genetic make-up or early trauma, its the first 9 months; the mothers mental health, stress level, and environment.  New research and more media attention is being given to the risk children face from the womb, finally…This isn’t to say that Dr. Daniel Seigel and other attachment gurus have not made huge strides in this area, but now we are this more widely accepted.  Its not just if a mother was using drugs, or alcohol, or malnourished, its the emotional health that has become more widely accepted by those in medicine, and this is something us on the psychological end have been waiting for.

Dr. Ellen Weber Libby, psychologist and family systems expert discusses that “A pregnant women’s mental state can shape her offspring’s psyche.These observations and those of others investigating fetal origins, the study of how the nine months of gestation influences physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional functioning, mirror empirical observations long noted by mental health providers.”  To read her post Personality Begins Before Birth click Here

A recent New York Times article titled At-Risk From the Womb  by Nicholas D. Kristof discusses numerous studies that have proven moms emotional state weighs heavily on the development of the child’s personality.” The result is children who start life at a disadvantage — for kids facing stresses before birth appear to have lower educational attainment, lower incomes and worse health throughout their lives. If that’s true, then even early childhood education may be a bit late as a way to break the cycles of poverty.” Click Here to read more.

What this does for parents trying to conceive is give them a better understanding of just how important it is to have a healthy, happy, pregnancy.  What does for those of us who are parenting children from stressful wombs?  Allows us to better understand that this is how they were shaped, this is how their brain chemistry was developed, it is not that they cant control themselves, be happier or calmer, its that their early environment hindered this. Looking at it from this perspective its not that they cant do____ (focus, control themselves, hold it together), its that their brains haven’t allowed them to do so, yet.  This can be fixed, it will be fixed, we as parents and those helping parents, need to keep this valuable research in mind.

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Thirsty? Are You Getting Enough Water?

By Emily Roberts, MA, LPC

Are you getting enough Water? Let’s face it, most of us consume more caffeine then we do water, and with the summer heat, getting hydrated is more important than ever.  Many of us are running on energy drinks and soda, without even thinking about how many glasses of water we have had.  The bottom line is adults and children in the United States are dehydrated, which consequently effects brain chemistry and ones overall health.  Adequate hydration is important for proper brain functioning, as mild dehydration can impair your ability to concentrate, compromise your digestive track, and cause a decrease in energy.

To calculate how much water one needs divide body weight by three to yield the minimum water needed to detoxify the brain daily, if one is exercising heavily divide the body weight by two.  See the table for The Beverage Institute of Health and Wellness recommendations. http://www.thebeverageinstitute.com/

Most children are not getting enough water either, without this we see the same symptoms as we do adults, plus a lot more irritability and focus issues.  It’s important to make sure they are drinking plenty of water when they are outside playing, especially in these warm summer months. Studys show that children will drink up to 50 percent more water if it’s flavored (certainly, adults will too).  Make sure the flavored drinks they consume are all natural, made mostly from water, and do not have added sugars, dyes, or flavors. Here are some other creative ways to get children, and adults, to get their recommended H2o for the day.

  • Sparkling water- this is a favorite among kids and adults I know.  These come in subtle flavors such as mixed berry, lemon, lime, and grapefruit.  I am currently obsessed with the strawberry flavor at Whole Foods, I drank 32oz without even realizing it.
  • Fruit and Vegetable juice- remember many fruits and vegetables are high in water, I suggest diluting juice with 25 percent water to get more with great flavor.
  • Broth based soups and Popsicles- believe it or not, they are high in water content and contribute to your daily fluid intake.
  • Tea- weather its iced tea, green tea, or decaffeinated tea, this is a great way to get flavor and nutrients, as well as hydration.
  • Emergen-C packets- one packet in 8 oz of water gives you 1000 mg of vitamin C, 24 vitamins and minerals, and a great taste to boot.  They make water fizzy, tasty, and full of nutrients; great for kids and adults. http://www.emergenc.com/

Remember, drinking water is the easiest thing you can do to increase hydration, detoxify your body and brain, and help you with optimal health.  By now you are probably reaching for a glass of water (yay). Make sure in these hot summer months, you and your children are getting enough to drink!

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