A mum’s health and diet just before conception and during the first days of foetal development could affect a child’s future health, according to researchers.
The new research found that the effects of nutrition, such as a high-fat diet, low levels of vitamin B and folate, could trigger genetic changes that manifest in the child as obesity, insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
The evidence, which was mostly based on animal studies, suggests that women thinking of trying for a baby should enjoy good maternal health three to four months before they try to conceive.
“An unfertilized egg and early embryos are very sensitive to their environments,” says the author of one of the studies, Kevin Sinclair form the University of Nottingham.
Find out how to prepare your body for conception.