Rise and Shine Expo, an informative expo to raise happy and healthy children, was held in Singapore last year. There were more than 100 seminars, workshops and trial classes, conducted by renowned experts around the world, including Dr Bill Sears who gave a seminar on ‘Keeping Your Child Healthy’.
Dr. Bill Sears, one of America’s most renowned pediatricians, is the father of eight children, and author of over 40 books on childcare. He is the Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr Sears Lean has a series on this blog, covering many aspects of raising healthy kids.
In the seminar held at Rise and Shine Expo, Dr Sears provided many tips for delivering and raising a healthy baby. His emphasis was to share tips that had been studied in recent years to help raise a healthy baby, including below:
Diabetes – Diabetes is an increasing and worrying condition among children. The risk of diabetes decrease with healthy choices and conversely, increase with unhealthy ones. Although genes play a role, recent studies show that whether that gene is expressed is determined by healthy choices, including those at pregnancy. Eating too much junk food and lack of exercise contributes to the rising diabetes problem in children in the US.
Exercise – Exercise can help the baby to be healthier as recent studies found that the body’s internal ‘medicine’ is released from the endothelium, the inside lining of blood vessels. Exercise creates an energy field and the glands along the endothelium open up, releasing ‘medicines’ for growth and regulating mood into the blood vessels, which in turn are circulated. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise clogs the endothelium, preventing these ‘medicines’ from being released.
Effect of Omega 3 – Increase intake of omega 3, such as fish oil with EPA and DHA during pregnancy has been associated with reduced post-partum depression, less premature births, fewer incidences of pre-eclampsia and less gestational diabetes. Numerous times during the talk, Dr Sears recommended that we stick to the Asian diet which is typically higher in fish and other safe seafood.
Dr Sears also shared the theory that post-partum depression is linked to Omega 3 deficiency – the theory is that the baby drains the mother as their brain grows most during pregnancy and the first year. A baby’s brain is 60% fat and uses glucose and oxygen. Therefore, appropriate intake of omega 3, carbohydrates and antioxidants are required. Dr Sears illustrated that omega 3 is to brain like calcium is to bone, responsible for brain cell membrane fluidity and myelin development. Omega 3 has also been associated with improved cognitive abilities of children and improved visual acuity.
Smoking – Smoking is not recommended and linked to many risks for the baby, including sudden infant death syndrome, affecting the breathing of babies via the paralysis of cilia (found in windpipes for sweeping dirt from lungs), doubling the risk of respiratory infection and causes higher nicotine levels in breast milk. Moreover, smoking also lowers prolactin, which stimulates mammary glands in preparation for milk production.
Dr Sears’ Eating Tips for Pregnant Moms – Apart from exercise, healthy diet with Omega 3, Dr Sears also provided an easy to remember tip for pregnant moms:
Eat twice as often
Eat half as much
Chew twice as long
Take twice the time to dine
I didn’t get to have Dr Sears vet through this post before publishing, any and all mistakes mine. Next week, we will cover more of Dr Sears’ talk, including on attachment parenting and (the mysterious) colic.