What is Early Origins Science?
As fetuses, we develop in our mother’s womb. Here, many factors help determine our risk of developing diseases like Type 2 diabetes or obesity. Our disease risk is not only influenced by our genetics. It is also influenced by how environmental signals within the womb interact with our growing bodies. For example, our mothers and fathers' stress levels and diet can completely change how our bodies will develop. These factors affect how we develop as babies, children, and adults. They also interact with the environment that we grow up in (outside of the womb) to determine the course of our adult health. The science behind this idea is called Early Origins Science.
Using Early Origins Science, we see that by supporting those who are or want to become pregnant ensures that everyone has a healthy start to life. By doing this, we are investing in more productive and capable future generations.
Think about this investment like taking care of a house plant. For a houseplant to live for a long time, we need to give it lots of sunlight and water. Right now, our house plant is not getting much water or light. We have few supports that ensure individuals stay healthy before and during pregnancy. As time goes on, we will need to invest a lot of time and money to help save our house plant. This is something that we could have avoided if we took better care of it early on. This is the same with our current healthcare system. Investing in health before and during pregnancy can prevent chronic diseases and make more healthcare resources available to those who need them.