Health concerns are always placed at the forefront of the pregnancy and birth process. If you’re pregnant and expecting a baby, you’ve probably been told what to eat and what to avoid.
You’ve made regular doctor’s visits and have monitored the health of your developing fetus closely. In short, you’ve done everything possible to insure that no medical problems emerge from the process – both for you and for your child.
But once the birth takes place, a final medical evaluation is given, and your new son or daughter is cradled in your arms, the heath of your child becomes solely your responsibility. It is your job to insure that they remain as healthy as possible and that they grow and develop in the best possible way. This is a tall order, for sure.
How can a parent tackle this challenge? Specifically, besides feeding your child right and securing a safe home environment, how can you can you maximize his health – both in the present and in the long term?
While there are numerous sites out there dedicated to providing short-term advice, little of this advice is given with a lifelong focus. On this note, here are three steps that every parent should take to insure lifelong health for their newborn child:
- Immunize your child. Although a minority of people will always criticize the effectiveness and the side-effects of vaccinations, immunizing your child is the most important long-term step to take when they are born. A child born today may easily live to see the year 2100, and there is no way of knowing what viruses they may be exposed to during that span. A full slate of vaccinations can help reduce that risk for the rest of their lives.
- Bank the umbilical cord blood. On a similar note, there’s no way of knowing whether your child will someday need blood and/or stem cells as a result of a medical emergency. For this reason it is advisable to put the umbilical cord blood into a public or private bank. If you are skeptical, check out the umbilical cord blood banking benefits and assess the advantages for yourself.
- Expose them to a healthy lifestyle. As adults, we perceive a healthy lifestyle as one that contains exercise, nutritious foods, and low levels of stress. Our newborn baby is certainly not capable of partaking in a healthy lifestyle in this sense. But they can still be exposed to such a lifestyle. Instead of watching TV from a young age they can spend time in the park. Instead of seeing unhealthy foods at the dinner table you can give them a good example from the very beginning. These experiences matter to a child’s development – even if he is too young to understand them clearly.
These are just a few forward-looking steps to take in the weeks, months, and years after your child is born. Although every parent probably wishes they could do more to guarantee the long-term health of their children, such steps nonetheless reflect the best way to maximize those odds going forward.