Wondering if attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is in your genes? Can it be passed on to your children? What can a pregnant woman do to reduce or eliminate passing ADHD on to her unborn child? Some of these questions were answered in a recent German study. This study, from September 2012, identified some of the risk factors for ADHD. It found that the combination of gestational diabetes in the mother and low socio-economic status are strong predictors of ADHD in the child. Why? For one, there is likely a large nutrition component here.
Other patterns have been discovered too. Health problems during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy, and allergic eczema also raise the risk for ADHD. Breastfeeding as 100% of the baby’s nutrition appears to protect against ADHD, regardless of how long the breastfeeding continues, the study showed. Ideally a child would live on exclusively breast milk for 6-12 months.
Looking at biological and environmental risk factors for ADHD is new for the scientific community. ADHD has always been considered hereditary, but this study showed that we can also turn on and off the genes of our children by how we nurture ourselves during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your naturopathic physician at Insights to Health about how to optimize your health at this time.