While we have known for a while now, that habits such as smoking, drinking and exposure to other toxins during pregnancy are potentially harmful for the baby, we now know that a baby’s chances of getting cancer begin even before conception.
According to Professor Ricardo Uauy, women’s lifestyles before they get pregnant as well as when they are carrying a baby, actually impact the baby’s chances of getting cancer. Lifestyle habits including being overweight, drinking and smoking all play a significant role.
Earlier it was thought that it was a person’s genes and their behavior as adults that contributes to and determines their cancer risk, however new understanding of cancer risk points to influence of both parents as well as family circumstance.
According to Professor Uauy, risk factors are “already operating in the mother’s eggs before conception.”
So if an adult today gets cancer, it not only matters if he or she smoked at age twelve; it is also relevant, if their mother smoked before they were even conceived. For this reason, it is recommended that women stop smoking before they even think of conceiving, and that their BMI before getting pregnant should be between 18.5 and 25. Also they should not drink, take iron if required and get at least 400 micrograms of folate a day.