The Power of Prenatal Care


As a pediatrician, you included much information on pregnancy in your books. Why do you think pregnancy is that important from a pediatrician's point of view? What the most important advice you want give to expecting parents?

Dr. Greene's Answer

The time before birth is a time of incredible possibility as well as potential peril. The babies are growing and learning so fast. At one point they make 100,000 new neural connections an hour. It’s the time when parents have the most control over their child’s environment and when every choice about that environment makes the most difference. As a pediatrician, I try to help parents make the best choices for their baby during – and even before — pregnancy.

The most direct way parents can affect the health of their babies even before birth is to make smart decisions about what mommy eats, drinks and absorbs (through lungs or skin). Parents can make a difference just by paying attention to those three things, maximizing positive and nurturing choices and minimizing unnecessary toxins.

Expectant parents can become overwhelmed with information and advice. It’s almost impossible to absorb every tip or follow every guideline. I don’t expect that parents will follow my advice word for word, so my books offer questions and considerations that parents can consider as they make important decisions for themselves and their babies.

Last medical review on: December 15, 2009
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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