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The biggest return on chronic disease prevention is before conception, during pregnancy and birth, and in infancy. Chronic conditions to prevent: autism, asthma, allergies, dysbiosis, diabetes, weak immunity, obesity, STD.

 

— CHALLENGES

Lack of chronic disease prevention education, lack of sex education, vaccinating teen girls and pregnant mothers, over-vaccinating newborns and infants, antibiotics overuse, standards of practice for hospital births including immediate cord cutting (ICC), pitocin, episiotomies, elective and unnecessary C-sections.

 

— PREVENTION

Chronic disease prevention education starting in high school or even in elementary school, sex ed, healthy relationship skills, detoxification before conception, natural birth at home with doulas and midwives, intact birth, breastfeeding, parental pushback against early vaccination and over-vaccination, healthy nutrition, outdoor play and exercise, self-care practices established early in the home.

 

OVERVIEW

Love, sex, pregnancy, childbirth. Those relationships define who we are. They also determine longterm health outcomes.

When our hormones are healthy and balanced, we naturally are attracted to certain people. We form bonds made of pheromones and the hormone oxytocin. If a bond is deep, we may mutually choose to nurture that connection into a sexual relationship. Unions are made and children are born of these hormonal bonds and connections, and in turn parents bond with their children via the same love hormone—oxytocin—and in the case of breastfeeding mothers, prolactin.

In these intimate relationships with the people we love, the decisions we make—and don't make—about health will directly affect many of our longterm health outcomes.

That’s why your kiss is a commitment in any relationship. Kissing is just one example of what commitment means in the language of the bodymind. Lovers, parents and children share microbiomes by kissing and by sharing spoons and food. We need to take responsibility for that commitment.

For example, If you’re living with an infected root canal or infected tooth socket from a wisdom tooth extraction, you will share the caries bacteria that eats bone (teeth are bones). Our tolerance for dangerous root canals or invasive prophylactic wisdom tooth extractions is one explanation of the pediatric caries epidemic happening right now. Children's teeth are being eaten up by caries bacteria more now than ever before.

In the same way, STDs are shared with lovers. Gut bacteria are shared with lovers. Food practices for better or ill are shared with intimates. Habits around toxic exposures are shared. Bodymindsets that cause illness are shared. That's why conversations about health need to be had before sex. Negotiations need to me made—the implications of which will be felt long into the future. Sex is the best place to practice self-care and care of the other at the same time. In the unity of intimate relationships, they are one and the same. 

Why wait? Start now. The absolute best time to prevent chronic diseases is before conception. That’s where we get the biggest return on prevention. So establish a healthy union before you have sex, detox and optimize your nutrition before you get pregnant, nourish and nurture each other with nutritious foods and the best water you can find. Love the bodymind of your partner with healing touch. If someone is becoming ill, you're not going to have great sex! If your partner is exhausted or not feeling well, make a nest to rest in. Serve some hydrating herbal tea. Dim the lights. Play some healing music. Give time to restore. Watching a loved one nap, and being there when they awaken, is a precious time for meditation and visualization. Look at the body of your sleeping loved one. What do you see? What is right in front of your face? Look into the horizon and allow yourself to see what’s coming. Prepare the bodymind lovingly for these connections and transformations. Practice the Ethics of Care in your intimate relationships for lifelong health and wellbeing.

For all these reasons, we want to tend to the bodymind lovingly in these relationships that so define who we are and that so determine our health and wellbeing. Because we depend on each other. Health or illness is shared with intimates. With family. For this reason we take special care of ourselves and those we love. That means we have a responsibility to get informed about decisions regarding everything from sexual practices to dentistry, from birthing practices to breastfeeding, antibiotics, and vaccines, from the food and water we share, to self-care itself. Because we want to be proactive. We want that ounce of prevention—we all need it now more than ever. Children especially, because they are getting sicker faster than their parents.

So if you’ve been floating along thinking “Not today,” or “It won’t happen to me,” Or “I didn’t see it coming,” or “Isn’t there a pill for this?” or “My doctor can fix me,” well, you may want to reassess those bodymindsets before you fall in love, or get pregnant, or go into labor. Because if you don't make those decisions, they will be made for you. And you will live with them in sickness or in health.

 

FURTHER READING