Earlier this year we had an article published in a medical journal showing that a healthy lifestyle reduces pre-eclampsia, also called toxemia or severe high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy. The two graphs below look very similar and show the link. The top graph is the rate of pre-eclampsia and the bottom graph is the minutes of night time in the previous 3 months. As the days get longer in the summer months, night time is shorter and the rate of toxemia is reduced by almost 40% from midwinter to the end of summer.
This analysis was based on more than 39,000 pregnancies conducted in west Michigan by Mark Gostine, MD, and Gareth Forde, MD PhD. The two graphs imply that sunshine and vitamin D are important for prevention of pre-eclampsia. Also residents of west Michigan, where the study took place, eat greater amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise more and have less seasonal depression during the summer compared to the winter.
Seeing this information visually gave rise to the concept of “babyQ” which is shorthand for pregnancyIQ. As a mother’s babyQ improves and she treats herself and her baby properly by managing her lifestyle, nutrition and stress, she reduces the risk of pregnancy complications like toxemia. Based on this concept, we developed the babyQ pregnancy app for young moms to guide them through a healthy pregnancy.