There is an accumulation of recent hard data leading to the conclusion that our health is to a great extent shaped in the womb. Such data are compiled in the Primal Health Research Data Bank (www.primalhealthresearch.com). This database contains hundreds of references and abstracts of studies published in authoritative medical or scientific journals. All of them belong to the new framework of ‘Primal Health Research’: they explore correlations between what happens during the ‘primal period’ and what will happen later on in life in terms of health and behaviour. The primal period includes fetal life, the period surrounding birth and the year following birth. (For definitions of ‘Primal period’ and ‘Primal Health Research’, sea Michel Odent. Primal Heath. Century-Hutchinson 1986; 2nd ed.2002). It is not easy to detect such studies because they do not fit into the current classifications. This is the main reason for the database.
An overview of the database reveals the importance of one particular sub-group of studies. These are studies detecting correlations between a state of health in adulthood, adolescence, or childhood, and what happened when the mother was pregnant. There have been such studies in all fields of medicine and health sciences. Specialization can make us ignore the importance of the whole phenomenon. The practical implications of a new understanding of the concept of health are enormous. In terms of public health, it appears today that nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of pregnant women. In terms of research nothing is more important than to study the factors influencing fetal growth and fetal development.