First 1000 Days Initiative

2022 Trends

TREND: Conception Wellness 2.0

While in last year’s trend we talked about Conception Wellness, it’s time to update you on what has moved on, improved, and is new. In fact, this area has become a major focus of public health interest—as an opportunity in a “period” of human development for intervention to improve long-term population health outcomes. We are now in the big impact space.

While definitions of the “preconception period” remain vague, new classifications and categories of life are becoming formalized as biomedicine begins to conduct research on, and suggest interventions in, this undefined and potentially unlimited time before conception. And the wellness environment is primed to take a major role to effect positive impact. We focus on the burgeoning epidemiological interest in epigenetics and Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research. The bottom line is that it’s all about lifestyle, and wellness is fully primed to fulfill this need.

TREND: Precision Wellness for Protocols and Programming for the Wellness Space

Precise pre-conception, pregnancy and post-partum protocols and programming is the next logical step. That is translating all the science coming from the latest research and creating treatments and wellness programming that target moms and dads before, during and after pregnancy—in order to create the best conditions for baby and family health and wellness. Watch for this to start emerging as wellness establishments realize that with the increasing infertility rates, men and women will be wanting to seek evidence-based holistic and non-invasive solutions to infertility and the establishment of lifespan wellness optimization. The bottom line is what we are calling wellness prescriptions for the First 1000 Days.

TREND: Postpartum Early Return to Exercise

There is unclear and unsubstantiated evidence available to OBGYNs and MDs to substantiate the advice given to women regarding exercise in the 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. A first “Early Return to Exercise Post C-Section” Pilot Study (ACTIVE mom, Weil-Cornell, SS 2021) showed positive outcomes on pain, function, mental health and overall wellbeing in the exercise group versus the control (non-exercising) group.  The larger study is ongoing with expected completion by the end of 2022. Early results indicate women experiencing controlled pain had improved mental health and felt better overall by exercising. When told not to exercise, regardless of their exercise status pre-pregnancy, many of their health/wellness markers decline. Restoring efficient diaphragm breathing, core/pelvic floor stability, and general movement is key to improve supportive muscle group activity. We believe that returning to this gentle exercise as early as 2 weeks post-birth can help postpartum women during a very sensitive time.

We see that a new trend emerging to re-frame the previous beliefs regarding exercise directly after giving birth, and these include women slowly returning to gentle breathing, stabilization exercises and movements postpartum 2-12 weeks to help their mental health and overall wellbeing. We see this being guided exercise protocols and prescriptions at wellness centers, spas or at home services. We believe this will help women transition back to exercise with greater success after the 12-week mark and lead to positive wellness & mental health postpartum outcomes for years to come!