Mother – the most significant occupation in the world!

There can be little doubt that the role of mother has a profound effect on the health and well-being and intelligence of our children and that, in turn, this may ensure the health and well-being of the planet and mankind.

This was the belief of Prof. Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian doctor who founded the Buteyko Method, a breath training system that has given enormous benefit to millions of people throughout the world suffering from asthma, panic attacks, hypertension, sleep apnoea and a whole range of other conditions related to their poor breathing habits. Professor Buteyko originally graduated as a gynecologist and obstetrician, and although his early career was devoted to developing his breath training work, in later years he began training couples planning to have a baby (especially the mother to be) applying his principals of optimum health. He found these couples had healthier and more physically and mentally developed children than what was considered ‘normal’.

Today poor breathing, or more particularly “chronic hidden hyperventilation” is epidemic in the west. Why this is so could be debated at length but there seem to be two major causes – stress and poor diet. The effect of stress, either severe trauma or chronic long term stress triggers our primitive ‘fight or flight’ response which in turn leads to our being locked into over-breathing. A diet overloaded with protein and refined foods can produce metabolic acidosis that the body deals with, in part, by over-breathing, thereby lowering the CO2 in the body and reducing the acidity. Professor Buteyko found that when both parents breathed normally and heavy breathing exercises were avoided along with other lifestyle improvements, births were easier and usually without complication and the babies started life in good health.

It is not rocket science to suggest that healthy parents can bear healthier children.

Furthering this idea that our health is founded on our parent’s health and well-being, a highly successful and experience pathologist, Dr. G. Scott Williamson and a fellow doctor, Dr. Innes H. Pearse were shocked that despite their combined medical knowledge, neither of them could explain the origins or aetiology of health, and even when they researched the medical libraries in the UK and the USA they could find no answers there either. Thus began their remarkable experiment to establish an answer to the simple question “What is the origin of health?”

A thousand families were studied over a period that stretched from the 1930’s to the 1950’s at a family community centre in Peckham, London. The results of their studies were regarded at the time as perhaps the most important contribution to health and welfare this century. Basically every family became healthier by every medical measure with little or no medical interventions except in exceptional cases.

Their conclusions were that health derived from becoming whole in a supportive family of mother and father in a supportive community. The model of wholeness or health was the mother and father, and their support from came from the community centre that provided the rich environment and emotional help for children and parents alike.

In more recent years, a pioneer doctor in Philadelphia, USA, Dr. Glenn Doman began fifty years of research working initially with brain injured babies and young children, on ground-breaking rehabilitation programmes and later with healthy children to help their mothers learn how to teach them from birth to school age. Both projects have been success stories for tens of thousands of children.

There are many thousands of young people who began their lives as severely brain damaged babies labeled as ‘spastic children’ destined for a lifetime of intensive caring and support now living independent, fulfilling lives, and from the work with healthy children there are tens of thousands of highly educated healthy children who excel in many fields of development and who will be confident leaders of tomorrow in all branches of society.
These success stories are the result primarily of the dedication and nurturing of babies and young children by their mothers, not by professional educators or specialists but simply by mothers being given the support and knowledge to do what mothers are best at doing, nurturing and caring for their young.

Dr. Glen Doman makes two bold statements in a video about this work. The first is, “That every child born has the potential intelligence far greater than Leonardo Da Vinci ever used.” and “ What every child wants is constant attention from an adult to learn as much as they can, the first choice is their mother, then their father and then anyone who will give them that undivided attention they seek.” This is especially true from birth to early schooling and this should make us all concerned that in today’s world many mothers are having to work to meet financial demands on every family, and are often unable to give this attention, a close bonding that cannot be replaced by professional minders or teachers in the early years.

A common factor contributing to the remarkable achievements of these three pioneers in human development is their concern and interest in the diet of young babies and children. Professor Buteyko gave simple sound guidelines for nutrition as part of his programme of breath training for optimum development and health. The participants of the Peckham Experiment, as it was called, had access to fresh produce from farms in Kent that many of them had worked on them themselves at weekend trips to the countryside as volunteers. The work of Dr. Glen Doman also embraces good nutrition as a fundamental requirement for a healthy development.

Perhaps the most significant research in this field has been the work of a group of doctors in the USA and China over the more recent past. Their work has given us the scientific evidence that has been sadly lacking or misunderstood in the past. Good nutrition begins with the perfect food, mother’s milk of a healthy mother, later to be replaced by a health-promoting diet based on the family’s normal healthy eating habits with no processed or pre-fabricated food substitutes that have become the norm for many in developed countries. Once again it is the mother usually who provides the food for the family, the most vital link in the nurture and health of all the family.

To gain a greater understanding of the work of these three pioneers I would suggest visiting and in particular watching a video by a leading orthodontist on childhood development

For information on the Peckham Experiment of Drs Scott Williamson and Innes Pearse visit

For the remarkable work of Dr. Glenn Doman watch the Youtube video

and for an introduction to the power of diet on child bearing and health read this story related to the China Study

For an access to an overall body of health promoting information visit

Michael Lingard BSc.Dip.Ost. BBEC