Newborn health 26779

We know we're all about the healthy lifestyle once that pregnancy test is positive, but researchers are discovering that the health of mom and dad way before the baby is conceived plays a part in their child's future health, too.

According to a new paper by researchers at the University of Adelaide, there's evidence that poor health pre-conception can preprogram your baby to have poor health in his future, too. "Many things we do in the lead up to conceiving is having an impact on the future development of the child -- from the age of the parents, to poor diet, obesity, smoking and many other factors, all of which influence environmental signals transmitted into the embryo," Professor Sarah Robertson, a coauthor of the paper "Parenting from before conception" published in the journal Science, says.

The study authors found links between parents' poor health and a child's future poor health, including increases in diabetes, heart disease, and immune disorders.

So if you're even thinking about getting pregnant, now's the time to start building good health habits—quitting smoking, eating healthier, and boosting your fitness levels. That can help ensure that your baby gets the best start in life.

Image: Newborn by Inara Prusakova/