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Eating Right for a Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnant women can significantly reduce the possibility of complications by following a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet.

A recent study confirms the relationship between eating well and keeping risks low.

It is basically common knowledge at this point that pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant, should be following a healthy diet. The recent study showed that a healthy diet and lifestyle, both prior to conception and during pregnancy, can significantly reduce many of the risks associated with pregnancy. 

Adding three pieces of fruit per day to your diet may help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels, keep weight gain at a healthy rate and reduce other complications associated with weight gain, diabetes, blood pressure or other factors.

In this study, nearly 6000 women in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland were followed during their first pregnancy. Each of the women was carrying a single fetus. They were interviewed regarding their medical history and their daily diet. 

Several factors were measured, including blood pressure and weight, and each woman had an ultrasound performed between 19 and 21 weeks’ gestation. Following birth, certain data was collected about the babies’ health as well.

Results of the study showed clearly that those women who followed a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet, beginning at least one month prior to conception, including at least 3 pieces of fruit per day were more likely to have healthy and uncomplicated pregnancies. 

These women maintained a more healthy body mass index (BMI) throughout their pregnancy, were more likely to maintain normal blood pressure levels and experienced healthy weight gain. Overall, just over 60% of the women studied had uncomplicated pregnancies. 

High blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to a dangerous condition, pre-eclampsia, which can cause significant problems for both mother and baby.

 Experts suggest that nearly 25,000 more women per year could reduce complications by keeping factors like blood pressure under control.

Interestingly, women who were employed during their pregnancy were less likely to develop complications, which some researchers attributed to the fact that they would be more likely to be able to afford healthier foods and less likely to abuse drugs.

A healthy diet during pregnancy can help prevent premature birth, low birthweight, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and other problems.

Though more research in this area is indicated, these early results help to confirm the importance of the mother’s overall health when it comes to having a healthy baby. Specific factors, like healthy diet and lifestyle, can have a significant impact. 

Decreasing complications during pregnancy is important for the health of the mother, as well as the long term health of the child. Increasing the focus on healthy diet is a step in the right direction.

 

SOURCES: http://www.skynews.com.au/health/article.aspx?id=927119;
http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant;  Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SOURCES: http://www.skynews.com.au/health/article.aspx?id=927119;http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/eating-right-when-pregnant;  Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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