How Pregnancy Nutrition Affects Baby’s Future Health

What you eat while pregnant doesn’t just determine how healthy the mother and her newborn will be; it also determines to a large extent, how physically healthy and mentally able the child will be, even later in life.

Vitamin D and language problems

A recent report in Web MD spoke of an Australian study that looked at the impact of low Vitamin D levels during the pregnancy, and how this could cause language problems in children.

Pregnancy NutritionWomen who have lower vitamin D levels in their blood during pregnancy have increased chances of having a baby who will have language problems.

Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin is known to be responsible for fetal brain development in the second and third trimesters, which is when the parts of the brain concerned with language learning develop. It is also thought that many pregnant women may be deficient in vitamin D.

Though small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from food sources such as beef liver, salmon, milk, eggs and cheese, the best source of it is sun exposure.

Just 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is thought to be enough but women who do not get any sun exposure or those who use sunscreen could be deficient in this vital nutrient.

Fat intake increases risk of gestational diabetes and still birth

There is more to eating a healthy low fat diet during pregnancy than controlling pregnancy weight gain. It affects health and wellbeing as well as development of the baby later in life as well.

In another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was seen that cutting fat consumption was important for pregnant women. In particular it was high intakes of animal fat that could put women at risk of gestational diabetes, a known risk factor for developing diabetes later too.

And this is not the only way in which a high fat diet will affect a pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth also rises among women who have a high fat diet, according to research conducted at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

The study reinforced the fact that maternal diet profoundly influences how the fetus, as well as the placenta, develops. A high fat diet was found to have a negative impact on the functioning of the placenta which is what was seen to raise risk of poor pregnancy outcomes, including increased risk of stillbirth.


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