A new research study shows that mothers who indulge in a healthy diet decrease their baby’s risk of developing heart defects. Moreover, if women maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy also boost their baby’s health, in reducing the odds of the baby having heart problems. Health experts have recommended a diet based on fish, vegetables and fruit.
This correlation between the mother’s diet and her baby’s health was pointed out via a study which analyzed 19,000 American women. They were asked questions involving their diet before they gave birth. They also rated the women’s diet according to the Mediterranean Diet Score and the Diet Quality Index for Pregnancy.
Moreover, women who indeed ate healthy during their pregnancy decreased the odds for the baby to develop tetralogy of Fallot, a defect which leads to low oxygen levels in the baby’s blood, or atrial septal defects. The latter ones represent holes in the heart’s chambers.
Health officials have been putting an emphasis that the mother should consume folic acid, to prevent birth defects, and vitamin D, which is the best there is for teeth and bones growth and health.
The study was published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood Fetal & Neonatal Edition, and it wrote that 50 percent of women reported having given birth to babies with heart problems, while the other half said their babies were completely healthy.
Researchers analyzed the data and came to the conclusion that a healthy diet was correlated with less chances for the baby to develop congenital heart defects.
It seems that the congenital heart anomaly is a frequent heart defect that a baby might experience, and it can be lethal, unlike mild defects, for instance holes in the heart, that might cover up on their own and therefore not needing to be treated.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) reported that some heart defects are either due to complications in the foetus’s early stages, or to faulty genes, for example.
In the USA, congenital heart abnormalities affect approximately 1 percent of newborns, whereas 1 in 4 babies will die due to these anomalies.
Senior dietitian at the BHF, Victoria Taylor, said that this study is utterly relevant for women who plan on conceiving, as they should know that healthy diet choices are always the best for their baby’s health.
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