Most women know that smoking during pregnancy is bad for the baby’s development and could well lead to birth defects, low birth weight and premature labor. However the pregnancy diet plan that a mother to be has, also impacts the development and future health of a baby; we look at how.
A poor pregnancy diet plan may mean inadequate fetal organ development
The time in the womb is vitally important because it is here that all of the baby’s organs are taking shape. The nutrients needed for this vital organ development obviously come from the mother’s diet, her energy sources and her blood stream.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, when the placenta is not yet formed and the baby gets its nutrition directly from the mother’s circulation, the mother’s pregnancy diet plan may be of critical importance.
At this time there is no mechanism in place to protect the baby from deficiencies in the mother’s diet so having a nutritious diet is most important at this stage.
A study conducted on baboons found that when pregnant females had a restricted diet in the first half of pregnancy, the babies showed decreased cell to cell connections as well as lowered growth factors in the brain.
The researchers concluded that inadequate or poor diets during pregnancy could negatively impact the development of fetal organs and that the baby could not only have a lower IQ but also behavioral problems later in life.
A poor pregnancy diet plan could negatively impact baby’s risk of age related disease
Another study also sheds light on the importance of a good pregnancy diet, having found that it impacts the baby’s future health. The baby’s risk of getting diabetes may rise if a woman has a poor pregnancy diet, it was found.
Not only that, researchers have also opined that our risk of developing cancer, heart disease and other health problems probably harks back to the time that we all spent in our mother’s wombs.
So what you eat now, when you’re expecting could impact your baby’s susceptibility to age related diseases. If you eat healthy now, your baby will have it better in middle and old age and will have better defenses against aging.
Other ways in which the mother’s pregnancy diet plan can impact the baby
Research is still ongoing on the subject of how the mother drinking alcohol impacts a baby’s development. We know for sure that binge drinking during pregnancy is bad for the baby and that maternal drinking could lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Researchers have found that even small amounts of alcohol consumed in the early part of pregnancy could have negative impacts on fetal development.
So it is advisable to cut out alcohol completely from a pregnancy diet because we cannot predict how even small amounts of alcohol affect a pregnancy.
An excessive amount of caffeine (found in coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate) is also thought to be inimical for the baby’s health and for the pregnancy itself. Researchers have found that excessive amounts of caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage and so caffeine is best kept out of the pregnancy diet plan or at least should be kept down to a minimal amount.