Healthy Diet around the Time of Conception may Reduce Risk of Common Pregnancy Complications

A healthy diet from conception to the second trimester may lower the risk of several common pregnancy complications, according to a new study. Expectant women in the study who scored high on any of three healthy eating measures had a lower risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related blood pressure disorders, and preterm birth.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a healthy diet from conception to the second trimester may reduce women’s risk of several common pregnancy complications. The authors of the study claim that it can help prevent gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related blood pressure disorders, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, and premature birth.

A healthy diet from conception to the second trimester may reduce the risk of several common pregnancy complications, according to a study conducted by National Institutes of Health researchers. Expectant women in the study who scored high on any of three healthy eating measures had a lower risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related blood pressure disorders, and preterm birth. Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development carried out the research (NICHD). It has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A healthy diet around the time of conception through the second trimester may reduce the risk of several common pregnancy complications, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers examined dietary data from the NICHD Fetal Growth Study, which was collected multiple times during pregnancy. At eight to thirteen weeks of pregnancy, nearly 1,900 women completed diet questionnaires and were asked to estimate what they ate in the previous three months. The women identified what they ate in the previous 24 hours at 16 to 22 weeks and 24 to 29 weeks. The Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), Alternate Mediterranean Diet (AMED), and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were used to score their responses. All three measures emphasize the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, nuts, and legumes while limiting red and processed meat.

The new study included nearly 1,900 women who completed diet questionnaires between the ages of eight and thirteen weeks of pregnancy, as well as estimates of what they ate in the previous three months. Each day, approximately 300 extra calories are required to maintain a healthy pregnancy. These calories should be obtained through a well-balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Sweets and fats should be consumed in moderation. Some pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea and constipation, can be alleviated by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Healthy diet before, during pregnancy linked to lower complications

Eating healthily before and during pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby. Good nutrition promotes your baby’s growth and development while also protecting your own health. Pregnancy increases your energy requirement by about 300 kcal per day, which is not much more than the average non-pregnant Singapore woman’s requirement of 1700 kcal per day.

Other nutrient requirements (for example, protein, folate, calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins) may be significantly higher during pregnancy than in non-pregnancy. As a result, rather than simply eating more food, you should make wise choices by eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods. This is especially true if you are experiencing a decrease in your appetite.

Following any of the diets from conception to the second trimester was associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, and preterm delivery, according to the researchers. Women with a high AHEI score at 16 to 22 weeks, for example, had a 32% lower risk of gestational diabetes than women with a low AHEI score. Women with a high DASH score at eight to twelve weeks and 16 to 22 weeks were 19% less likely to develop pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorders. A high AMED score or a high DASH score at 24 to 29 weeks was associated with a 50% lower risk of preterm birth.

A healthy, balanced diet is essential during pregnancy to support the fetus’s optimal growth and development as well as the physiological changes that occur in the mother. Consuming foods with adequate amounts of energy as well as macro and micronutrients, achieving appropriate weight gain, adhering to general and pregnancy-specific food safety recommendations, and avoiding ingestion of harmful substances are all important aspects of healthy dietary behaviors during pregnancy.