Tags: mom | diet | preterm | birth

Mom's Diet, Preterm Birth Risk Linked, Study Says

By    |   Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:45 AM

A pregnant mom's diet has been linked to preterm birth risk in a Norwegian study published in the journal BMJ on Tuesday.

The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study found that women whose diet consisted of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains along with plenty of water during their pregnancies stood a far greater chance of not having a preterm baby compared with those whose diets contained a significant amount of sweet and salty foods such as desserts and processed meat, LiveScience.com reported.

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According to the study, nearly 75 percent of all newborn deaths occur in children who are born preterm, or between 22 and 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Although the study found an association between eating a healthy diet during pregnancy and a lower risk of preterm delivery, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

"We don't completely understand preterm labor, and nutrition is only one factor," Christine Metz, an obstetrics researcher at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y., told LiveScience.

Metz, who was not involved in the study, said that the most significant factors in preterm birth remain smoking, alcohol, or drug use, as well as inadequate prenatal care and having twins or triplets.

The study took place between 2002 and 2008 and involved some 66,000 Norwegian women, of which some 3,505 participants, or 5.3 percent, had preterm births. The women in the study completed a questionnaire that asked about their dietary habits in the first four to five months of their pregnancies.

On average, the preterm birth rate is approximately 6 percent in Nordic countries as opposed to the United States, where it is reportedly 12 percent. The reason for the disparity was not reported.

The Norwegian study follows another pregnancy study released in February that found women who gain too few pounds or lose weight during their pregnancy may be putting their unborn child at risk.

The February study also found that newborns of obese mothers are at risk for being overly large for their gestational age and that has been tied to childhood obesity.

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A pregnant mom's diet has been linked to preterm birth risk in a Norwegian study published in the journal BMJ on Tuesday.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:45 AM
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