Pregnancy : A Healthy Diet May Reduce the Risk of Preterm Delivery

A diet packed with fruit, vegetables, and omega-3 rich fish may help to reduce the risk of preterm babies, reports a study in the British Medical Journal. After following 66,000 women throughout their pregnancy, researchers report that women with the “healthiest” pregnancy diet had about a 15 percent lower risk of preterm delivery compared to women with the unhealthiest diets. This association remained even after for controlling for 10 other known risk factors for preterm delivery.

“Pregnant women have many reasons to choose a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, and whole grain products and some types of fish, but this is the first time we can statistically link healthy eating habits to reduced risk of preterm delivery,” says researcher Linda Englund-Ogge.

The researchers are hoping that the study will inspire doctors, midwives, and others who work with pregnant women to encourage healthy eating habits. “Although these findings cannot establish causality, they support dietary advice to pregnant women to eat a balanced diet including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and fish and to drink water,” conclude researchers.

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