A new study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood aims to prove that mother’s healthy diet prevents heart deficiencies in newborns. However, the study failed to show the cause and effect relationship between the pregnant women’s diets and the heart diseases that their children suffered from.
According to researchers at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine, who conducted the study, 19,000 women have been interrogated to collect the necessary data. Respondents were young mothers, whose children were not older than four years old. The experiment spanned on a 10-year period, between 1997 and 2009.
At the end of the research, scientists noticed that newborns, whose mothers observed a healthier diet before, during and after the birth, were much healthier. Congenital heart defects were almost absent among these children, proving that the products that mothers consume have a high impact on newborns’ health condition.
Based on the withdrawn data, researchers recommend women to include as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains as possible in their diets. These products are usually found in the Mediterranean Diet, which confirms nutrition experts’ beliefs that the regime is highly recommended for pregnant women.
In spite of scientists’ enthusiasm, medical experts fail to see the exact link between congenital heart illnesses and mothers’ diets. They have all agreed that eating fruits and vegetables will have benefic effects on the mother and the child, alike, yet there could be other factors determining congenital heart defects.
Heart illnesses usually occur during the first stages of pregnancy. The most common one is the atrial septal defect when the newborns have holes in the walls that separate the top chambers of the heart from the bottom ones. According to the new study, the chances of developing such a disease drop by 23 percent if mothers follow healthy diets.
While mothers’ lifestyle plays a significant role in the development of the fetus, there are other factors that could lead to the formation of these congenital heart defects. So far, scientists have linked these malformations to improper medication, smoking, drinking and hereditary affections that the mother might be suffering from.