Latest News » Scientists shed light on best dietary choices to reduce preterm birth risk

Pregnant women have to monitor their diets.

Though everyone stands to benefit from a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, expectant mothers have the added responsibility of eating for two (or more!). This means that every dietary choice they make may affect the physical and cognitive development of their little ones, and is the reason so many pregnant women take nutritional supplements as well.

Along these lines, a growing body of research has shown that nutritional factors may influence the likelihood of giving birth before full-term. Preterm infants, or preemies, can face a number of serious health complications. Because these infants don’t have a full nine months to develop in the womb, they are often born with respiratory and digestive issues that must be carefully monitored in their first months of life. To address this concern, a team of researchers from Sweden, Norway and Iceland initiated a investigation into the effect that dietary choices may have for pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth.

“The researchers identified three distinct dietary patterns, interpreted as ‘prudent’ (vegetables, fruits, oils, water as a beverage, whole grain cereals, poultry, fiber-rich bread), ‘Western’ (salty and sweet snacks, white bread, desserts, processed meat products), and ‘traditional'(potatoes, fish, gravy, cooked vegetables, low-fat milk),” a press release from the British Medical Journal states. “The team found that an overall ‘prudent’ dietary pattern was associated with a […] reduced risk of preterm delivery.”

Recently on this blog, we covered another study on the potential benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for infant brain health and development. Click to read information about our omega-3 supplements and vitamins. Of course, if you are pregnant, be sure to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.