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Poor nutrition prior to pregnancy may lead to preterm birth

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There has been a great deal of discussion about the vital importance of good nutrition for women who want to have healthy
babies. In this regard poor diet prior to pregnancy has been found to be linked with preterm birth reported The University of Adelaide on May 23, 2014. It has been confirmed by research for the first time that women who have a poor diet prior to the time they become pregnant are about 50 percent more likely to have a preterm birth than those women who are on a healthy diet.

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This research at the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute was based on an investigation of the dietary patterns of more than 300 South Australian women with an interest in better understanding their eating habits before pregnancy. This was the first study of its kind to assess women's diets before conception and its association with outcomes at birth.

The results of this study showed that women who consistently consumed a diet which was high in protein and fruit before becoming pregnant were not as likely to have a preterm birth. Those women who consistently consume high fat and sugar foods and takeaway foods were about 50 percent more likely to have a preterm birth.

Lead author of the research paper, Dr Jessica Grieger, points out that preterm birth is a leading cause of infant disease and death. Preterm birth occurs in about one in 10 pregnancies across the world. Therefore, anything which can be done to better understand the conditions which lead to preterm birth will be significant in helping to improve survival and long-term health outcomes for kids.

This study has been published in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers have discovered that maternal nutrition can have a very profound effect on the growth and development of the fetus and on subsequent infant birth weight. Nutrition prior to pregnancy is associated with perinatal outcomes. As Dr. Grieger has made clear it is important to consume a healthy diet before as well as during pregnancy in order support the best outcomes possible for the mother and baby.

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