Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pregnant Mom’s lifestyles can affect their babies’ health

Everybody knows that Mom’s lifestyle habits bring into pregnancy can have lasting effects on her baby's health. It’s proofing by some research. A Dutch research found that some women who smoked, had low folic acid and had high blood pressure in early pregnancy had babies that were smaller in the first trimester of pregnancy and had a higher risk of complications later. This research followed 1,631 pregnant women from their first trimester through their pregnancies. The growth of their offspring was assessed until the children were 2.

"Our study demonstrates that several maternal physical characteristics and lifestyle habits, such as smoking and non-use of folic acid supplements, affect first-trimester fetal growth," said study senior author Dr. Vincent Jaddoe, a pediatric epidemiologist at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Dr. Jaddoe said that the first trimester of pregnancy was very critical period for fetal growth and development. This is important, since it suggests that the fetus is already affected before pregnant women visit their midwife or obstetrician.

Researchers found that some special factors could affect to the babies size. Babies whose mothers smoked, had higher diastolic blood pressure readings (diastolic is the bottom number in blood pressure) and had low folic acid consumption were more likely to be smaller.

The babies who had small size during their first trimester pregnancy had a higher risk of certain complications in the pregnancy, such as premature birth or low birth weight.

Until this time there are a lot of women didn’t know that she was pregnant, sometimes until they have 2 month pregnancy still not know that she was pregnant. It means they have passed her 2 month of pregnancy that include in the first trimester that it was very important period.

"The fetus is very vulnerable, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. For women who are planning to become pregnant, it seems important to optimize their lifestyle habits before they become pregnant. From a health care perspective, we need to consider preconception care to help women to optimize their lifestyle habits before they become pregnant," said Jaddoe.

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