4 Surprising foods that affect pregnancy and breastfeeding

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Find out the latest findings about the effects of maternal nutrition on newborn health

Pregnancy brings about many bodily changes which will require you to alter your dietary habits.

You may find yourself stocking up on folate and iron and cutting back on sugar and caffeine because you know that what you consume during pregnancy is hinged upon the concept of ‘clean eating’.

For decades, many moms have defined for themselves what proper eating habits mean but recent research has discovered many new connections between maternal nutrition and newborn health.

Here are a few of those surprising dietary recommendations to help you decide what to put on your plate when you’re expecting and beyond.

Steer clear of artificial sweeteners

soda

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According to a recent study published by JAMA Pediatrics, pregnant women who consume at least one artificially sweetened beverage daily are more likely to have an overweight child.

“One possible explanation is that our metabolism is programmed in utero, and consistent exposure to these artificial sweeteners could change how your body reacts to actual sugar, causing increased weight gain,” says Dr. Meghan Azad, lead author of the study told Vogue magazine.

PUFAs and probiotics

yogurt

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Increasing your intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and probiotics may decrease risk for allergies, according to various studies. “Newborns first acquire their gut microbiome from their mothers during birth,” explains Dr. Azad.

These enhance your immune system and PUFAs has been known to improve how certain cells react to foreign substances. Probiotics also enhance how the good bacteria in our bodies fight pathogens.

Walnut oil and flaxseed are good sources of PUFAs; while, yogurt is a good source of probiotics.

More links between maternal nutrition and newborn health on the next page

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