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Aurora magazine

Eating well during pregnancy helps the unborn child's heart

Nutrition in pregnancy is essential for the health of the unborn child: it is now well known. According to two preliminary studies presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019, it could also determine the cardiovascular health of the unborn child. Further proof of how the maternal lifestyle has long-term consequences.

The first research comes from Northwestern University in Chicago. Scholars have followed 877 couples of mothers and children from 9 centers in 6 countries. The researchers assessed women's health during pregnancy, using 5 of the 7 metrics recommended by the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 score. For assessments they took into account: weight, use of tobacco, blood sugar levels, cholesterol, blood pressure. After 10-14 years, they analyzed the health status of their children using the same metrics.

Women with the best cardiovascular health in pregnancy were also those with healthier children. Maternal cardiovascular conditions may affect the health status of the fetus and the child. However, researchers are not sure that there is a relationship of cause and effect between the two.

The second study focused instead on nutrition and the relationship with the future health of the fetus. From what has emerged, women who ate so much junk food in the second trimester have had children more prone to obesity and cardiovascular problems. Many of these children were already overweight at the age of 4.