What You Eat Can Affect Your Baby More Than You Know

Ok, I'm going to ask you a question and I want you to be totally honest with me. 

You ready?

Do you take your prenatal vitamins like you should? Hmmmm? Do you really?

Raise your hand if you're guilty of skipping a day–or month–or two. 

*raiseshand*

I am definitely one of the guilty ones. I don't know what it is, but ever since I was miserably sick after each morning vitamin with my first pregnancy, I haven't been able to stomach the horse pills know as prenatal vitamins. Even after my midwife switched me to the good ol' Flintstone variety, I would often “forget” to take them. 

The leader of the study, Professor Cristina Campoy, said, “early deficiencies may have far-reaching effects. So, early nutrition is most important.”

Ok, you're thinking. But surely, that's not that bad, right? I mean women survived for years without prenatal vitamins! As long as we're eating healthy, it should be all good. 

Ay, there's the rub. (The pregnant belly rub?)

If you're anything like me, the occasional vitamin skipper, every other day apple eater, you probably fool yourself into thinking that your “healthy” diet is good enough. But it looks like eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is even more important than we realized.

apple
Image via Muffet/Flickr

Researchers from a five year long study with the NUTRIMENTHE project looked at the effects that ” B-vitamins, folic acid, breast milk versus formula milk, iron, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids had on the cognitive, emotional and behavioral development of children from before birth to age nine.” Key points from the project included the following: 

  • Researchers found that folic acid, which we know is so important for the neurological development of a growing baby, is also important in helping to reduce behavioral issues in early childhood. 
  • They also found that fatty acids, such as those omega-three oils, along with iodine, were beneficial for helping children's reading ability by age nine. 
  • And of course, breastfeeding was found, yet again, to help children get ahead. For instance, the project studied children that were never breastfed and also had a genetic variant, and found that they scored less on an IQ test at age 8, compared to children with the variant who were breastfed. 

The leader of the study, Professor Cristina Campoy, said, “early deficiencies may have far-reaching effects. So, early nutrition is most important.”

{ MORE:  Nutrition During Pregnancy  }

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The study's researchers also explained that “genetic and environmental” factors influence a child's development; however, since those are less easily-controlled factors, they urge that nutrition and a healthy, balanced diet is one of the easiest ways for parents to help their child get the best start to life. 

And that start, my pregnant friends, begins in-utero–with you. 

{ MORE:  The Best Pregnancy Diet }

Apple, anyone? 

What do you think?

What You Eat Can Affect Your Baby More Than You Know

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!

5 comments

  1. mommy nhoj says:

    Few times, yes I missed. Because I have to take 1 vitamin 3x a day plus iron and my other meds. It was hard because sometimes I forgot to bring my pills when I am out in the fieldwork. But we turned out to be fine. I was never more disciplined in taking meds ever until I got pregnant!

  2. wiFess*!* says:

    I find myself eating things I shouldn’t, but I’ve gotten much better. I’m in my 4th month and on track.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I actually have yet to miss a day since the moment I found out I was expecting. Only issue I had was slight constipation on & off within my first week or so of beginning my prenatals.

  4. Jacob says:

    If you ladies cannot or refuse to take ‘The Horse Pill’, try buying the Prenatal Gummies. They are soft and chewy as if you were eating fruit snacks. They are flavorful and not a horrible taste. Personally, I eat one or two from time to time due to the flavor and vitamins within! So check them out next time you go to CVS, Stop & Shop or anywhere else. My girl also hates that ‘Horse Pill’ so we had found these and she hasn’t missed a day!

  5. sylvia says:

    I never have problem having prenantal vitamin, so hopefully I’ll have a smart boy!!!

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