Great news mummy! Eating 30 g of chocolate every day during pregnancy may benefit fetal growth and development.
This is the conclusion of a new study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta.
Previous studies have also suggested that moderate chocolate consumption during pregnancy may lower the risk of preeclampsia – where the blood supply to the fetus is reduced due to the mother’s high blood pressure.
However, Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, of the Université Laval Québec City, Canada, notes that the results of research assessing the link between chocolate intake during pregnancy and preeclampsia have been conflicting, spurring him and his colleagues to find out more.
The researchers enrolled 129 expectant mothers with a singleton pregnancy who were between 11-14 weeks’ gestation.
The expectant mothers were randomised to consume 30 g of either low- or high-flavanol chocolate daily for 12 weeks.
The team found that there were no differences in preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, placental weight and birthweight between the low- and high-flavanol chocolate groups.
However, during a uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index, which is a test that measures uterine, placental and fetal blood flow, the researchers identified a significant improvement among both chocolate groups, suggesting that both low- and high-flavonol chocolate may benefit fetal growth and development.
This improvement was much greater than what is normally expected among the general population, the team notes.
“This study indicates that chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and fetal growth and development and that chocolate’s effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content,” says Dr. Bujold.
So we repeat – GREAT news mummy. Go grab yourself a treat.
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