Menu

If you’re pregnant or trying, eat all the carbs, says new study

This bowl of spaghetti is for baby’s health. ?

If you’re pregnant or trying, eat all the carbs, says new study

One of the great joys of pregnancy is that no one looks at you twice when you ask for another serving. Now research shows that especially applies to the bread basket on the dinner table.


According to a study published last week in the journal Birth Defects Research, expectant mothers who restricted their carbohydrate intake were 30% more likely to have a child with a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida.

For the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, which included information on 1,740 cases of anencephaly or spina bifida as well as 9,545 cases without birth defects. They found that women who restricted their carbohydrate intake before pregnancy and during pregnancy had significantly lower levels of folic acid—which is essential to the healthy of developing fetuses.

FEATURED VIDEO

These findings should send a clear message that women who hope to become pregnant should loop their health care providers in as soon as possible, says lead researcher Tania Desrosiers, PhD, MPH, and research assistant professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“This is concerning because low carbohydrate diets are fairly popular,” Desrosiers says in a press release. “This finding reinforces the importance for women who may become pregnant to talk to their health care provider about any special diets or eating behaviors they routinely practice."

According to the 2017 Prenatal Health & Nutrition survey, only 34% of women take prenatal vitamins before learning they are pregnant. However, neural tube defects (NTDs) occur within the first month of pregnancy—often before women are aware they are expecting.

Because of this gap, the March of Dimes reports seven in 10 cases of NTDs could be prevented if women of childbearing age took multivitamins with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.

As the latest research suggests, another possible solution for those who struggle to remember to take daily vitamins is just to load up on folic acid-rich or enriched foods, such as fortified pasta and bread or the gluten-free options of leafy greens, beans and citrus fruits.

In This Article

    You will always be their safe space, mama

    You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm. You are their mother.

    To your child, you are safety. You are security. You are where (out of anyone or any place), they can come undone. Where they can let it all out, let it all go. Where they meltdown, break down, scream, cry, push.

    Where they can say—"I AM NOT OKAY!"

    Where they can totally lose it. Without judgment or fear or shame.

    Because they know you'll listen. They know you'll hear them. That you will help piece the mess back together.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life

    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    Dear 2020 baby: Thank you

    This year has been a mess. But you've been the light in the darkness.

    Sweet 2020 baby,

    I just want to say thank you.

    Because in many ways, this year has been a mess.

    A bit of a disaster, really.

    But you.

    You've been the light in the darkness.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life