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Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. The study results are likely to be warmly welcomed by moms-to-be, given the lengthy list of foods women are told to avoid during pregnancy.
While chocolate itself is - thankfully - absent from this no-go list, expectant mothers are recommended against overindulging in the tasty treat due to its fat, sugar and caffeine content. There are many benefits that may come with moderate chocolate consumption, however. Chocolate contains flavanols - a type of flavonoid - that have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular problems and lower cholesterol; the darker the chocolate, the more flavanols it contains.
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.
The researchers enrolled expectant mothers with a singleton pregnancy who were between weeks' gestation. All women had double notching on the uterine artery Doppler "Is it safe to eat chocolate while pregnant" index at study baseline.
The uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index is a test that measures uterine, placental and fetal blood flow, and notches are an indicator of the risk of preeclampsia, hypertension and other possible pregnancy outcomes. The expectant mothers were randomized to consume 30 g of either low- or high-flavanol chocolate daily for 12 weeks.
Uterine artery Doppler pulsatility was measured again at the end of the 12 weeks, and the women were followed-up until they gave birth. 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, the researchers identified a significant improvement in uterine artery Doppler pulsatility 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. Medical News Today asked Dr. Bujold whether they recommend that expectant mothers indulge in a daily dose of chocolate to improve fetal outcome.
However, previous epidemiological studies along with our results suggest that consumption of dark chocolate during pregnancy could help in the improvement of placental function and the reduction of preeclampsia.
He added that the next step for the team is to conduct a large randomized control trial in order to better determine whether chocolate intake among expectant mothers can lower the risk of preeclampsia and other pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders. Our Knowledge Center article - "Chocolate: Last November, MNT reported on another study that is likely to have been welcomed by expectant mothers.
Published in the American Journal of Epidemiologythe study suggests that consuming moderate amounts of caffeine during pregnancy does not impact offspring's intelligence. High-flavanol chocolate to improve placental function and to decrease the risk of preeclampsia: MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
Sign in Log in with your Medical News Today account to create or edit your custom homepage, catch-up on your opinions notifications and set your newsletter preferences. Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. Eating 30 g of chocolate daily during pregnancy was linked to benefits for fetal growth and development in the new study.
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Is having vaginal pressure during pregnancy normal? Signs and causes of leaking amniotic fluid. Subscribe Your privacy is important to us. It is generally safe for pregnant women to eat chocolate because studies have shown to prove certain benefits of eating chocolate during pregnancy.
However. “There are significant health benefits from eating a few squares of chocolate every day as part of a balanced diet during pregnancy,” says.
During pregnancy, it's easy enough to become a ravenous chocoholic. You're eating for two now, after all, and doesn't baby need to develop.