Mother’s Health, Diet During Pregnancy May Impact Child’s Later Neurodevelopment


overview: Higher maternal body fat percentage was associated with lower cognitive, verbal, and motor skills in 2-year-olds. Children of mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes had poorer language skills at 2 years of age compared with children of mothers without gestational diabetes.

sauce: University of Turku

Maternal gestational diabetes can adversely affect neurodevelopment in 2-year-olds. Meanwhile, new research conducted at the University of Turku reveals that a healthy, holistic diet by mothers supports neurodevelopment in their children.

Maternal health and lifestyle during pregnancy are important regulators of child neurodevelopment. A mother-child study conducted at the University of Turku and the University Hospital of Turku, Finland, examined how a pregnant mother’s gestational diabetes, obesity, and diet affected the neurodevelopment of her 2-year-old infant.

This research project investigated the development of children’s cognitive, verbal and motor skills. Maternal obesity was determined by air displacement plethysmography, and gestational diabetes by oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary intake during pregnancy was assessed with the Dietary Quality Index and the Fish Consumption Questionnaire.

“On average, neurodevelopment in children in our data was within normal limits. showed poorer verbal abilities than children who did not.Turku.

Additionally, the study found that higher maternal body fat percentage was associated with lower cognitive, verbal, and motor skills in children.

Maternal health and lifestyle during pregnancy are important regulators of child neurodevelopment.Image is in public domain

“Our observations are unique because previous studies have not examined the relationship between maternal body composition and neurodevelopment in children,” Saros said.

Gestational diabetes and obesity, especially high body fat, adversely affect maternal metabolism and increase inflammation in the body. In fact, these are the mechanisms by which harmful factors can affect a child’s neurodevelopment.

The study also found that the higher the quality of the mother’s diet, the better the child’s language development. Similar findings were found between maternal fish consumption and child neurodevelopment.

The results point to the same conclusion that a good diet contains unsaturated fatty acids found in fish and the like. Soft, unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, promote neurodevelopment in children.

“A healthy and holistic diet during pregnancy is particularly beneficial for neurodevelopment in children whose mothers are at risk for gestational diabetes due to overweight or obesity,” said the University of Turku, where the study was conducted.

About this maternal diet and neurodevelopmental research news

author: press office
sauce: University of Turku
contact: Press Office – University of Turku
image: image is public domain

Original research: open access.
“Maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, and diet associated with neurodevelopment in 2-year-olds” by Lotta Saros et al. pediatric research

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overview

Maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, and diet associated with neurodevelopment in 2-year-olds

Background

Maternal metabolic disorders and diet can affect long-term neurodevelopment in infants. We investigated whether maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), obesity, and diet affect the neurodevelopment of her 2-year-old infant.

method

children’s neurodevelopment (n= 243) Patients born to overweight or obese mothers were evaluated with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-Third Edition and the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination. Maternal obesity was determined by air displacement plethysmography, and her GDM by oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary assessment included questionnaires on diet quality and fish consumption, and a 3-day food diary, from which a dietary inflammation index (DII®) score was calculated.

result

GDM was associated with less expressive language skills (adj.b= -1.12, 95% CI = -2.10; -0.15), and increased maternal obesity with decreased cognitive, verbal, and motor skills in children (adj.p< 0.05). Maternal good dietary quality (adj.b= 0.87, 95% CI = 0.004; 1.73), higher fish consumption (adj.p= 0.02) were associated with better expressive language skills. DII scores were not associated with children’s neurodevelopment.

Conclusion

Findings suggest that GDM and high maternal obesity may result in decreased neurodevelopmental performance, but still within the average normative range for this population of children. Good dietary quality and more fish consumption during pregnancy may benefit your child’s language development.



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