Lifestyle factors may assist smooth pregnancy

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A study spanning Australia, New Zealand, England and Ireland has found that certain lifestyle factors may increase thelikelihood of a healthy pregnancy.

Analysing data from 5,600 women, researchers identified lifestyle factors in the second trimester of pregnancy that were associated with complication-free pregnancies. Overall, 61 per cent of the study participants had an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Factors such as a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, having a job, eating fruit and ceasing abuse of alcohol and drugs, were linked to ‘smoother’ pregnancies.

Lucy Chappell and colleagues from the Women’s Health Academic Centre of King’s College London, said that the findings suggest that encouraging women to make healthy choices before and during pregnancy ‘may increase the likelihood of normal pregnancy outcomes’.

Not all identified lifestyle factors were deemed to be within the control of pregnant women, however, with poverty, having high blood pressure prior to pregnancy while taking birth control pills, a family history of high blood pressure during pregnancy and bleeding during pregnancy falling into the unmodifiable category.

Source: British Medical Journal

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