A  A  A   Print
Healthy Lifestyle May Mean Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy Lifestyle May Mean Healthy Pregnancy

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Certain lifestyle factors may improve women's chances of having a healthy pregnancy, according to a new study.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 5,600 women in England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand to pinpoint lifestyle factors at 15 to 20 weeks of gestation that were associated with complication-free pregnancies.

Helpful lifestyle factors included eating fruit, having a healthy weight, having lower blood pressure, having a job, and stopping drug and alcohol abuse, according to the study, which was published Nov. 21 on the bmj.com website.

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

Of the women in the study, 61 percent had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Fewer women in England and Ireland (58 percent) had an uncomplicated pregnancy than those in Australia and New Zealand (63 percent).

The most common pregnancy-related problems were babies who were too small for their gestational age (11 percent), high blood pressure (8 percent), preterm birth (4 percent) and a dangerous spike in blood pressure called preeclampsia (5 percent).

Among the potentially dangerous lifestyle factors that women can change (modifiable factors) were being overweight, having high blood pressure and the misuse of drugs, including binge drinking, the researchers said.

On the other hand, modifiable lifestyle factors that reduced the risk of problems were high levels of fruit consumption in the month before pregnancy and working at 15 weeks into pregnancy.

Lifestyle factors beyond women's control that increased the risk of problems during pregnancy were poverty, having high blood pressure before pregnancy while taking birth control pills, a family history of high blood pressure during pregnancy and bleeding during pregnancy.

Although the study identified risk factors associated with pregnancy complications, it did not prove cause-and-effect relationships.

More information

The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion outlines how to have a healthy pregnancy.

SOURCE: bmj.com, news release, Nov. 21, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.