Bacon and egg breakfast in pregnancy 'helps baby'
Pregnant women who eat plenty of choline-rich foods like meat and eggs can lower the risk of their baby developing stress-related sickness and chronic illness in later life, experts believe.
US scientists at Cornell University and the University of Rochester Medical Centre found the nutrient choline can help the growing baby in the womb.
Pregnant women are already advised to take folic acid supplements and eat healthily to give their unborn child the best start in life.
Choline supplements could be added to this list in the future, the researchers told the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal.
Dr Eva Pressman and her team studied 26 women who were given choline supplements daily in their last three months of pregnancy up until delivery.
The choline boost appeared to favourably change how well a mother's baby was able to regulate hormones linked to stress.
The babies who received the biggest dose of choline from their mum had much lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood at the time of birth.
Past research has shown that early exposure to high levels of cortisol, often a result of a mother's anxiety or depression, can increase a baby's lifelong risk of mental health problems and chronic conditions like high blood pressure.
Pregnant women are advised not to eat raw or undercooked eggs because of the risk of salmonella food poisoning.
Make sure that eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid.
For women who don't want to eat animal products, choline is also found in beans and broccoli.
Visit the rest of our Pregnancy & Caring for Children Centre for more information on pre-conception and pregnancy care.
Source © Trio Media 2012
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