Study re-emphasizes that a mom-to-be's nutrition affects the future of her baby.
Eating a diverse healthy diet during pregnancy may be more important in preventing birth defects than previously imagined, according to findings from a recent study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Adding the B vitamin folic acid to the U.S. food supply cut neural-tube defects (NTD) by 40 percent, but experts note that no single nutrient can carry the prevention load alone.
A large study of mothers who had babies with or without NTDs or other malformations found that those who reported having the best-quality prenatal diets overall were only half as likely to have a baby with a fatal brain defect than moms with low-quality diets. They were up to 20 percent less likely to give birth to a baby with spina bifida and up to 30 percent less likely to deliver one with cleft lip or palate.
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