Chocolate: An Expectant Mother’s New Best Friend
Feeling guilty about putting your feet up in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a Kit Kat? - please don’t.
While the women that harp on about the latest craze of healthy snacks for pregnant women do have a point, (if only they could be a little less self righteous) having your daily dose of chocolate does come with benefits too. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading about actual scientific reasons why you should be eating chocolate while pregnant.
The researchers (and our newfound best friends) at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
have recently published a study on the effects of chocolate on pregnant women which was carried out on 129 different moms-to-be who were between their 11th and 14th week
of pregnancy. This study cast doubt over the popular idea that chocolate leads to a higher risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. It also indicated that “chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and fetal growth and development”. The marked improvement of the pulsatility index observed in the two chocolate groups used in the experiment might suggest that chocolate effects are not directly due to flavanol content (so not directly due to whether you consume milk or dark chocolate). Simply put, eating chocolate may improve the quality of your baby's progress in the womb.
Not only does chocolate have a positive impact on your baby's health, it also has a positive impact on your own health.
The flavonoids in chocolate are known to contain potent antioxidants that can improve the immune system. This is very important for fighting common viruses/diseases that may cause problems during pregnancy. These same antioxidants can also aid your cardiovascular system which comes under extra stress during pregnancy as it is accommodating both you and your baby. So, yes, I'm pretty sure scientists are telling us that chocolate is good for us!
If that’s not enough for you to feel fully justified while eating your Kit Kat, the scientists at earlyhumandevelopment.com have also shown that women who ate chocolate regularly during pregnancy rated the happiness of their 6 month old baby significantly higher than those who hadn't eaten chocolate while pregnant (also known as aliens). These scientists believe that this is because the women who ate chocolate daily tended to be happier and less stressed during their pregnancy. So chocolate not only makes you feel good after a long day of, well, just generally being pregnant, it also makes your new born baby feel good in the long run. It really is a win-win situation.
So the next time you curl up to binge watch the next season of Greys Anatomy or decide to re-watch The Notebook for the 102nd time, feel free to dip your fingers into the chocolate tin. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you could even try baking your own chocolately piece of heaven. Either way, as long as it is eaten in moderation, and is combined with daily exercise, never feel guilty for eating chocolate. After all, who could blame you for trying to improve your baby’s health and happiness?
Our pregnancy expert, Tracy Donegan says,"This is a promising study, but to get even bigger benefits for your health and your baby's health, combine your daily dose of chocolate with daily exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction".
Our Top 5 Recipes For Chocolate Treats
- Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows
- Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce
- Chocolate Biscuit Treats
- Chocolate chip buns
- Banana and Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding