According to research from the University of Turku and the University Hospital of Turku, maternal health and lifestyle during pregnancy are important regulators of the child’s neurodevelopment. This mother-infant study investigated how maternal gestational diabetes, obesity, and diet during pregnancy affect cognitive, verbal, and motor development in 2-year-olds.
Maternal obesity was determined by air displacement plethysmography, and gestational diabetes by oral glucose tolerance test. Dietary intake during pregnancy was assessed with the Dietary Quality Index and the Fish Consumption Questionnaire.The result was published in a magazine pediatric research.
“On average, the neurodevelopment of the children in our data was within normal limits,” said Lotta Saros, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Turku. Two-year-olds showed lower verbal skills than children whose mothers had not been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Additionally, the study found that higher maternal body fat percentage was associated with lower cognitive, verbal, and motor skills in children. “Previous studies have not examined the relationship between maternal body composition and child neurodevelopment,” Saros said.
Researchers have found that gestational diabetes and obesity, especially high body fat mass, adversely affect maternal metabolism and increase inflammation in the body. It is a mechanism that can give
The study also found that the higher the quality of the mother’s diet, the better the child’s language development. Similar findings were found between a mother’s fish consumption and her child’s neurodevelopment.
The results show that a good diet contains unsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in fish. Soft, unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, promote neurodevelopment in children.
Professor Kirsi Laitinen, leader of the research group at the University of Turku, said: “A healthy and comprehensive diet during pregnancy is particularly beneficial for the neurodevelopment of children whose mothers are at risk for gestational diabetes due to overweight or obesity. ‘ said. he conducted research.