When you're pregnant, it can be very stressful trying to avoid the cold and flu season. It's never fun to be sick, harder when you're pregnant. And it can be really dangerous for your the baby you're carrying while pregnant. But, thankfully, there are ways we can help our baby's health during our pregnancy. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics and led by a team of members from the University of Colorado School of Medicine shows that expectant mothers can help prevent fetal brain problems that are often caused by the flu.
According to Science Daily, the research says that choline, which is considered a Vitamin B nutrient, can prevent brain developmental problems, should a mother get sick during her pregnancy. Robert Freedman, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said that his team found higher levels of choline helped prevent fetal brain problems from developing while the baby was still in the womb.
Dr. Freedman said, “Mothers want to give their babies the best possible start in life. Colds and flu are often unavoidable, even if the mother has had a flu shot. But colds and flu during pregnancy double the risk of future mental illnesses. More and more information show that choline helps the baby's brain develop properly.”
The research also proved that a newborn’s response inhibition decreased significantly when a mother became sick with the cold or the flu during the first 16 weeks of her pregnancy. However, there was less of an impact on the newborn if the mother had higher than average choline levels.
For years, health professionals have encouraged pregnant women and women who are looking to get pregnant to add folic acid to their daily vitamin intake. That’s because expectant mothers need folic acid to help reduce the baby’s risk for developing birth defects, including spina bifida and many neural tube defects. Choline can also be found in a number of different foods such as liver, red meat and eggs. Mothers are encouraged to boost their Vitamin B intake with prenatal vitamins and supplements because about 75 percent of women consume less than the recommended amount of choline during their pregnancies.
There are numerous benefits to taking Vitamin B supplements daily, as they are often referred to as the “building blocks” of a healthy body. Health experts say that Vitamin B can not only impact your energy levels, but also help boost brain function and cell metabolism. It also helps prevent infections.