Access Allied Health

Healthy Diet Reduces Risk of Birth Defects

Access Allied Health - Monday, October 24, 2011

While the benefits of a well-balanced, healthy diet are obvious to most, researchers continue to give academic clout to this common knowledge. Most recently, the results from a dietetics study conducted in the U.S.1 showed that women who eat a healthy diet leading up to pregnancy are less likely to have babies with birth defects. In particular, fewer babies were born with neural tube defects (which include brain and spinal problems, cleft lip and cleft palate) when the mothers-to-be ate according to the US Dietary Guidelines or followed a Mediterranean-style diet.

As many birth defects, including those researched in this study, occur very early in pregnancy (usually before women know they’re pregnant), the message to women considering starting a family couldn’t be clearer. Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet – your baby’s health depends on it!

For dietary advice prior to or during pregnancy, call Access Allied Health on 1300 307 008 or fill in our contact form to arrange an appointment with one of our Sunshine Coast dietitians.

1 Carmichael, S. et al (2011) Reduced Risks of Neural Tube Defects and Orofacial Clefts With Higher Diet Quality, [Online], Available: [3 Oct 2011]