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New Imaging Can Diagnose Problems In Early Pregnancy

A new imaging technique to track maternal blood flow to the placenta has the potential to help diagnose several common complications in early pregnancy, including preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth, according to News Medical Life Sciences.

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Researchers used the technique to identify women with reduced placental blood flow who later developed one or more complications. The method may provide a way to diagnose women at risk in early pregnancy.

Scientists continue to discover new ways to treat conditions that pose a threat to a developing fetus and the mother. But some old ways, including proper nutrition and exercise, still hold true today when it comes to helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.

Raising vitamin D levels among pregnant women is a top concern, since a deficiency not only affects the mother — increasing her risk of complications during pregnancy or delivery — but also has ramifications for her child's health. A healthy pregnancy and a vitamin D level of above 50 ng/ml will go a long way toward protecting yourself and your baby from serious complications. It will also help lower your child’s risk of allergies, diabetes, heart disease and more.

More than half a million preemies are born each year, and premature birth is the No. 1 killer of newborns. Being born prematurely is also the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5. Research shows that vitamin D could likely prevent half of all these premature births.

Exercise during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce risks during delivery and after birth, especially for obese women. Researchers have found exercise during pregnancy is safe for the mother and baby, helps ease the pain during labor and delivery and improves a new mother’s ability to meet the demands of a growing infant.

OK, so you’ve upped your levels of vitamin D and you exercise regularly — what’s left? Last, but certainly not least — it’s nutrition with a capital N.

Adopting a nutritious diet will not only help feed your growing baby, but will also reduce your potential for gaining too much weight. Your intake of nutrients from foods and supplements is needed not only to keep your body running, but also to nourish and support your rapidly growing baby and to breastfeed after your baby is born.

Start by minimizing or eliminating processed and fast foods and increasing your intake of vegetables, healthy fats and high-quality sources of protein.

Below are the 10 top superfoods for pregnant mothers:

1. Organic free-range eggs

2. Wild-caught Alaskan or sockeye salmon, sardines

3. Full-fat grass-fed dairy

4. Sweet potatoes

5. Broccoli and leafy greens

6. Grass fed beef

7. Pasture-raised chicken

8. Berries

9. Avocados

10. Chia seeds

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