Posted: Wed 6th Dec 2023

Chester Medical School call for UK based mums to complete survey on their pregnancy

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 6th, 2023

Researchers behind a study examining dietary changes during pregnancy are calling for help from any UK-based mother.

Academic staff from Chester Medical School at the University of Chester have developed a new survey open to anyone who has been pregnant within the UK to help them understand the impact cravings and food aversions have on pregnancy and newborn babies.

The aim of this study is to attempt to find a cause for those changes in diet during a pregnancy and whether it has any effect on a growing baby. Researchers are looking for anyone who has been pregnant to find comparisons and links.

Dr Gareth Nye, a Senior Lecturer in Physiology with expertise in pregnancy and fetal medicine, explained: “Cravings as well as aversions to particular food is a well-known phenomenon during pregnancy and reports show over 50% of mothers will experience some change to their food preferences during pregnancy.

“Despite how common food cravings and aversions are during pregnancy, there is a severe lack of research on it within the UK population. There is even less known about the potential link between these cravings or aversions and any disruption in the early years of a child’s development.

“The first five years of life play a crucial part in later health and this begins even before birth and so focusing on the pregnancy period is crucially important to help everyone have the best start in life.”

The brief, anonymous online questionnaire will cover general questions around a pregnancy including any complications and baby’s birth weight as well as more focused questions on if you had any food cravings or aversions and what they were.

Dr Nye, who has three children himself, added: “This will allow us to address how common frequently cravings are an issue in UK pregnancies without relying on anecdotal evidence. We may begin to link particular diet changes with particular subsets of women or newborn conditions so we can better advise women during pregnancy.”

Survey participants need to be over the age of 18, have been pregnant within the UK and don’t mind discussing food and diet choices.  Multiple pregnancies during this period would need to be completed separately.

To take part in the survey, visit here.

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