Easter egg joy

Expectant Mums-to-be can take heart this Easter….according to new research from Finland eating chocolate during pregnancy can make happier, livelier babies. Researchers at the University of Helsinki questioned 305 women before and after they gave birth. The women were asked to rate their stress levels and their chocolate consumption before they gave birth. Six months after the babies were born they were asked to rate their babies’ happiness. They found that women who ate chocolate regularly during pregnancy were more likely to say they had happy, active babies who smiled and laughed more. Furthermore, babies of stressed women who had regularly consumed chocolate showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who abstained. The researchers speculate that the effects could result from chemicals in chocolate associated with positive mood being passed on to the baby in the womb.

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Raikkonen K, Pesonen AK, Jarvenpaa AL, Strandberg TE. 2004. Sweet babies: chocolate consumption during pregnancy and infant temperament at six months. Early Human Development. 76 (2) 139-145.