More threads by Eunoia


Sweet babies: chocolate consumption during pregnancy and infant temperament at six months
Katri Räikkönen, Anu-Katriina Pesonen, Anna-Liisa Järvenpää and Timo E. Strandberg
Early Human Development, Volume 76, Issue 2, February 2004, Pages 139-145

Chocolate consumption in pregnancy keeps baby happy
James Randerson, New Scientist Print Edition, April 7, 2004

Expectant mothers can take heart this Easter. Tucking into chocolate eggs is good for the baby, according to a study of over 300 women - especially if you are feeling a bit on edge.

Katri Raikkonen at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and her colleagues asked pregnant women to rate their stress levels and chocolate consumption.

After the babies were born, they looked for an association between the amount of chocolate their mothers had eaten and the babies' behaviour. Six months after birth, the researchers asked mothers to rate their infants' behaviour in various categories, including fear, soothability, smiling and laughter.

The babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and "positively reactive" - a measure that encompasses traits such as smiling and laughter.

And the babies of stressed women who had regularly consumed chocolate showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who abstained.

The researchers point out that they cannot rule out the possibility that chocolate consumption and baby behaviour are both linked with some other factor.

But they speculate that the effects they observed could result from chemicals in chocolate associated with positive mood being passed on to the baby in the womb.

Journal reference: Early Human Development (vol 76, p 139) (see 1st link above)

Note: This is just one study examining the effect of chocolate consumption during pregnancy. There are many additional factors not examined and/or described in detail that will affect this process. Please consult a health care practitioner for nutrition during your pregnancy in order to best understand the complexity of nutrition and your and the baby's well being.
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