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This weekend (7/28-7/30) has been designated Garlic Days.  Yes, I know that is weird and probably not pertinent to anyone reading this article unless you live in Gilroy, CA where they have a very large garlic festival.  However, it made me wonder about eating garlic while pregnant.  Are there benefits?  Are there concerns?  How does garlic affect the baby?   So off I went to research garlic and pregnancy.

I came across this article about how the flavor of mom’s food passes into the amniotic fluid.  Did you know, according to one study, your baby’s palate and food memories are formed before birth?  Unborn babies are exposed to the flavors of the foods that his or her mom eats during the pregnancy.  Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby in the uterus.  Babies taste and swallow the fluid they are floating in. Researchers found that the amniotic fluid smelled like the foods that the mom ingested.  The researchers also noted that after they are born, babies make less faces and eat more of the foods offered to them when their moms ate that food during the pregnancy. So what does this mean for pregnant moms?  Think about the implications…if you can eat healthy foods such as veggies, fruits and healthy proteins while refraining from junk foods and sodas, your baby may be predisposed to eating better foods during their lifetime.  Pregnancy is a great opportunity to work on your own eating habits while getting your baby off to a great start. Eating a variety of nutritious foods will expose your little one to different flavors and hopefully your baby will begin to develop a love for healthy foods at a very young age.

And what about that garlic? Is it safe during pregnancy?  Mixed reviews on that.  There are known health benefits to garlic such as reducing inflammation (great for helping your symptoms during a cold or flu) and lowering blood pressure.  There are some negative effects such as increasing your bleeding risks.  According to WebMD, garlic is likely safe when used in the amounts usually found in food. However, please check with your physician before taking a garlic supplement during pregnancy.   And remember if you are a garlic lover and want your baby to love garlic as well, be sure to eat plenty of delicious garlicky foods to acclimate your little one before he or she is even born.

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