The health benefits of chocolate have long been studied, and now presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, as researchers explored the benefits of chocolate during pregnancy. So far noted benefits of chocolate during pregnancy include improving placenta function and reducing the risk of preeclampsia, which is a high blood pressure condition in pregnant women.
Neither group saw differences in preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, birth weight, or placenta weight, but uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index in both groups was much greater, compared to the general population. Uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index is a marker of blood velocity in the uterine, placental, and fetal circulations.
Researcher Emmanuel Bujold said, “This study indicates that chocolate could have a positive impact on placenta and fetal growth and development, and that chocolate’s effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content.”