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6 Factors That Can Affect Your Baby’s Appearance

While genetics is the primary factor that impacts the appearance of your baby, other factors contribute to their appearance, such as what happens during the pregnancy, the food the mother consumes, etc.

Today, we will examine the subtle but definite factors that can affect your baby's appearance.

Factors That Can Affect Your Baby's Appearance

1. DNA

It is well known that DNA determines the appearance of your baby. However, DNA is a very complex subject. Your or your partner's DNA can determine everything from hair colour to eye colour to height and weight to freckles and dimples. In most cases, dominant genes prevail over recessive genes, but every so often, a recessive gene may win [1].

2. Travel

A pregnant woman who travels extensively by aeroplane may be exposed to unhealthy radiation levels. A developing foetus should not be exposed to radiation, as it could adversely affect their appearance. It is generally considered safe for most women to travel during pregnancy; however, doctors recommend keeping it to a minimum [2].

3. Caffeine

Excessive caffeine during pregnancy may adversely affect a new-born's birth weight, resulting in a smaller and slimmer newborn than normal. Ideally, you should limit caffeine consumption to one cup of coffee daily or less [3].

4. Alcohol

This is a no-brainer. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, according to studies. Developing foetuses with this syndrome may be born with unusual facial characteristics, such as small eyes and thin lips. As well as affecting a child's cognitive development, it can negatively impact their behaviour [4].

5. Mother's sugar levels

While pregnancy cravings are perfectly normal, you may want to cut down on sweets if you do not want sugar consumption to affect your baby's appearance and overall health. Pregnancy-related gestational diabetes (GDM), or high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, can be harmful to the unborn child who relies on you for nutrition.

This extra sugar can be stored as fat in the baby, placing them at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and jaundice. The most effective way to manage GDM is by adhering to a healthy diet and exercising, or in extreme cases, by taking insulin and medication [5][6].

6. Environmental factors

A baby's birth weight can be affected by dirty or contaminated air. Researchers have found that for every 10 micrograms increase in air pollution (per cubic meter of air), the average birth mass decreases by 8.9 grams (about 1/3 ounce). Pregnant women should consume foods containing vitamins and antioxidants to combat the effects of air pollution and avoid getting out in areas with high pollution [7][8].

On A Final Note...

You cannot predict what your baby will look like before being born, but the factors mentioned in this article may play a role.

Story first published: Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 11:52 [IST]
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