Melbourne: A new study suggests that pregnant women who drink water and eat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grain cereal could reduce their chance of premature birth.
Experts found that women who enjoyed such a diet, also rich in oils, whole grain bread and poultry, were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks, News.com.au reported.
Those women who followed a different, more "traditional" diet of foods such as potatoes, cooked vegetables and fish could also cut their risk.
Experts studied data for 66,000 pregnant women, of which 3,505 (5.3 percent) delivered their babies early.
They found that women who followed the first "prudent" diet rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables had about a 12 percent reduced risk of premature delivery, especially if they were having their first baby, compared to other women.
Risks were also cut by about nine percent for those who favoured the more "traditional" diet.
There was no link found between premature birth and women eating a "Western-style" diet of salty and sweet snacks, white bread, desserts and processed meats.
The study is published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).