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Pregnancy and PKU

One of the greatest joys in a woman’s life is a moment when she becomes mother. Sadly, for women who are diagnosed with PKU disorder, this is not the easiest task in the world and in many cases it requires a lot of carefully planned steps if they want to give a birth to a healthy baby.

The pregnancy isn’t impossible task, but it’s much more complicated in comparison to “normal” pregnancies. Women must be ready to go on a very strict diet for the whole nine months. One of the more important things that must be satisfied, is that woman’s Phe (phenylalanine) concentration in blood does not exceed more than 4-6 mg/dL.

If a woman have higher concentration of Phe in hers blood, the first thing she must do, if she wants to become a mother, is to lower her Phe to above mentioned concentration. During the whole time of pregnancy, women must control their Phe level very often (every second day would be ideal). In this way, they can be absolutely confident that everything is going well with their baby development.

Special PKU diet is even stricter in this period for female Phenylketonuria patients, while special protein powder mixture is taken during pregnancy as well. However, if a woman sticks with her proscribed diet, chances for a healthy baby are not much lower than in every other “normal” pregnancy.

In conclusion, for having a healthy baby, woman with PKU must simply follow two main regulations: planning the pregnancy and sticking to the diet. This maybe appears to be difficult and hard to do, but if a woman really wants to give a birth to a baby, and considering that she is already used to a restricted diet, that’s not such a big sacrifice. Especially if she has that final result on her mind, which is a normal and healthy baby.

Want to learn more?


“The PKU Paradox: A Short History of a Genetic Disease” by Diane B. Paul and Jeffrey P. Brosco.

“Robert Guthrie–The Pku Story: Crusade Against Mental Retardation” by Jean Holt Koch.

“Low Protein Cookery for Phenylketonuria” by Virginia E. Schuett.

“Low Protein Food List for PKU” by Virginia E. Schuett.

“Low Protein Bread Machine Baking for PKU” by Virginia E. Schuett.

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