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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2009 October;61(5):373-400

language: English

Prenatal nutrition: special considerations

Cox J. T. , Phelan S. T.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of New Mexico, School of Medicine Albuquerque, NM , USA


Awareness of the importance of nutrition during pregnancy has increased in recent years. Pregnancy outcomes vary by prepregnant weight as well as gestational weight gain. Inappropriate gain may have both short- and long-term consequences for mother and infant. This review article includes the newly released US Institute of Medicine prenatal weight gain guidelines, as well as the Dietary Reference Intakes for the US and selected European societies. Food safety topics are discussed including Listeria, Toxoplasma, peanuts, mercury and other contaminants . Preconceptual nutrition is discussed, as are specific at-risk prenatal nutrients, including folic acid, choline, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and iron. Current controversies are discussed and practical suggestions are given to safely optimize nutrient intake. As part of the medical team, a local Registered Dietitian or other nutrition professional can give much more detailed guidance and support for a pregnant woman given her particular risk factors, including her pre-existing medical conditions and cultural concerns, and will emphasize nutritional quality rather than just pounds gained.

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