Nutrition in pregnancy

David J. Williams

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Nutrition in pregnancy

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Nutritional requirements for healthy pregnancy vary according to a woman’s prepregnancy nutritional state and her access to food during pregnancy: there is no unifying nutritional advice that is appropriate for all pregnant women throughout the world, or even within nations.

The well-nourished mother—maternal adaptation to pregnancy requires few dietary changes during pregnancy. She should eat one or two portions of sea fish per week to -ensure intake of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids sufficient to provide at least 200 mg of docosahexaenoic acid per day, which is needed for the healthy development of the fetal central nervous system. Supplemental folic acid (400 µg/day) during the first trimester reduces the risk of neural tube defects, but with this exception extra vitamins and micronutrients are not necessary for well-nourished, healthy pregnant women who eat a balanced diet, and excessive amounts of some micronutrients can actually be harmful to the fetus. Thiamine replacement is essential for women with hyperemesis gravidarum....

Chapter.  4206 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Obstetrics

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