Get access

Nutrition and Mental Health in Early Pregnancy: A Pilot Study

Authors

  • Eileen R. Fowles RNC, PhD,

    Corresponding author
      Eileen R. Fowles, PhD, RNC, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, 1700 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701-1499. E-mail: efowles@mail.nur.utexas.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Eileen R. Fowles, PhD, RNC, is an assistant professor in maternal nursing at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, Austin, TX, and served as the principal investigator on this project.

  • Christina Murphey RN, MSN

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Christina Murphey, MSN, RNC, is an assistant clinical instructor and doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, Austin, TX. She served as a research assistant on this project.


Eileen R. Fowles, PhD, RNC, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, 1700 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701-1499. E-mail: efowles@mail.nur.utexas.edu

ABSTRACT

A pilot study was conducted to explore the dietary quality and maternal psychosocial status during the early weeks of pregnancy in a convenience sample of women (N = 13) recruited from two Planned Parenthood Clinics. Women were between 19 and 31 years of age, having their first pregnancy, and were on average 7 weeks pregnant. Average caloric intake was 2653 kcal/day consisting of 34% fat. Six of the women had inadequate intake of calcium (x = 800 mg) and 11 had low iron intake (x = 20 mg). Dietary Quality Index-Pregnancy scores were below recommendations and six women had scores indicating a major depression. Dietary intakes of these low-income women early in pregnancy did not meet recommendations for pregnancy. Identifying factors that are related to poor dietary intake, such as low-income and the presence of depression, in early pregnancy may promote timely recognition of women in need of comprehensive monitoring throughout the pregnancy.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary