Prenatal Nutrition: A Practical Guide for Assessment and Counseling

Authors

  • Elizabeth Widen RD,

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    • Elizabeth Widen, RD, is a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Anna Maria Siega-Riz PhD, RD

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    • Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, is a professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition and the Associate Chair of Epidemiology at The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC.


Address correspondence to Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, 123 W. Franklin St., Carolina Population Center, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. am_siegariz@unc.edu

Abstract

Adequate nutrition during the periconceptional and prenatal periods is important for healthy pregnancy outcomes. By enhancing maternal nutritional status, health care providers can help pregnant women lower their risk of certain pregnancy complications and decrease their children's risk of adverse birth outcomes and later chronic disease. Use of evidence-based tools and recommendations will assist in the assessment of pregnant women's diets and streamline the counseling session to optimize their nutritional status. This article contains a review of the literature related to nutrition intervention studies during pregnancy that were designed to improve habits or achieve target weight gains and nutrition recommendations specific for the pregnancy state, as well as tools/resources for the health care provider for implementation of these recommendations into their busy practices.

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