ABSTRACT: Adequate nutritional preparation of women for pregnancy includes the information on individualized weight gain ranges, which may be as little as 20 lb or as much as 35 lb gained gradually over the course of pregnancy. Discussions with mothers should focus on their possible reluctance to gain or to accept normal fat deposits laid down during pregnancy, as well as how to deal with edema, nausea, indigestion and other discomforts.
Changes in requirements for individual nutrients include those for protein, iron, folic acid, several vitamins, calcium, phosphorous and sodium. Discussions may include the potential teratogenic effects of food additives and contaminants, and, most importantly, the suspected effects of deficits and specific excesses. Concerns about excess relate in particular to vitamins A, D, and C, caffeine, alcohol and selected minerals.