Nutrition in Pregnancy: Some Current Concepts and Questions


  • Bonnie S. Worthington Ph. D.

    1. Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the co-author of Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation, C.V. Mosby Co., 1977. Address inquiries to the author at The University of Washington, CDMRC, WJ-10, Seattle, WA 98195.
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  • This paper was presented at the conference Issues in Childbearing 78, Nov. 2–4, 1978 in Issaquah, WA, sponsored by Resource and Development Services for Childbirth Educators with the Regional Assoc. of Childbirth Education of Puget Sound, aided by a grant from the National Foundation-March of Dimes.


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.