8

Prenatal Nutrition

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES
  • Maternal Nutritional Status
  • Food Allergies

Various factors determine the outcome of a pregnancy, including the nutritional status of the mother before conception and during pregnancy. Nutritional factors can affect the newborn’s birth weight, risk of neural tube defect, and foetal alcohol syndrome. Birth weight is highly correlated with infant mortality and morbidity.

MATERNAL NUTRITIONAL STATUS

Two indicators of maternal nutritional status have consistently shown association with infant birth weight:

  1. Maternal size (height and pre-pregnancy weight of the mother)
  2. Maternal weight gain during pregnancy

Maternal size: Large stature women tend to have large babies, and maternal size plays an important ...

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