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Nutrition Recommendations and Pregnancy

  • By: Holiday Durham & Carol J. Lammi-Keefe
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Pregnancy represents 9 months in which both nutrition and lifestyle are critical and can alter short- and long-term health outcomes for the mother and the fetus. Thus, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors should be optimized prior to pregnancy and should continue throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period. Optimal nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviors not only improve maternal health and well-being but also minimize risks for child adiposity, chronic disease, birth defects, abnormal growth patterns, and developmental delays in the developing infant. Modifiable nutrition and lifestyle behaviors include proper gestational weight gain; a healthy diet; proper vitamin and mineral supplementation; avoidance of alcohol, smoking, and other potentially harmful substances; and physical activity. In this way, the complications associated with pregnancy, such as obesity, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia, ...

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