Evaluation of Nutrition and Mineral-Vitamin Use During Pregnancy

  • Ayhan Coşkun
  • Özgür Özdemir

Turk J Obstet Gynecol 2009;6(3):155-170

A healthy and varied diet is important at all times in life as well as during the pregnancy. The maternal diet must have sufficient energy and nutrients to supply her stores of nutrients to meet the need of mother, the growing fetus and lactation. The requirement of energy, protein, vitamin and mineral is increased during pregnancy. Diet especially rich in iron and folate must be consumed. Protein requirement must be obtained from animal foods and fish must be taken at least twice a week. Nutrients must be consumed frequently and in small amounts throughout the day.

For women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight, an average weight gain of 14.5 (11,5- 17) kg is recommended during pregnancy. Low gestational weight gain is associated with having low birth weight baby, excessive weight gain is associated with macrosomic fetus. Besides excessive weight causes maternal hypertension, overweight and obesity in the mother after the birth.

Folic acid supply in the peri-conceptional period and the along first trimester can reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs). It has been shown that prenatal multivitamin supplementation is associated with a decrease in several congenital anomalies and a decreased risk for pediatric brain tumors. Calcium, iron and folic acid deficiency is more frequent at teenagers.These must be provided with additional nutrient supply. Also protein and vitamin B12 deficiency is frequent at vegeterians. Pregnant women must be careful about dietary hygien to avoid food pathogens, such as listeria and salmonella. Excessive intake of both alcohol and caffeine must be avoided. They should also be advised to avoid foods which are high in retinol, since excessive intakes are toxic to the developing fetus.

Recently, there are some data that routine iron supplementation to non-anaemic women may be harmful for mother and fetus.

Keywords: pregnancy, mineral-vitamin use, nutrition