Submitted to: Present Knowledge in Nutrition Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 2006
Publication Date: March 31, 2006
Citation: Allen, L.H. Pregnancy and lactation. Present Knowledge in Nutrition Book Chapter. AG-PPKN-0909 R1 CH41 03-31-06 10:28:43 Technical Abstract: Enabling prgnant women to meet their nutrient needs has long been a global public health priority, based on evidence that undernutrition during the period of reproduction can have serious long-term adverse effects on the mother and child. Programs designed to improve maternal undernutrition can be cost-effective. In wealthier countries, an increasing amount of information is emerging about how variability in nutritional status and nutrient metabolism and requirements of individuals affects pregnancy weight gain, the risk of preterm delivery, and birth defects. Well-designed studies on undernourished women in developing countries have been particularly informative about the impact that improved maternal nutrition can have on maternal and infant health. However, rates of preterm delivery, low birth weight, birth defects, and other pregnancy complications are still unacceptably high even in wealthier countries, and there is much to be learned about optimal maternal nutrient requirements during pregnancy and lactation.