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Nutrition in pregnancy 

Nutrition in pregnancy
Chapter:
Nutrition in pregnancy
Author(s):

David J. Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0264
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date: 28 July 2021

Nutritional requirements for healthy pregnancy vary according to a woman’s pre-pregnancy nutritional state and her access to food during pregnancy: there is no unifying nutritional advice that is appropriate for all pregnant women throughout the world, or even within nations. Around the world, obesity and excessive gestational weight gain are now more common risk factors for pregnancy complications than undernutrition. Compared with mothers who have a normal body mass index or BMI (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), obese mothers have an increased risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, caesarean delivery, stillbirth, congenital malformations, and large for gestational age babies. Underweight mothers have an increased risk of small for gestational age babies, and preterm birth. Paternal obesity has a negative effect on fetal growth, probably mediated by inheritance of insulin resistance. Both low birth weight and high birth weight babies have an increased risk of obesity in later life.

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