EARLY NUTRITION: NUTRITION FOR PREGNANCY WOMAN
Evidence accumulates that food supply and the metabolism of food ingredients in women during pregnancy and lactation and in their children have marked implications on child development and long-term health. Epidemiological evidence and intervention studies performed in pregnant women and in infants have highlighted the fact that maternal and intrauterine influences are of special importance during the development of the infant and child. Early nutrition modulates growth and functional development of the organism and appears to exert lifelong programming effects that modulate health, disease and mortality risks in adulthood, neural function and behavior, and quality oflife. The scientific exploration of these relationships and their underlying mechanisms offer new windows of opportunity for preventive health concepts, the provision of sound nutritional advice, and the development of improved food products for mothers and children. A woman's nutritional status should be assessed prepositionally with the goal of optimizing maternal, fetal, and infant health. Pregnancy-related dietary changes should begin prior to conception, with appropriate modifications across the pregnancy and during lactation. Most nutritional advice is based upon the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs), which are simply the levels believed to prevent disease in the vast majority of otherwise normal individuals. Women who typically eat three meals daily consisting of several servings of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and a few sources of protein (eg, meat, fish, eggs, dried peas or beans) are likely to have adequate nutrition. By comparison, women who skip several meals each week and have a high intake of soft drinks and snack foods (eg, chips, candy, cookies) instead of a more balanced diet can benefit from nutritional counseling.
- Faculty of Human Ecology