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The role of nutrition in pregnancy

Anne Clark

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Abstract

Good nutrition in pregnancy is crucial for the baby’s health and to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy complications. It also reduces the risk of the child developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease when they reach adulthood.
Correction
A correction for this article has been published in the January/February 2016 issue of Medicine Today. The full text PDF for this article (see link above) has been corrected.

Key Points

  • A woman’s suboptimal nutrition during pregnancy affects the development and health of her child into adulthood.
  • The process occurs via epigenetic changes that alter the ‘programming’ of developing organs and tissues.
  • Suboptimal nutrition in utero can also result in these changes being transmitted to the woman’s grandchildren.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can reduce a woman’s chance of conceiving and increase the likelihood of complications during pregnancy.
  • The proportion of women with nutritional deficiencies is high.
  • Nutritional testing and supplementation of women at risk is simple.

    Picture credit: © Marka/Roberto Benzi/Diomedia.com

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