Pregnancy Nutrition Research
Kramer MS, Kakuma R. Energy and protein intake in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
In this review, researchers determined:
- Dietary advice appears effective in increasing pregnant women's energy and protein intakes but is unlikely to confer major benefits on infant or maternal health.
- Balanced energy/protein supplementation improves fetal growth and may reduce the risk of fetal and neonatal death.
- High-protein or balanced protein supplementation alone is not beneficial and may be harmful to the infant.
- Protein/energy restriction of pregnant women who are overweight or exhibit high weight gain is unlikely to be beneficial and may be harmful to the infant.
Ever wonder how they decided how much you should eat?
The USDA published The USDA's Food Pyramid: Development and Background to answer that question. It discusses the research that was used to determine the necessary amounts of each nutrient and how that fit into servings of the different food groups.
Supplements during Pregnancy
In several reviews of dietary supplementation during pregnancy, researchers found there was insufficient evidence to evaluate the benefits of supplementation. Here are links to the reviews:
Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Iron supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Zinc supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Folate supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
Iron and folate supplementation in pregnancy (Cochrane Review)
NOTE: Insufficient evidence does not mean that supplementation with these nutrients is dangerous. In some cases the evidence begins to suggest that supplementation may have a benefit, but that further study needs to be conducted to determine if they are beneficial.
It has been the belief of Dr. Tom Brewer that a prenatal multivitamin used as insurance of proper nutrition is only valuable as long as the mother is eating well to begin with. Vitamin and Mineral supplementation can not replace good sound nutrition.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Role of malnutrition, hepatic dysfunction and gastrointestinal bacteria in the pathogensis of acute toxemia of pregnancy." Obstet. Gynecol. 84 (1962): 1253.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Toxemia of pregnancy," Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 89 (1964):1125.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Pregnancy hypertension," Ob-Gyn Collected Letters, Internatl. Correspond. Soc. Ob Gyn series VII, Jan. 15, 1966., p.17.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Good prenatal nutrition prevents toxemia of late pregnancy." Postgrad. Med. 39 (Feb 1966): A 119 (Jean Mayer, ed.).
Brewer, Thomas H. "Human pregnancy nutrition: a clinical view." Obstet. Gynecol. 30 (1967): 605.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Nutrition and pre-eclampisa." Obstet. Gynecol. 33 (1969):448.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Human maternal-fetal nutrition." Obstet. Gynecol. 10 (1970): 87.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Nutrition and infant mortality," Pediatrics 51 (1973): 1107.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Consequences of malnutrition in human pregnancy." CIBA Review: perinatal Medicine. Basel": Ciba-Geigy, 1975, p. 5.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Role of malnutrition in pre-eclampsia and eclampsia." Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 125 (1976): 281.
Brewer, Thomas H. "Maternal malnutrition." Journ. Nutri. Educ. 14-5, 1982 (Jan.-Mar.).
Duley L , Henderson-Smart D. Reduced salt intake
According to this review of the available research, the amount of salt a woman consumes during pregnancy should be "a matter of personal preference." This is the same advice that Dr. Tom Brewer started giving women in his practice in the late 60's and published in his book What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know. (This book is out of print, but is available in e-book form at Blue Ribbon Baby.
In his book, Dr. Brewer lists the following references for salt in his book:
Foote, R. G., et al., "The use of liberal salt diet in pre-eclamptic toxemia and essential hypertension and pregnancy." New Zealand Med J. 77 (1973):242.
Gray, Mary Jane, "Regulation of sodium and total body water metabolism in pregnancy." Amer. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 89:760, 1964.
Lindberg, Bo, "Salt, diuretics and pregnancy." Gynecol. Obstet. Invest. 10 (1979): 145-156.
Robinson, Margaret, "Salt in pregnancy." Lancet, 1:178, 1958.
Walker, Elizabeth Cabell. "Sodium and calorie restriction during pregnancy: the knowledge and practices of New York State obstetricians." Master's thesis, Cornell University Graduate School, Dept. of Nutrition, Ithaca, N.Y., 1980.
More nutritional research is listed at Blue Ribbon Baby.org.
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