Nutrition in pregnancy: The balancing act

Alexis J. Hure, Julia Martin, Ellie Greshamy, Shanna Fealy, Jun Lai, Michelle Blumfield, Amy Anderson

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Pregnant women are exposed to a large number of confusing messages on weight gain, nutrientsupplements and food avoidance. This article presents a summary of the evidence so that the risks and benefits of nutrition information can be weighed up. In most cases the evidence is not as clear as guidelines and recommendations present. Differences of scientific opinion usually reflect legitimate debate over data quantity, quality and interpretation, and advances in knowledge lead to changes in practice over time. Evidence-based guidelines typically have long periods between release and review. To date there are known risks and benefits associated with gaining too much or not enough weight during pregnancy, taking nutrient supplements, consuming foods at-risk of contamination with listeria including fish and seafood, which is also a source of mercury. The benefits from no versus very low alcohol during pregnancy are debatable but while there is uncertainty, not drinking is the safest option.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Birth and Parent Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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