Maternal Nutrition and Birth Outcomes
In this review, the authors summarize current knowledge on maternal nutritional requirements during pregnancy, with a focus on the nutrients that have been most commonly investigated in association with birth outcomes. Data sourcing and extraction included searches of the primary resources establishing maternal nutrient requirements during pregnancy (e.g., Dietary Reference Intakes), and searches of Medline for “maternal nutrition”/[specific nutrient of interest] and “birth/pregnancy outcomes,” focusing mainly on the less extensively reviewed evidence from observational studies of maternal dietary intake and birth outcomes. The authors used a conceptual framework which took both primary and secondary factors (e.g., baseline maternal nutritional status, socioeconomic status of the study populations, timing and methods of assessing maternal nutritional variables) into account when interpreting study findings. The authors conclude that maternal nutrition is a modifiable risk factor of public health importance that can be integrated into efforts to prevent adverse birth outcomes, particularly among economically developing/low-income populations.