Interactive Summaries

Chapter 12: Life Cycle: Maternal and Infant Nutrition


Many women choose to have preconception care. Nutrition is part of all three components of preconception care. When a woman takes a folic acid supplement to reduce her baby’s chance of having a neural tube defect, she is participating in the component of preconception known as . Obesity during pregnancy poses a risk of . A woman who is obese and pregnant should . Women should increase their intake of most vitamins and minerals during pregnancy; however, can be teratogenic when taken in large amounts causing birth defects of the head, heart, brain, or spinal cord. Women are advised to avoid consuming more than 100% of the RDA for this nutrient. For women of normal weight, doctors usually recommend that they gain pounds during pregnancy. Women who have a BMI of 29 or greater should gain at least pounds but not much more. Women need about more kilocalories a day during pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine’s Nutrient Supplement Subcommittee recommend that during pregnancy women take supplements of . Experts recommend that during pregnancy women do not consume .


can breastfeed. The final stages in breast tissue that make milk production possible occur . During the first two or three days after birth, an infant receives immature milk that is high in protein and immunoglobins called . The is the reflex that allows milk to flow from the breast. It is initiated when the infant begins sucking on the breast, but can also be stimulated by hearing the baby cry or thinking about the baby.

For the infant, breastfeeding has been shown to . For a mother, breastfeeding . Breastfeeding also stimulate , which can help control .

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