Interactive Summaries

Chapter 16: 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 . To help iron absorption, a woman should consume at the same time. Experts recommend that during pregnancy women do not consume .


The goal of Healthy People 2010 is for of infants to be breastfed at birth and of infants still to be breastfed at 6 months old. Virtually every woman who wants to breastfeed her infant can do so. 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.

are the major energy source in human milk. Human milk is rich in cholesterol which babies need for proper . Breast milk contains which fosters the growth of certain bacteria that interfere with the growth of harmful bacteria in the digestive system. A benefit for the breastfeeding mother is that breastfeeding .

The RDA for energy for lactating women is kilocalories higher than for non-lactating, non-pregnant women. While breastfeeding a woman should consume at least 8 cups of water a day. Beverages with caffeine .

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