Maternal nutrition and birth outcomes

Kathleen Abu-Saad, Drora Fraser

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    389 Scopus citations


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-25
    Number of pages21
    JournalEpidemiologic Reviews
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • fetal growth retardation
    • infant, low birth weight
    • micronutrients
    • pregnancy outcome
    • premature birth
    • prenatal nutritional physiological phenomena
    • social class

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Epidemiology


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