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i food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper

food and hutrition
CuideIines for
ReaIthy Pre¿nant
and 8reastfeedin¿ women

A background paper
ii food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Citation: Ministry of Health. 2006. Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A background paper.
Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Published in April 2006
Revised November 2008 (mercury and allergy content updated)
by the Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013, Wellington, New Zealand
ISBN 978-0-478-31778-7 (Print)
ISBN 978-0-478-31779-4 (Online)
HP 4232
This document is available on the Ministry of Health’s website:
http://www.moh.govt.nz

iii food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
foreword
Good nutrition is important for all New Zealanders, but it assumes an even greater
importance for women when they are pregnant or breastfeeding their infant.
Pregnancy is a time when nutritional needs are higher, and meeting those needs has
a positive effect on the health of both the mother and her unborn baby. The effects of
nutrition while the foetus is developing during pregnancy last for a lifetime, and we want
to see children inherit a legacy of good health for the future. We also want to see women
enjoying a healthy pregnancy without the negative effects of poor nutrition on their health,
and in the best possible nutritional state to support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best and safest way to feed infants, and women and families need to
be given all the advice and support possible to assist them in establishing and continuing
breastfeeding for at least the first six months of the infant’s life.
This background paper brings together all the key areas of food and nutrition affecting
the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is intended that health practitioners,
educators and caregivers will use this paper and the accompanying health education
booklets, Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women and Eating for Healthy Breastfeeding Women,
to provide sound advice and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their
families to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A
background paper supports three of the key priorities in the New Zealand Health Strategy,
and along with the other background papers in the series of population group-specific
background papers, forms an important technical basis for implementing the Healthy
Eating– Healthy Action Strategy.
Dr Don Matheson
Deputy-Director General
Public Health Directorate
iv food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
AcknowIed¿ements
The Ministry of Health would like to thank all those who have contributed to the
development of this document. In particular, thanks go to Dr Jane Coad, Dr Janet Weber,
Kathryn Beck, Dr Kathy Kitson, and Zirsha Wharemate from Massey University.
The many individuals and groups who gave feedback as part of the public consultation
process and the specialists who provided advice have shaped this background paper
significantly. The Ministry of Health appreciates the assistance of the many people who
have had input during the process.
The preparation of this document was led by Christine Stewart from the Non-Communicable
Disease Policy Group at the Ministry of Health, with technical assistance from many other
staff of the Ministry of Health, especially Mary-Louise Hannah, Elizabeth Aitken and Mari
Skar Manger.
v food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Contents
Foreword ........................................................................................................................... iii
Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................... iv
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 1
Policy context .............................................................................................................. 1
Food and nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding ............................................... 2
Structure of this background paper .............................................................................. 4
Part 1: The New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guidelines ...................................................... 5
1.1 The New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements .................................... 5
1.2 Food groups and the nutrients they provide ........................................................... 5
1.3 Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand ........................................ 8
1.4 Sources of data ...................................................................................................... 9
Part 2: Maternal Energy, Maternal Weight and Infant Birthweight ...................................... 10
2.1 Energy requirements and intakes in pregnant and breastfeeding women ..............10
2.1.1 Background ...............................................................................................10
2.1.2 Energy intakes during breastfeeding and milk volume ................................ 11
2.1.3 Recommended energy intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ....... 12
2.1.4 Energy intakes in pregnant and breastfeeding women in New Zealand ........ 13
2.1.5 Sources of energy in the diet ...................................................................... 13
2.2 Weight changes for pregnant and breastfeeding women .......................................14
2.2.1 Gestational weight gain and gestational weight gain recommendations ..... 14
2.2.2 The rate of gestational weight gain ............................................................. 16
2.2.3 Energy restriction in pregnancy .................................................................. 17
2.2.4 Return to pre-pregnancy weight .................................................................. 17
2.3 Infant birthweight ................................................................................................ 18
2.3.1 Low birthweight ......................................................................................... 18
2.3.2 High birthweight ........................................................................................ 21
vi food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
2.3.3 Factors affecting infant birthweight ............................................................ 21
2.4 Practical advice for energy intake and weight gain for pregnant and
breastfeeding women .......................................................................................... 24
2.4.1 Pregnancy ..................................................................................................24
2.4.2 Breastfeeding ............................................................................................ 24
Part 3: Nutrients, Foods and Drinks .................................................................................. 26
3.1 Protein ................................................................................................................. 26
3.1.1 Background ................................................................................................26
3.1.2 Recommended protein intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ....... 27
3.1.3 Protein intakes in New Zealand ................................................................... 27
3.1.4 Sources of protein in the diet ...................................................................... 27
3.1.5 Practical advice ...........................................................................................27
3.2 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre .............................................................................28
3.2.1 Background ................................................................................................28
3.2.2 Dietary fibre ................................................................................................29
3.2.3 Glycaemic index .......................................................................................... 29
3.2.4 Recommended carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes for pregnant and
breastfeeding women ................................................................................. 30
3.2.5 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes in New Zealand ............................... 30
3.2.6 Sources of carbohydrate and dietary fibre in the diet ................................... 31
3.2.7 Practical advice ...........................................................................................31
3.3 Fat .......................................................................................................................32
3.3.1 Background ................................................................................................32
3.3.2 Pregnancy ...................................................................................................32
3.3.3 Breastfeeding ............................................................................................. 33
3.3.4 Recommended fat intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women .............. 34
3.3.5 Fat intake in New Zealand ........................................................................... 35
3.3.6 Sources of fat in the diet ............................................................................. 35
3.3.7 Practical advice ...........................................................................................36
vii food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
3.4 Minerals and trace elements ................................................................................ 36
3.4.1 Iron ............................................................................................................36
3.4.2 Calcium .....................................................................................................41
3.4.3 Zinc ...........................................................................................................43
3.4.4 Selenium ..................................................................................................44
3.4.5 Magnesium ................................................................................................46
3.4.6 Iodine ........................................................................................................47
3.4.7 Copper .......................................................................................................49
3.4.8 Potassium, sodium, sulphate and fluoride ................................................. 50
3.5 Fat-soluble vitamins ............................................................................................. 52
3.5.1 Vitamin A ...................................................................................................52
3.5.2 Vitamin D ...................................................................................................54
3.5.3 Vitamin E ...................................................................................................56
3.5.4 Vitamin K ...................................................................................................57
3.6 Water-soluble vitamins ........................................................................................ 58
3.6.1 Folate .........................................................................................................58
3.6.2 Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid ........................................ 62
3.6.3 Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) .............................................................................. 64
3.6.4 Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) ............................................................................. 65
3.6.5 Biotin .........................................................................................................67
3.6.6 Vitamin C ...................................................................................................67
3.6.7 Choline .......................................................................................................69
3.7 Drinks ..................................................................................................................69
Part 4: Other Issues ......................................................................................................... 72
4.1 Lifestyle ............................................................................................................... 72
4.1.1 Physical activity .........................................................................................72
4.1.2 Alcohol ...................................................................................................... 74
4.1.3 Cigarette smoking ...................................................................................... 77
viii food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.1.4 Illicit drugs and ‘party pills’ (restricted substances) .................................... 79
4.1.5 Medications and breast implants ............................................................... 81
4.1.6 Herbal preparations and teas ..................................................................... 82
4.1.7 Caffeine .....................................................................................................84
4.1.8 Supplements and fortified foods ................................................................ 85
4.2 Food security .......................................................................................................88
4.2.1 Definitions and background ....................................................................... 88
4.2.2 Health consequences of food insecurity ..................................................... 88
4.2.3 Impact of food insecurity on population groups .......................................... 88
4.2.4 Food choices and household socioeconomic status ................................... 89
4.2.5 Practical advice ..........................................................................................89
4.3 Food safety ...................................................................................................89
4.3.1 Food- and water-borne illnesses ................................................................. 89
4.3.2 Listeria ....................................................................................................... 91
4.3.3 Toxoplasmosis ........................................................................................... 92
4.3.4 Environmental contaminants ...................................................................... 92
4.3.5 Intense sweeteners .................................................................................... 96
4.4 Specific conditions .............................................................................................. 98
4.4.1 Nausea and vomiting .................................................................................98
4.4.2 Cravings/aversions .................................................................................... 99
4.4.3 Human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in
pregnancy and breastfeeding ..................................................................... 99
4.4.4 Overweight and obesity ............................................................................101
4.5 Special groups ...................................................................................................103
4.5.1 Adolescent pregnancy and breastfeeding .................................................103
4.5.2 Vegetarian and vegan women ...................................................................105
4.5.3 Pregnancy and breastfeeding with multiple infants ...................................106
4.6 Other .................................................................................................................108
ix food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.6.1 Pre-conception nutrition ...........................................................................108
4.6.2 Effect of maternal nutrition on incidence of infant allergy ..........................110
4.6.3 Effect of maternal nutrition on colic and wind ...........................................111
4.6.4 Age of introduction of complementary foods and effect on
breastfeeding ...........................................................................................112
4.6.5 Inter-pregnancy spacing ...........................................................................113
4.6.6 Phytoestrogens ........................................................................................114
Part 5: Nutrition Issues for Ma¯ ori ....................................................................................115
5.1 Ma¯ ori pregnant and breastfeeding women .........................................................115
5.1.1 Background .............................................................................................115
5.1.2 Ma¯ ori models of health ............................................................................116
5.1.3 Traditional foods and cultural practices ....................................................116
5.1.4 Lifestyle diseases and behaviours ............................................................117
5.1.5 Potential nutrition issues for pregnant or breastfeeding Ma¯ori women ......117
5.1.6 Practical advice ........................................................................................119
Part 6: Nutrition Issues for Pacific and Other Populations ..............................................121
6.1 Background .......................................................................................................121
6.2 Pacific pregnant and breastfeeding women ........................................................121
6.2.1 Background .............................................................................................121
6.2.2 Pacific models of health ...........................................................................123
6.2.3 Traditional foods and cultural practices ....................................................123
6.2.4 Lifestyle behaviours .................................................................................125
6.2.5 Potential nutrition issues for pregnant or breastfeeding Pacific women .....125
6.2.6 Practical advice ........................................................................................126
6.3 Pregnant and breastfeeding women of other ethnic groups ................................127
6.3.1 Background .............................................................................................127
6.3.2 Cultural beliefs and food practices ...........................................................128
6.3.3 Areas of concern ......................................................................................129
x food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
6.3.4 Recommendations and practical advice ...................................................129
Glossary .........................................................................................................................131
Abbreviations .................................................................................................................141
Appendix 1: Ministry of Health Policy Context for the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for
Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women ............................................144
Appendix 2: Reducing Inequalities Tools ......................................................................146
Appendix 3: Population Health Objectives in the New Zealand Health
Strategy (2000) ........................................................................................148
Appendix 4: Key Population Health Messages Underpinning the Healthy Eating –
Healthy Eating Strategy and Implementation Plan .....................................149
Appendix 5: Summary of the World Health Organization International Code of
Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (1981) .............................................150
Appendix 6: World Health Organization and UNICEF Statement on the Ten Steps to
Successful Breastfeeding (1989) ..............................................................151
Appendix 7: Pregnancy: Three-Day Meal Plan ...............................................................152
Appendix 8: Breastfeeding: Three-Day Meal Plan ..........................................................154
Appendix 9: Australia and New Zealand Recommended Dietary Intakes for Women
Aged 14–18 years ....................................................................................156
Appendix 10: Australia and New Zealand Recommended Dietary Intakes for Women
Aged 19–50 years ....................................................................................158
Appendix 11: Herbal Preparations That May Not Be Safe for Use During Pregnancy and
Breastfeeding ...........................................................................................160
References ......................................................................................................................161
Index ..............................................................................................................................192
xi food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
List of 1abIes
Table 1: The four food groups: advice on servings and nutrients for pregnant and
breastfeeding women ...................................................................................... 6
Table 2: Definition of NRV recommendations ................................................................ 8
Table 3: Appropriate BMI cut-offs for different ethnic groups ...................................... 15
Table 4: Recommended total weight gain in pregnant women, by pre-pregnancy
BMI (kg/m
2
) .................................................................................................. 16
Table 5: Possible causative factors, in order of importance, and concerns for low
birthweight infants ....................................................................................... 19
Table 6: Rate of low birthweight per 1000 live births, by ethnicity .............................. 20
Table 7: Rate of high birthweight per 1000 live births, by ethnicity ............................. 21
Table 8: Classification of the major dietary carbohydrates .......................................... 28
Table 9: Principal dietary sources of carbohydrate for New Zealand women ................ 31
Table 10: Dietary sources of essential and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
(LCPUFAs) ..................................................................................................... 32
Table 11: Adequate intakes for essential fatty acids and omega-3 LCPUFAs .................. 34
Table 12: Spectrum of iron deficiency .......................................................................... 37
Table 13: Reported intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid in
some studies of New Zealand diets ............................................................... 63
Table 14: Dietary sources of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid for
New Zealand women aged 25–44 years ........................................................ 64
Table 15: Standard drinks contained in typical servings of alcohol ............................... 77
Table 16: Average caffeine content of common foods and beverages ............................ 85
Table 17: ADI, median exposure and main contributor to intake for intense
sweeteners ................................................................................................... 97
Table 18: Percentage of overweight and obese females aged 15+ years in
New Zealand ............................................................................................... 102
Table 19: Summary of the average number of servings per day provided by
the meal plans and recommended number of servings for
pregnant women ......................................................................................... 153
Table 20: Summary of the average number of servings per day provided by the meal
plans and recommended number of servings for breastfeeding women ....... 155
xii food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Introduction
Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A
background paper is one of a series of population group-specific background papers. The
population groups are healthy infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, older
people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.
This background paper has been written to:
• provide evidence-based, up-to-date policy advice on the nutrition, physical activity,
lifestyle and environmental determinants for achieving and maintaining the best
possible health for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the best possible
pregnancy outcome (ie, a healthy infant and mother)
• provide reliable, consistent information to use as a basis for programmes and education
to support healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women (eg, technical background for
health education resources for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women, District
Health Board programmes)
• guide and support health practitioners – including dietitians, nutritionists, midwives,
doctors, nurses, primary health care providers, health promoters and teachers – in the
practice of healthy nutrition, and to use as a resource for more detailed information if
required
• identify health inequalities relating to nutrition and physical activity so that education
and support for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women can be targeted to reduce
health inequalities between population groups.
PoIicy context
Food and nutrition guidelines for the New Zealand population are produced in the context
of Ministry of Health policies and strategies. This context includes Ma¯ ori health, reducing
inequalities, World Health Organization policies and plans and World Health Assembly
resolutions, and is detailed in Appendix 1.
The foundation for considering Ma¯ ori health is laid out in He Korowai Oranga: Ma¯ ori Health
Strategy, which aims for wha¯ nau ora – Ma¯ ori families being supported to achieve their
maximum health and wellbeing (Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Health 2002).
The four pathways that need to be addressed to progress wha¯ nau ora are:
• the development of wha¯ nau, iwi and Ma¯ ori communities
• active participation by Ma¯ ori at all levels of the health and disability sector
• effective health and disability services (ie, timely, high-quality, effective, culturally
appropriate services to improve health and reduce inequalities)
• working across sectors within health and disability, and across government sectors.
2 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The Treaty of Waitangi acknowledges the special relationship between Ma¯ ori and the Crown.
This relationship can be expressed by the principles of partnership, participation and
protection, as set out in He Korowai Oranga:
• partnership – working together with iwi, hapu¯ , wha¯ nau and Ma¯ ori communities to
develop strategies for Ma¯ ori health gain and appropriate health and disability services
• participation – involving Ma¯ ori at all levels of the sector in decision-making, planning,
development and delivery of health and disability services
• protection – working to ensure Ma¯ ori have at least the same level of health as non-Ma¯ ori,
and safeguarding Ma¯ ori cultural concepts, values and practices (Minister of Health and
Associate Minister of Health 2002; Health Promotion Forum 1991).
These principles continue to underpin the Ma¯ ori–Crown relationship and are threaded
throughout He Korowai Oranga.
Reducing inequalities for different groups of New Zealanders has been identified as a key
priority by the Government. Inequalities in health exist between socioeconomic groups,
ethnic groups and people living in different geographic areas, and between males and
females. People living in the most deprived circumstances have been shown to have
increased exposure to health risks, poorer access to health and disability services, and
poorer health outcomes. Health inequalities in New Zealand are greater between Ma¯ ori
and non-Ma¯ ori, and also between Pacific peoples and European/Others. Effective action to
address inequalities in health must take a balanced approach and consider both the social
and economic inequalities and their impact on health, and the access to and effectiveness
of health and disability services. For this reason, programmes, resources, education and
support for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women should be planned and evaluated
using the reducing inequalities tools: the Intervention Framework and the HEAT tool (see
Appendix 2).
The New Zealand Health Strategy sets the direction and priorities for the health system
(see Appendix 3). Three of these priorities – improve nutrition, increase physical activity
and reduce obesity – are addressed in the Healthy Eating – Healthy Action (HEHA) Strategy
and Implementation Plan. The Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and
Breastfeeding Women provide a policy base for implementing the key messages of HEHA for
this population group (see Appendix 4).
food and nutrition durin¿ pre¿nancy and breastfeedin¿
Nutrition deserves special attention during pregnancy and breastfeeding because of the
high nutrient needs and the critical role of appropriate nutrition for the foetus and infant.
Physiological adaptations during pregnancy partly shield the foetus from inadequacies in the
maternal diet, but even so these inadequacies can have consequences for both the short-
and long-term health and development of the foetus and infant.
The emphasis on achieving and maintaining a nutritionally adequate diet is important, and
a poor maternal diet should be improved during pregnancy and breastfeeding to maintain
the mother’s health. However, a poor diet should not be seen as a barrier to breastfeeding.
Women should be confident that they can still breastfeed even if their diet is not optimal,
because the nutritional status of a lactating mother has a minimal effect on milk volume
unless she is actually malnourished (Riordan 2005).
3 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The relevance of maternal (and paternal) nutrition to pregnancy begins before a woman
conceives. A woman who is consuming a diet in line with the Food and Nutrition Guidelines
for Healthy Adults: A background paper (Ministry of Health 2003a) before she becomes
pregnant is likely to have an appropriate nutritional status for pregnancy and is most likely
to continue this eating pattern. Maternal iron status pre-pregnancy is especially important
because women need to go into pregnancy with adequate body stores. Once pregnancy
is confi rmed, it is a good time for health practitioners and lead maternity carers (LMCs) to
emphasise the importance of good nutrition to the pregnant woman.
The foetus is particularly vulnerable during the early days of pregnancy, often before most
women know they are pregnant. Many pregnancies are unplanned and the key concerns for
unplanned pregnancies are alcohol intake, lack of folic acid supplementation and the use of
drugs and medications.
Maternal stores laid down during pregnancy are important in supporting breastfeeding.
Breast milk is the optimal food for the infant, and breastfeeding provides positive benefits
for the mother as well. Maternal stores are particularly important if the woman is planning
another pregnancy. Women who follow the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women will attain the optimum nutrition required for a
successful pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years): A
background paper (Ministry of Health 2008) complements this paper for healthy pregnant
and breastfeeding women. Breastfeeding mothers and their infants form an inseparable
biological and social unit, and the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from
the health and nutrition of the other (WHO 2003a).
Breastfeeding should be promoted for its well recognised short-term benefits, and for the
more recent evidence of long-term benefits (Fewtrell 2004). These long-term protective
effects appear to be related to the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding (Riordan 2005).
All LMCs are required to promote breastfeeding, and to provide assistance and advice with
breastfeeding and nutrition as part of the care they offer to pregnant women. It is important
that partners, family and health practitioners support the breastfeeding woman as much
as possible in the first days of breastfeeding to help establish breastfeeding patterns and
prevent its early cessation.
To protect and support breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an
International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the WHO Code) (see Appendix
5), and WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a joint statement
on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (see Appendix 6). These are designed to
encourage breastfeeding and control the promotion of infant formula and other aspects of
bottle feeding to prevent the unnecessary use of breast milk substitutes. The WHO Code
is implemented in New Zealand by two voluntary codes of practice, one for health workers
and one for industry, and is monitored by the Ministry of Health (Ministry of Health 1997a,
NZIFMA 1997). The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are implemented in New Zealand
under the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are often receptive to information and amenable to
change. Because the nutrition recommendations during this time are similar to those for the
4 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
adult population, this is an ideal opportunity to disseminate advice about good food choices,
which may also influence the family’s diet.
The information on nutrients and issues surrounding them are presented individually, but,
where possible, links have been drawn to highlight the holistic nature of diet and lifestyle.
The recommended numbers of servings of the food groups are based on an individual
meeting their requirements, usually the recommended dietary intake (RDI) value. The
recommended number of servings and the practical advice given in each section are used as
the basis for the health education resources Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women and Eating
for Healthy Breastfeeding Women. These resources are the primary means of communicating
the advice to the public, with this background paper acting as a source of more detailed
information.
5tructure of this back¿round paper
• Part 1: 1he hew ZeaIand food and hutrition CuideIines presents the Food and Nutrition
Guideline statements, the four food groups and the recommended number of servings for
pregnant and breastfeeding women, the background on the use of the Australia and New
Zealand nutrient reference values (NRVs), and the sources of food and nutrient intake
data for the paper.
• Part 2: MaternaI £ner¿y, MaternaI wei¿ht and Infant 8irthwei¿ht discusses energy
intakes and weight changes in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and infant
birthweight and the determinants of infant birthweight.
Part 3: hutrients, foods and ûrinks considers the role that energy and each of the major
nutrients play in health. It discusses current and recommended dietary intakes in New
Zealand, identifies sources in the New Zealand diet, and summarises the evidence
available on the topics covered. It makes suggestions that can form the basis for practical
advice for healthy pregnant women and breastfeeding women. These suggestions are
intended as a guide only, because the nutritional needs of individuals are dependent on
many factors.
Part 4: 0ther Issues discusses lifestyle issues (eg, physical activity), food security, food
safety, specific conditions (eg, nausea and vomiting), special groups of pregnant and
breastfeeding women (eg, adolescent pregnancy and breastfeeding), and other issues
(eg, maternal nutrition and allergy).
Part 5: hutrition Issues for Maori discusses the specific nutritional issues for Ma¯ ori.
Part 6: hutrition Issues for Pacific and 0ther PopuIations discusses the specific
nutritional issues for Pacific peoples and other ethnic groups.
5 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 1: 1he hew ZeaIand food and hutrition
CuideIines
1.1 1he hew ZeaIand food and hutrition CuideIine 5tatements
The recommendations for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women are based on the New
Zealand Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements for Healthy Adults.
These are:
1. Maintain a healthy body weight by eating well and by daily physical activity.*
2. Eat well by including a variety of nutritious foods from each of the four major food groups
each day.
• Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit.
• Eat plenty of breads and cereals, preferably wholegrain.
• Have milk and milk products in your diet, preferably reduced or low-fat options.
• Include lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds or legumes.
3. Prepare foods or choose pre-prepared foods, drinks and snacks:
• with minimal added fat, especially saturated fat
• that are low in salt; if using salt, choose iodised salt
• with little added sugar; limit your intake of high-sugar foods.
4. Drink plenty of liquids each day, especially water.
5. It is best not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
6. Purchase, prepare, cook and store food to ensure food safety.
Readers are referred to New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Adults: A
background paper (Ministry of Health 2003a) as a companion document to this paper for
healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women.
1.2 food ¿roups and the nutrients they provide
The Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements refer to the four food groups. Table 1 gives a
description of each food group, advice on the recommended number of servings from each
food group, serving sizes for each food group, and a broad indication of the main nutrients
supplied by each food group. Not all of the foods within each group will contain all these
nutrients. Three-day meal plans have also been provided as examples of how to achieve
these guidelines, including the recommended food and nutrient intakes (see Appendices 7
and 8).
* 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most if not all days of the week.
6 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
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1.3 hutrient reference vaIues for AustraIia and hew ZeaIand
The nutrient reference values (NRVs) for Australia and New Zealand (NHMRC 2006)
supersede the 1990 Australian recommended dietary intakes (Australian RDIs) (Truswell et al
1990), which had been used in New Zealand since their adoption in 1991. This background
paper for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women is based on the NRV values.
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1abIe 2: ûefinition of hRv recommendations
£AR (estimated avera¿e
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requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life
stage/gender group. This value is usually used for
populations.
RûI (recommended dietary intake) The average daily dietary intake level sufficient
to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all
healthy individuals (97–98 percent) in a life
stage/gender group.
AI (adequate intake) Where an EAR (and therefore an RDI) for the
nutrient cannot be determined because of limited
or inconsistent data, then an adequate intake (AI)
is determined. The AI can be used as a goal for
individual intake, but is based on experimentally
derived intake levels or approximations of
observed mean nutrient intakes by a group of
apparently healthy people maintaining a defined
nutritional state.
££R (estimated ener¿y requirement) The average dietary energy intake that is predicted
to maintain energy balance in a healthy adult of
defined age, gender, weight, height and level of
physical activity, consistent with good health. In
children and pregnant and lactating women, the
EER is taken to include the needs associated with
the deposition of tissues or the secretion of milk at
rates consistent with good health.
0L (upper IeveI of intake) The highest level of continuing daily nutrient
intake likely to pose no adverse health effects in
almost all individuals.
Source: NHMRC 2006.
The RDI, AI and UL recommendations have been used in this paper. Readers are referred to
the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary
Intakes (NHMRC 2006) for detailed information on how the NRV values were derived. The
RDIs (or AI where no RDI exists) for women aged 14–18 years are given in Appendix 9, and
for 19–50 years in Appendix 10.
9 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1.4 5ources of data
The food and nutrient intake data are largely taken from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey
(NNS97) (Russell et al 1999). The data are reported using the median value (50th percentile),
following the convention used in the NNS97 report.
Food and nutrient data are also reported from several regional studies (Benny et al 1991;
Watson and McDonald 1999; McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993; Todd and Parnell 1994). A brief
description of these studies follows.
Benny et al assessed the diets of 115 pregnant women in the Wellington region using
24-hour dietary recall. Women came from three ethnic groups: European (61), Ma¯ ori (29) and
Pacific peoples (25). The data are reported using the mean value.
Watson and McDonald studied 504 women from three ethnic groups: New Zealand European
(354), Ma¯ ori (102) and Pacific peoples (48). The subjects came from an area bounded by
Taupo in the south and Wellsford in the north. The data collection period was from month
four to month seven of pregnancy. Data collected included one 24-hour diet recall; three
one-day diet records; a two-day activity record; and height, weight and skinfolds at month
four and again at month seven of pregnancy. Iron, folate and vitamins A, E and beta-
carotene status were determined from blood samples taken around month five of pregnancy.
Demographic, medical and lifestyle details were obtained from questionnaires. The data are
reported using the mean value from month seven of pregnancy.
McKenzie-Parnell et al assessed the dietary intake of 95 healthy pregnant Dunedin women
using three-day weighed records at about 12 weeks, 24 weeks and 36 weeks of gestation.
The data are reported using the median value (50th percentile) from the second trimester of
pregnancy.
Todd and Parnell assessed the dietary habits of 73 Dunedin women who had been
exclusively breastfeeding for three months. Demographic data, dietary habits and nutrient
intakes, as determined by two 24-hour recalls, were collected from each woman. The data
are reported using the mean value.
10 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 2: MaternaI £ner¿y, MaternaI wei¿ht and
Infant 8irthwei¿ht
2.1 £ner¿y requirements and intakes in pre¿nant and
breastfeedin¿ women
2.1.1 8ack¿round
Pre¿nancy
Energy requirements increase in pregnancy by about 12 percent. This is because of the
increase in maternal body weight, an average 10–15 percent increase in basal metabolic
rate (BMR), the energy costs of the growing foetus, and maternal physiological changes in
pregnancy. Energy requirements are higher in later pregnancy but may be, at least partially,
offset by the mobilisation of fat stored in early pregnancy.
In well-nourished women, optimal weight gain and outcome of pregnancy can be attained
over a very wide range of energy intakes. Many women sustain a pregnancy with a successful
outcome on less than the recommended energy intake. This probably reflects different
adaptive strategies that can be used to meet the additional energy demands of pregnancy,
as follows:
• intake can be increased
• nutrients can be more efficiently used, by increasing absorption or by reducing excretion
• BMR may be reduced
• diet-induced thermogenesis can be reduced
• physical activity can be reduced (Kopp-Hoolihan et al 1999)
• growth in new tissue or fat deposition in maternal stores can be reduced.
These adaptive strategies are mechanisms that enable women to sustain a pregnancy under
a wide range of conditions, including sub-optimal nutrition. However, there is a limit to the
physiological capacity of the body to adjust nutrient metabolism, and foetal growth and
development may be compromised. In under-nourished women, or adolescent mothers who
are still growing, nutrients are preferentially partitioned to the mother, effectively protecting
nutrient stores from foetal demand, so that foetal growth is compromised to a greater extent
than maternal growth (Wallace et al 2001).
There are variable changes in BMR that may be, at least partially, related to pre-pregnancy
body mass index (BMI
1
). Women with the least increase in BMR tend to be thinner (Prentice
1994), whereas fatter women tend to experience an increase in BMR (Prentice and Goldberg
2000). Maternal activity tends to decrease in pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester,
so energy is conserved, although in sedentary women the energy saving consequences of
decreased activity are probably minimal.
1 Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio used to determine healthy weight ranges for humans, and has been used to define the medical
standard for overweight and obesity. BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres.
11 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
8reastfeedin¿
There is an increase in energy requirement during breastfeeding because of the energy cost
of producing breast milk. The specific energy cost reflects the volume produced and the
energy density of the breast milk. In the first six months of breastfeeding, milk production
tends to increase, but thereafter production rates vary with weaning practices.
An increase in food intake can be a source of energy to meet the increased energy
requirement during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding women are generally reported to increase
their energy intake to, at least partly, accommodate their increased energy expenditure (Todd
and Parnell 1994). However, evidence from developing countries suggests that some women
do not increase their energy intake but still produce adequate milk (Prentice et al 1996).
Maternal fat stores are a significant source of energy to support breastfeeding. Weight
loss, because of mobilisation of body fat, is reported in most populations of breastfeeding
women, even among malnourished women. Well-nourished women are reported to lose an
average of 800 g per month for the first six months of breastfeeding (Butte and Hopkinson
1998); under-nourished women are reported to lose, on average, about 100 g per month
(Butte and Hopkinson 1998).
Other mechanisms to consider in the energy balance of breastfeeding women are changes
in BMR and diet-induced thermogenesis. There is some evidence that energy savings occur
through these mechanisms, although a review of the research suggests that they are not
significant in well-nourished women (Institute of Medicine 2002).
Physical activity levels during breastfeeding are very variable. There is evidence that women
in developed countries reduce their level of physical activity in the early months post-partum
(van Raaij et al 1991; Goldberg et al 1991; Butte 2000b).
2.1.2 £ner¿y intakes durin¿ breastfeedin¿ and miIk voIume
Milk volume is the result of infant demand rather than a reflection of maternal capacity (Daly
and Hartmann 1995). A woman’s diet will not usually limit her ability to produce sufficient
breast milk (with perhaps the exception of severe energy restriction), because maternal
nutrition has only a modest effect on breast milk production and composition (Riordan
2005). Sufficiency of breast milk supply should be judged by infant growth and development.
Low milk volumes have been observed in populations of under-nourished women, but this
is thought to be mainly because of low infant demand associated with low birthweight and/
or illness (Prentice et al 1983). Energy supplementation of malnourished women does not
usually increase milk volume. However, women with very low body fat might protect their
own body stores and be able to exclusively breastfeed for longer if they had an increased
energy intake (Prentice et al 1980).
Demand-fed infants effectively regulate their energy intake (and milk volume), so the volume
an infant consumes depends on milk energy density. The density is associated with maternal
anthropometry (Perez-Escamilla et al 1995; Nommsen et al 1991) and pregnancy weight gain
(Michaelsen et al 1994). Restricting dietary energy intake has been found to result in reduced
breast milk energy density for some, predominantly leaner, women (McCrory et al 1999).
12 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Moderate reduction of dietary energy intake by the overweight breastfeeding woman, with
the intention of losing body weight, does not appear to reduce milk volume, nor affect
breast milk composition or infant weight gain (Lovelady et al 2000). However, there may be a
plateau of energy intake below which milk production is compromised. In one study, energy
restriction to less than 7500 kJ (1800 kcal) per day for one week resulted in decreased milk
volume, although the effect on total milk energy output was not measured (Strode et al
1986). Maternal physical activity does not appear to affect milk volume (Lovelady et al 1990;
2000).
While a number of studies suggest that weight loss of approximately 0.5 kg per week will not
compromise breastfeeding, it is important to note that these results may not be applicable
to women with a BMI less than 25, or if the energy restriction is for a longer period of time
(ie, over 12 weeks). It is also worth noting that these studies have not examined more subtle
indicators of health and satisfaction, such as baby fussiness and maternal fatigue.
Unsettled infant behaviour is often attributed to insufficient milk production, although there
is no scientific evidence that this is usually the cause. Mothers tend not to use objective
measures for assessing adequate milk production, such as infant growth or urinary output.
It is important that women understand the relationship between infant demand and
milk production so that they do not introduce infant formula unnecessarily. In a Dunedin
study, only 58 percent of the women were aware of this relationship, and insufficient milk
production was the most common reason for using infant formula (Heath et al 2002).
2.1.3 Recommended ener¿y intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
Pre¿nancy
The recommended energy intake for pregnant women is: no extra energy requirement in
the first trimester, 1400 kilojoules (kJ) or 340 kilocalories (kcal) extra energy per day for the
second trimester and 1900 kJ (452 kcal) extra energy per day for the third trimester (NHMRC
2006).
These recommendations for energy intakes are derived from the sum of the energy
requirement of non-pregnant women, plus increments for average changes in energy
expenditure, and for the energy content of the gain in fat mass in pregnancy (NHMRC 2006).
Note that there are large variations in requirements according to pre-pregnancy body weight,
so care needs to be taken in applying these figures to individuals.
8reastfeedin¿
The average extra daily energy requirement for breastfeeding is 2000–2100 kJ (476–500
kcal) per day (NHMRC 2006).
The value of 2000 kJ (476kcal) for extra daily energy requirement assumes full breastfeeding
in the first six months, milk production of 780 ml per day, milk energy content of 2.8 kJ/g
(0.67kcal/g), 80 percent efficiency, no change in physical activity level, and 720 kJ (172kcal)
per day weight loss (FAO et al 2004). In the second six months of breastfeeding, milk
production is about 600 ml per day. However, energy requirements remain the same because
body fat stores are reduced and not available as an energy source.
13 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The efficiency of milk energy production from food energy appears to be higher than the 80
percent used above, but the consensus remains at that value (Riordan 2005).
The recommended energy intakes for breastfeeding are based on a slow loss of
approximately 5 kg body weight during the first six months post-partum and on the
understanding that weight loss is compatible with breastfeeding (see section 2.1.2).
2.1.4 £ner¿y intakes in pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women in hew ZeaIand
Pre¿nancy
A New Zealand regional survey of dietary intake in pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999)
found that the energy intake of pregnant women was higher in the second trimester than
the third. Overall mean intakes were 9508 kJ (2264 Kcal) per day in month four and 9186
kJ (2187 Kcal) per day in month seven. This is consistent with earlier findings (Benny et al
1991; McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993). The lesser energy intake in the third trimester compared
with the second was more marked in Ma¯ ori and Pacific women. All of these studies found
that although energy intake increased in pregnancy it was less than the recommendations.
However, most women gave birth to a healthy infant within the optimal birthweight range.
8reastfeedin¿
The mean energy intake of breastfeeding women in Dunedin was 8411 kJ (2000 kcal) per day
(Todd and Parnell 1994). This energy intake for Dunedin women is similar to reported intakes
in other developed countries. The median energy intake for non-pregnant women aged
25–44 years in New Zealand was 8175 kJ (1946 kcal) per day (Russell et al 1999).
Energy intakes at the observed levels are not likely to adversely affect breastfeeding
or maternal wellbeing, but because of the increased need for all micronutrients during
breastfeeding it is important that the foods chosen are nutrient dense.
2.1.5 5ources of ener¿y in the diet
The principal sources of energy in the diet for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are
bread (12 percent); potatoes and ku¯ mara (7 percent); milk, cakes and muffins (each 6
percent); butter and margarine, and beverages (non-alcoholic) (both 5 percent) (Russell et al
1999).
A regional study of pregnant women found that for European and Ma¯ ori women in the third
trimester, the percentage of energy obtained from specific food groups was highest from
dairy, followed by cereals and baking. For Pacific women, the highest percentage was from
cereals, followed by dairy and fruit (Benny et al 1991).
14 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
2.2 wei¿ht chan¿es for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
2.2.1 CestationaI wei¿ht ¿ain and ¿estationaI wei¿ht ¿ain recommendations
Gestational weight gain (GWG) is made up of several components, including water (about 62
percent), fat mass (about 30 percent) and fat-free mass (protein, about 8 percent) (Hytten
and Leitch 1971). The component of GWG most clearly associated with increased birthweight
is maternal water (plasma) volume (Rush 2001). Appropriate expansion of plasma volume is
associated with a favourable outcome of pregnancy.
It is recognised that adequate GWG is required for optimal pregnancy outcome, and it is
one of the best predictors for birthweight (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003). Weight gained in
pregnancy tends to have a greater effect on birthweight in small, thin women than it does in
women with a higher BMI.
In affluent populations, foetal weight is about 25 percent of the total weight gained. Where
nutrition is poorer and maternal BMI is low, foetal weight is a considerably bigger proportion
of GWG (Prentice and Goldberg 2000).
The increased fat mass is deposited in a gynoid-type fat distribution (ie, at the thigh) and to
a lesser extent on the hips and trunk (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). The gain in fat is higher in
pregnant women with a higher pre-pregnancy BMI (Butte et al 2003).
Pre-pregnancy weight and GWG are correlated. Women with a higher pre-pregnancy BMI
tend to gain more weight in pregnancy and to have heavier infants (Kramer 2003). Women
with a low pre-pregnancy BMI (less than 20) are more dependent during pregnancy on
their nutritional intake in order to achieve good weight gain. In these women there is an
association between birthweight and micronutrient intakes, particularly zinc, calcium and
magnesium, suggesting that one or more micronutrients might be a limiting factor for foetal
growth (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003). Women who are most likely to have a low pre-
pregnancy BMI include those following restrictive diets (eg, to control their weight), those
with substance abuse problems (including alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs), and those with
underprivileged backgrounds (lower income and education).
Women with low GWG are more likely to be young, short, thin, less educated and smokers.
Lower than recommended GWG is associated with increased risk of pre-term delivery or
restricted foetal growth (Abrams et al 2000).
Women with high GWG are more likely to be tall, heavy, primiparous (pregnant for the first
time) and hypertensive (having high blood pressure). Women with high GWG are also more
likely to retain substantial post-partum weight. High GWG is associated with macrosomia
(more than 4000g at birth) (see section 2.3.2)
Pacific women were found to have both the highest pre-pregnancy BMI and the highest
GWG in pregnancy, which means they are potentially more vulnerable to weight retention
problems post-partum (see section 6.1).
GWG should not be considered in isolation from other aspects of maternal diet. The
nutritional quality of the diet is critical. Women who eat energy-dense, nutrient-poor food
15 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
may gain adequate or excessive weight but may have compromised nutritional intake and be
at increased risk for an adverse pregnancy outcome (Kramer 1998).
There are some groups of women, including adolescents, who may require extra support and
advice about weight gain and energy intake in pregnancy. These include women who were
underweight or overweight before pregnancy, those with a current or previous history of an
eating disorder or restrained eating, and those who are ceasing or reducing smoking. Women
who have been restrained eaters prior to pregnancy may interpret pregnancy as a ‘green
light’ to eat without constraint (Clark and Ogden 1999).
Pre-pregnancy BMI should be ascertained (ACOG 2005). This will identify those women with
extremes of BMI who should be referred to a registered dietitian for advice on achieving a
nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain in pregnancy. Regular monitoring
of weight changes performed as part of a woman’s antenatal care may identify extremes
of weight gain, and alert practitioners to sub-optimal weight gain or acute and significant
increments in weight that may indicate pre-eclampsia. However, monitoring weight needs
to be undertaken with care to avoid having a negative effect on body image or creating
unwarranted concerns (Dawes and Grudzinskas 1991).
The following limitations of using pre-pregnancy BMI should be noted. BMI tends to
correlate with fat mass but is not an actual measure of fat. Women who are very active
with a high muscle mass may have a misleading BMI, which overestimates their body fat.
The relationship between BMI and body fat also varies with ethnicity. The classifications
of underweight, normal, overweight and obese are based on adults of European descent.
People of Asian origin carry a higher fat mass for a given BMI and people of Polynesian
origin have a proportionately lower fat mass for a given BMI, so different cut-off points are
appropriate (see Table 3).
1abIe 3: Appropriate 8MI cut-offs for different ethnic ¿roups
CIassification 8MI (k¿]m2)
hew ZeaIand
£uropeans
a

Maori and Pacific
peopIes
a

Asian popuIations
b

Underweight
Normal range
Overweight
Obese
< 18.5
18.5–25
25–30
> 30
< 18.5
18.5–26
26–32
> 32
< 18.5
18.5–22.9
23–27.4
> 27.5
Sources:
a
Swinburn et al 1999,
b
WHO Expert Consultation 2004.
Nutrition During Pregnancy (Institute of Medicine 1990) provides target ranges of
recommended weight gains by pre-pregnancy BMI (see Table 4). These can be a useful guide,
but care must be taken in applying these values to individuals. Consideration must also be
given to the rate of weight gain.
16 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1abIe 4: Recommended totaI wei¿ht ¿ain in pre¿nant women, by pre-pre¿nancy 8MI (k¿]m
2
)
wei¿ht-for-hei¿ht cate¿ory Recommended totaI ¿ain (k¿)
Low (BMI < 19.8)
Normal (BMI 19.8–26.0)
High BMI (BMI >26.0–29.0)
Obese (BMI > 29.0)
12.5–18.0
11.5–16.0
7.0–11.0
6.0
Source: Institute of Medicine 1990.
Notes:
Adolescents should strive for gains at the upper end of the recommended range.
Short women (< 1.57 m) should strive for gains at the lower end of the range.
The Institute of Medicine uses slightly different cut-off points for weight-for-height (BMI) categories than the
New Zealand Ministry of Health – see Table 3.
Weight gains outside the Institute of Medicine’s suggested ranges are associated with
double the number of poor pregnancy outcomes as weight gains within the ranges (Abrams
et al 2000).
A review of wide-scale programmes of nutritional intervention during pregnancy in a range
of countries found that the average GWG was 13 kg (Rush 2001). However, there is a broad
physiological range of GWG from 10 to 30 percent of pre-pregnancy weight. Women with low
or high pre-pregnant BMI are more likely to be given incorrect advice on their target weight
gain (Stotland et al 2005).
Another review found that women who gained less than the recommended GWG had a
significantly higher chance of never breastfeeding than those who gained the recommended
weight. Women who gained more or less than the recommended gains but went on to
breastfeed, fed for about one week less than those who gained the recommended weight (ie,
for about 12 weeks rather than 13 weeks (Li et al 2003).
2.2.2 1he rate of ¿estationaI wei¿ht ¿ain
The rate of GWG is much lower in the first trimester compared with the second and third
trimesters. However, maternal weight gain in the first half of pregnancy may have an
important effect on foetal growth throughout the pregnancy (Brown et al 2002; Neufeld et al
2004). Although 90 percent of foetal growth occurs in the second half of gestation, the first
half of pregnancy can be considered to be preparation for the later demands of foetal growth.
Maternal fat stores (3.3 kg on average) are gained predominantly between the 10th and 30th
week of gestation and provide an energy reserve that can be mobilised when foetal growth
demands are high in late pregnancy. A third of weight gain should occur in the second
trimester, and two-thirds in the third trimester (NHMRC 2006).
For women in the normal range of pre-pregnancy BMI, the recommended rate of gain is
approximately 0.4 kg/week in the second and third trimesters; for women in the underweight
range of pre-pregnancy BMI it is approximately 0.5 kg/week; and for women in the
overweight range of pre-pregnancy BMI it is approximately 0.3 kg/week. For obese women
the rate should be determined on an individual basis (Institute of Medicine 1990).
17 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
2.2.3 £ner¿y restriction in pre¿nancy
Severe energy restriction to lose weight is not appropriate in pregnancy. It is unlikely
to be beneficial and may harm the foetus ( 2003a). Inadequate energy and nutritional
intake, particularly in the first trimester, is associated with an increased incidence of
low birthweight infants, with associated impacts on later health (see section 2.3.1) and
congenital abnormalities, such as neural tube defects (Carmichael et al 2003). Excessive
weight loss in pregnancy can produce ketone bodies and other metabolites that can create
metabolic stress and may be detrimental to foetal development. Maternal health may also be
compromised, and breast growth and development in preparation for breastfeeding may be
affected.
Historically, there were two reasons for recommendations to restrict energy and protein
intakes in pregnant women: the risk of developing pre-eclampsia and to prevent obesity.
However, energy and/or protein restriction has no effect on the development of pre-
eclampsia, and excessive weight gain is the result, not the cause, of the underlying clinical
pathology. In obese women, severe energy restriction is associated with a reduction of mean
birthweight (Merialdi et al 2003), although some moderate reduction of energy intake to
control weight gain may be appropriate.
2.2.4 Return to pre-pre¿nancy wei¿ht
Breastfeeding is associated with post-partum weight loss, but weight loss is highly variable
(Butte et al 2003). It has been suggested that periods of breastfeeding longer than six
months are required to ensure significant weight loss (Kac et al 2004).
The pattern and timing of weight loss during breastfeeding vary. The pattern of body fat loss
generally reverses the pattern of weight gain during pregnancy, with loss of subcutaneous fat
and fat from the hips and thighs (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). The rate of weight loss among
well-nourished women may be primarily associated with a desire to lose weight and be
the result of an intentional reduction of dietary energy intake (Rogers et al 1997). Although
the additional energy requirement of breastfeeding leads people to expect a greater rate
of weight loss among breastfeeding women, this does not always appear to be the case
(Chou et al 1999; Wosje and Kalkwarf 2004). Most women lose weight gradually while
breastfeeding, some women actually gain weight, and others lose weight relatively rapidly.
Women need to allow adequate time to readjust after pregnancy, and weight loss after
delivery should not be expected to occur before 9–12 months. There is a lack of information
on rates of weight loss while breastfeeding after the first 12 months post-partum among well-
nourished women.
Post-partum weight and fat retention are significantly correlated to GWG, specifically
gestational fat mass gain (Butte et al 2003). Women with high post-partum weight are more
likely to have gained excessive weight during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy (Brown et al
2002).
Controlled studies in well-nourished women living in developed countries suggest that, on
average, women increase body weight between conception and one year post-partum by
0.5–3.3 kg (Ellison and Harris 2000). Variations in post-partum weight retention suggest that
it is not solely attributable to the effects of pregnancy (and/or the immediate post-partum
period). Increased body weight is associated with age, increased parity, socioeconomic and
18 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
marital status, increased intake, decreased activity, and other factors such as psychosocial
stress, isolation and loneliness, which may become apparent in the post-partum period.
There are difficulties in accurately assessing the extent of weight retention following
pregnancy. Body composition can change from very early in the first trimester and many
women do not return to their pre-pregnancy weight, so it is difficult to determine a reliable
baseline BMI measurement (Kopp-Hoolihan et al 1999). The difficulties are compounded by
women self-reporting pre-pregnancy weights that have a skewed distribution, suggesting
they report a desired rather than an actual pre-pregnancy weight.
Physical activity alone, without intentional moderate reduction in energy intake, does not
seem to lead to weight loss, because exercising women tend to have higher dietary energy
intakes than their sedentary counterparts (Lovelady et al 1990; Dewey 1998). Breastfeeding
women may accelerate weight loss by reducing energy intake and increasing physical
activity. A weight loss of 0.5 kg per week in overweight breastfeeding women, achieved by
moderate reduction in energy intake and increase in physical activity, does not appear to
affect milk production (Lovelady et al 2000), although researchers have not assessed more
subtle indicators, such as infant satisfaction (Lovelady et al 1990). If physical activity is
included along with moderate reduction in energy intake, most of the weight lost will be body
fat (McCrory et al 1999). Loss of body fat associated with breastfeeding may be more likely
after 12 weeks post-partum (McCrory et al 1999; Lovelady et al 2000).
High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended while breastfeeding and during
pregnancy. It will be difficult to achieve adequate intakes of micronutrients, and to meet the
requirement for glucose for lactose synthesis, lactose being the primary sugar in breast milk.
Although the body can produce some glucose itself, it is not clear that sufficient quantities
can be produced to support a high rate of milk synthesis, with a possible result of reduced
milk supply. The flavour and odour of breast milk may also be affected by the presence of
ketone bodies (Heinig and Doberne 2004), which may be produced as a result of a high-
protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
If a breastfeeding woman chooses to reduce her dietary energy intake, it is important that the
foods then chosen are nutrient dense, because the requirements for micronutrients increase
during breastfeeding.
2.3 Infant birthwei¿ht
2.3.1 Low birthwei¿ht
Low birthweight is defined as being less than 2500g at birth (UNICEF and WHO 2004). Low
birthweight may be caused by ¿rowth restriction (of the foetus before birth), or pre-term
birth. Growth restriction (or its outcomes) can also be described as small for gestational age
(SGA), or intrauterine growth restriction/retardation (IUGR). Growth restriction and pre-term
birth can occur together – in other words, some babies are small both because of growth
restriction during pregnancy and being born pre-term.
There are a number of causes of low birthweight, some of which overlap (see Table 5).
19 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1abIe 5: PossibIe causative factors, in order of importance, and concerns for Iow
birthwei¿ht infants
Crowth-restricted infants Pre-term infants
Definition Small for gestational age: less than
10th percentile of weight for a
given age
Less than 37 completed weeks of
gestation
Possible factors
involved in causing
low birthweight
Low gestational weight gain
Low maternal energy intake
Low pre-pregnancy BMI
Maternal short stature
Cigarette smoking
Pregnancy-induced hypertension
Primiparity
Congenital anomalies
Other genetic factors
Urinary tract infection
Multiple birth
Pregnancy-induced hypertension
Low pre-pregnancy BMI
Incompetent cervix
Prior pre-term birth
Placental abruption
Heavy work
Cigarette smoking
Concerns and risks
for low birthweight
infants
Increased risk of stillbirth and
neonatal death
Short-term risks of increased
morbidity from:
• hypoglycaemia
• hypocalcaemia
• polycythaemia
Long-term risks of:
• small but permanent deficits
in growth and neurocognitive
development
• increased risk of type 2 diabetes,
hypertension and coronary artery
disease in adult life
Increased infant mortality
Short- and long-term problems
with lungs, eyes and nervous
system development and function
Delayed psychomotor
development
Source: Table adapted from Kramer 2003.
The most adverse outcomes arise in the most immature infants. There may be difficulties in
forming parent–infant relationships with low birthweight infants who require prolonged early
hospitalisation. Social support and referral to specialist maternal mental health services may
be required.
The use of birthweight as the outcome measure of pregnancy success is widespread, partly
because birthweight is easy to measure, and infant mortality increases exponentially as
birthweight decreases (Kramer 1998b). However, birthweight is a crude outcome measure
of optimal intrauterine growth and development. Sub-optimal maternal body composition
and nutrient intake can have a long-term effect on body composition and development of
specific tissues and organs in the infant without necessarily affecting size at birth (Godfrey
2001).
20 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Incidence of Iow birthwei¿ht in hew ZeaIand
Most infants born with low birthweight in New Zealand are born pre-term rather than growth
restricted. In most cases, the cause(s) of pre-term birth are not known. In 2002, 6.5 percent
of infants born in New Zealand weighed less than 2500 g at birth and 1.3 percent weighed
less than 1500 g (New Zealand Health Information Service 2004). The rate of low birthweight
is highest in Asian and Ma¯ ori and lowest in Pacific peoples, with New Zealand European/
Other being intermediate (see Table 6).
1abIe 6: Rate of Iow birthwei¿ht per 1000 Iive births, by ethnicity
£thnicity 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Asian 77.7 72.1 75.3 68.3 77.7 73.0 80.5 78.1 73.7
Ma¯ ori 69.5 75.8 72.2 72.8 72.1 78.5 76.7 69.2 69.6
Pacific
peoples
44.5 43.0 44.9 48.5 50.7 48.0 46.4 44.9 46.4
NZ European/
Other
64.3 60.0 61.8 62.7 60.8 63.3 64.9 58.0 58.6
Total 64.6 63.6 63.8 64.4 64.1 66.6 67.4 61.5 61.8
Source: Unpublished vital statistics and external migration data from Statistics New Zealand
The incidence of low birthweight is increasing with time, which reflects an increased obstetric
intervention (to decrease stillbirth and maternal morbidity and mortality) and the increased
incidence of twin births as a result of infertility treatment (Elster 2000).
Impact of Iow birthwei¿ht
Low birthweight has been associated with increased rates of coronary heart disease,
stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus, independent of the effect of maternal
lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol intake, socioeconomic status and physical activity (Barker
2004). The foetal origins of disease hypothesis (Barker hypothesis) proposes that these
chronic diseases originate in utero in response to undernutrition during critical periods of
development. Undernutrition of the foetus occurs when the maternal supply of nutrients
is unable to meet foetal demands, and is due to a range of factors including genetics,
maternal body composition, dietary intake, metabolic state, and placental function (Barker
and Godfrey 2004). The undernutrition affects foetal growth and development and makes
the individual more vulnerable to adverse environmental influences in later life. In infancy,
low birthweight may be followed by rapid weight gain or persistent low weight, and both
situations may lead to the increased rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension
and type 2 diabetes mellitus linked with low birthweight.
Barker based his hypothesis on studies on a cohort of English men and women born
between 1911 and 1970. Later studies in Scandanavia, continuing analysis of results of
the Dutch Famine in World War 2, and ongoing work by Barker have added support for the
hypothesis. The hypothesis remains unproven, so any intervention based on it should be
conservative and not present a potential risk to the health of pregnant women and the foetus
(NHMRC 2003).
21 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Those caring for a woman during pregnancy need to consider whether there are any factors
that may prevent a healthy birthweight and provide advice and assistance to remove
any barriers. These factors are discussed in section 2.3.3. Optimising the intrauterine
environment may contribute to breaking the cycle of socioeconomic deprivation and high
disease risk in later life (Godfrey and Barker 2003).
2.3.2 Ri¿h birthwei¿ht
High birthweight (macrosomia) is defined as more than 4000 g at birth. Infants weighing
more than 4000 g have increased risk of adverse outcome of delivery (death and birth
difficulties (such as shoulder dystocia) and a higher risk of childhood morbidity) (Orskou et
al 2003) and increased risk for the infant of obesity and type 2 diabetes in later life.
The rate of high birthweight is highest in Pacific peoples and New Zealand European/Other
people, and lowest in Asian people, with Ma¯ ori being intermediate (see Table 7).
1abIe 7: Rate of hi¿h birthwei¿ht per 1000 Iive births, by ethnicity
Ethnicity 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Asian 53.3 53.9 64.1 61.6 60.9 58.2 61.8 64.3 53.8
Ma¯ ori 103.4 105.1 112.5 111.0 117.7 116.8 122.9 124.6 128.2
Pacific
peoples
197.9 202.1 190.3 206.7 216.3 212.7 214.7 220.8 206.9
NZ European/
Other
140.7 146.9 145.1 153.7 156.2 152.1 149.7 155.3 160.9
Total 131.8 134.4 136.0 141.1 144.9 142.0 142.1 145.5 146.3
Source: Unpublished vital statistics and external migration data from Statistics New Zealand
2.3.3 factors affectin¿ infant birthwei¿ht
There are a number of factors that are known to affect birthweight (see Table 5). Several of
these factors are not independent and there may be considerable overlap.
£thnicity
A study comparing mean birthweights (adjusted for length) of New Zealand’s main ethnic
groups found that, overall, Ma¯ ori infants were approximately 50 g lighter than New Zealand
European infants, but this difference was not statistically significant (McCowan and Stewart
2004). Tongan and Samoan infants were significantly heavier, and Indian infants were
significantly lighter, than infants from all other ethnic groups. Chinese infants were also
significantly lighter, with a mean birthweight 100 g less than New Zealand European infants.
MaternaI size
Maternal pre-pregnancy weight and height strongly and positively correlate with birthweight,
with weight having the strongest bearing. Having a low pre-pregnancy BMI is one of the
strongest predictors of poor pregnancy outcome and interacts with other factors such as
smoking and stress (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003). Women with a BMI of less than
20 kg/m
2
are more likely to deliver a pre-term or low-birthweight infant (Kramer 2003),
particularly if their weight gain in pregnancy is low.
22 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
In practice, thinner women tend to have lighter infants than heavier women, even when
gestational weight gain is taken into account. Obese women tend to have heavier infants.
MaternaI a¿e
Extremes of maternal age are associated with an increased risk of delivering a low
birthweight infant (Ozalp et al 2003). Adolescent pregnancy is associated with an increased
incidence of low birthweight infants, partly because low parity and lack of antenatal care
influence birthweight (Loto et al 2004). Young maternal age is also associated with low pre-
pregnancy BMI and adverse behavioural risk factors (Cogswell and Yip 1995). Older mothers
(above 35 years) also have a higher incidence of low birthweight than women less than 35
years; the reasons for this are not known, but may be related to declining placental adequacy
with age (Cogswell and Yip 1995). In New Zealand, over the last 20 years the number of
women giving birth over the age of 30 has increased, while births among younger women
have decreased. In 2002 half of all births were to women 29 years of age or younger (New
Zealand Health Information Service 2004).
MaternaI medicaI conditions and history
Maternal medical conditions (eg, hypertension) and episodic illness may restrict foetal
growth. Urinary tract infections, which may be asymptomatic and undiagnosed, are also
implicated in some pre-term births. Peridontal disease has been linked with pre-term
delivery. There is a higher incidence of low birthweight infants born to mothers who have
previously had a low birthweight infant or spontaneous abortion (Zhang and Klebanoff
2004). There is also an intergenerational effect: women who were born of low birthweight are
more likely to have a low birthweight child (and even grandchild) (Alberman et al 1992). This
may be because of a metabolic adjustment to assure a foetal weight that is proportional to
maternal size.
AntenataI care
Antenatal care has a positive effect on the outcome of pregnancy, particularly if it is started
in early pregnancy and if there is good compliance with recommendations (Blondel et al
1993). Early antenatal care can be instrumental in identifying risk factors and determining
appropriate intervention or monitoring of the pregnancy. Regular contact with the LMC,
and monitoring of the progress of the pregnancy (including determination of pre-pregnancy
weight, height and BMI and iron status) are recommended for all pregnant women.
Cender and birth order
Male infants are slightly heavier than females (Catalano and Kirwan 2001). Parity also
influences birthweight: first-born infants tend to be slightly lighter than second and
subsequent siblings (Robinson et al 2000).
23 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
MuItipIe births
Multiple births are usually associated with higher rates of low birthweight, due to either or
both growth restriction and pre-term birth. In studies conducted in a range of countries, the
average birth weight of twins ranged from 2300 to 2600g, and for triplets the average weight
was 1800g (Brown and Carlson 2000).
5ocioeconomic status
The socioeconomic status of the mother is associated with birthweight. Rates of low
birthweight infants are higher in areas with a higher level of socioeconomic deprivation
(Neilsen Ltd 2003). Birthweight is also related to income level and accessibility to health
care, education and housing (Kramer et al 2000). See section 4.2.
MaternaI stressors
Maternal stressors are associated with low birthweight, both growth restriction and pre-term
birth. These stressors are perceived stress, chronic and acute life-event stress, physical
abuse, strenuous physical work, work-related stress, and pregnancy-related anxiety (Hobel
and Culhane 2003).
hutrition
Poor nutrition adversely affects birthweight because it affects pre-pregnancy BMI and
nutritional status, and gestational weight gain (Hobel and Culhane 2003). See sections 2.2
and 4.2.
AIcohoI
High alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a cluster of symptoms
classified as foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). One of the most consistent features of full FAS is
intrauterine and post-natal growth retardation (O’Leary 2004). See section 4.1.2.
Ci¿arette smokin¿
Cigarette smoking (or exposure to environmental or second-hand tobacco smoke) is probably
the most important single factor influencing the incidence of low birthweight infants in
developed countries (Chiriboga 2003). The birthweight of infants born to mothers who
smoke in pregnancy is, on average, 150–300 g less than the birthweight of those born to
mothers who do not smoke. An important contributing factor to the higher incidence of low
birthweight infants born to Ma¯ ori is the high proportion of Ma¯ ori women who smoke during
pregnancy (Ministry of Health 2003d). See section 4.1.3.
IIIicit dru¿s
Most illicit drugs can cross the placenta and enter the foetal blood. The most serious
consequences are pre-term birth and low birthweight, birth defects, growth restriction, small
head size, impaired neurodevelopment, poor motor skills, learning disabilities, behavioural
problems, increased risk of infection and sudden infant death syndrome (Spear et al 2002).
Use of illicit drugs can increase the risk of miscarriage, pre-term labour and placental
abruption. See section 4.1.4.
24 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Caffeine
Birthweight is reduced by high caffeine consumption, but this is unlikely to be of clinical
importance except in women consuming more than 600 mg of caffeine per day (Bracken et al
2003). See section 4.1.7.
Medications
Any prescribed medications may cross the placenta and possibly affect the foetus. It is
important that no medications be taken except under supervision of the LMC. See section
4.1.5.
2.4 PracticaI advice for ener¿y intake and wei¿ht ¿ain for pre¿nant
and breastfeedin¿ women
2.4.1 Pre¿nancy
• Pregnant women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the recommended
number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the
Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
• Pre-pregnancy height and weight should be measured and BMI recorded.
• Women who have a BMI of 19.8–26 kg/m2 before pregnancy should be encouraged to
gain around 11.5–16 kg. See Table 4 for details of recommended weight gain for other
BMI ranges.
• For women in the normal range of pre-pregnancy BMI, the recommended rate of gain is
approximately 0.4 kg/week in the second and third trimesters.
• Dieting to lose weight is not recommended during pregnancy.
• Women who have a habitually low energy intake (< 8000 kJ [1900 kcal] per day) and enter
pregnancy with a low BMI (< 20 kg/m2) should be referred to a registered dietitian for
advice on achieving a nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain.
• Women with a current or previous history of an eating disorder or restrained eating may
require support and advice from a registered dietitian about weight gain and energy
intake in pregnancy.
• Factors affecting infant birthweight (eg, socioeconomic status, alcohol use and cigarette
smoking) should be assessed, and appropriate advice and support offered (see relevant
sections).
• Pregnant women should enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. The aim is to be
physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not all days of
the week.
• Regular, moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be
maintained to help achieve the recommended weight gain.
2.4.2 8reastfeedin¿
• Breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the
recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1) and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
25 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Rapid weight loss (more than 0.5 kg per week) is not recommended while breastfeeding.
Expect weight loss to be slow, and it may take up to 12 months before there is a return to
pre-pregnancy weight.
• Breastfeeding women should enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. The aim is to be
physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not all days of
the week.
• Regular, moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be
maintained to help achieve return to pre-pregnancy weight.
26 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 3: hutrients, foods and ûrinks
3.1 Protein
3.1.1 8ack¿round
Proteins are made of amino acids. The body can synthesise some amino acids, whereas
the indispensable (formerly known as essential) amino acids must be obtained from food.
Proteins are necessary to build and repair tissue, for synthesising hormones, enzymes and
antibodies, and for many other bodily functions. Adequate energy intake is required along
with adequate dietary protein intake to allow protein and amino acids to be used for these
functions.
Protein requirements increase in pregnancy to support maternal tissue synthesis and
foetal growth, principally in the third trimester. There seems to be a metabolic adaptation
in pregnancy that enhances the efficiency of protein synthesis from the start of pregnancy
(Duggleby and Jackson 2002).
Sources of protein vary in their nutritional value, digestibility, efficiency of use and ratio of
indispensable amino acids. Proteins from animal sources – such as meat, poultry, seafood,
eggs and milk and milk products – tend to be of higher protein quality because they provide
all nine indispensable amino acids. Proteins from plant-based sources may be limited in at
least one indispensable amino acid and so are used less efficiently. The majority of women
in New Zealand consume a diet that includes protein from a variety of sources (Russell et al
1999), so protein quality is unlikely to be a concern for most women. However, women who
consume predominantly plant-based proteins, particularly from a less varied diet, may have
a higher dietary requirement for protein in order to provide sufficient indispensable amino
acid intake (see section 4.5.2).
Low protein diets are associated with adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Protein intakes of
less than 75 g per day have been associated with low birthweight and birth length (Institute
of Medicine 2002), and intakes of less than 50 g per day with increased maternal morbidity
(Wynn and Wynn 1991). However, there does not seem to be a straightforward relationship
between maternal total protein intake and birthweight (Duggleby and Jackson 2002).
High protein intakes (over 20 percent of total energy) may have adverse effects on
birthweight and should be avoided (Rush et al 1980; Rush 1989). Ammonia and urea are
produced in protein metabolism, and the foetus has limited ability to detoxify ammonia and
excrete urea, particularly in the first trimester. In experimental animals, high protein intakes
(25 percent of total energy) during the foetal period have been linked to marked increases in
congenital abnormalities, thought to be related to high levels of ammonia (Gardner et al in
press). It is not clear whether similar effects might be seen in humans.
The relationship between breast milk protein content and maternal diet and nutritional
status is inconclusive. Some studies have found lower levels of protein in the breast milk
and colostrum of malnourished women, while others found similar levels (Emmett and
Rogers 1997). Protein supplementation in the mother has resulted in small increases in milk
protein in some studies (seen in well-nourished women when increasing protein from 8 to
20 percent of energy), while others found daily protein milk output did not change, but milk
27 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
volume increased and protein concentration dropped (Gopalan and Puri 1992). Even though
maternal dietary intake of protein has little effect on breastfeeding performance, protein
intake of over 1 g per kg per day conserves maternal lean body mass (Motil et al 1989; Motil
et al 1996).
3.1.2 Recommended protein intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
In the first trimester of pregnancy there is no additional protein requirement, so the RDI for
protein for pregnant women aged 19–50 years in the first trimester is 46 g per day
(0.75 g/kg/day).
In the second and third trimesters the RDI for protein for pregnant women aged 19–50 years
is 60 g per day (1.00 g/kg/day), and for women aged 14–18 years the RDI is 58 g per day
(1.02g/kg/day) (NHMRC 2006).
The RDI for breastfeeding women over 19 years is 67 g per day (1.1 g/kg/day). For women
aged 14–18 years the RDI is 63 g per day (1.1 g/kg/day) (NHMRC 2006).
The recommended percentage of total energy from protein for adults over 14 years of age is
14–25 percent (NHMRC 2006).
3.1.3 Protein intakes in hew ZeaIand
New Zealand women aged 25–44 years have a median protein intake of 75 g per day, or
15 percent of energy from protein (Russell et al 1999). Reported mean intakes of protein in
pregnant women range from 72 to 84 g per day (Benny et al 1991; McKenzie-Parnell et al
1993; Watson and McDonald 1999), or 15.6 percent of energy from protein (Watson and
McDonald 1999). New Zealand women in Dunedin who are breastfeeding have been found
to have mean protein intakes of 78 g per day, which was 16 percent of total energy intake
(Todd and Parnell 1994). Based on these data, the protein intake of New Zealand women of
childbearing age appears to be sufficient to meet the additional requirements of pregnancy
and breastfeeding. Therefore, it is not normally necessary to recommend that New Zealand
pregnant and breastfeeding women increase their protein intake.
3.1.4 5ources of protein in the diet
The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the following principal sources of protein in the
New Zealand diet for all New Zealand women: beef and veal (12 percent), bread (11 percent),
milk (11 percent), poultry (8 percent), fish and seafood (7 percent), bread-based dishes
(4 percent) and pork (5 percent).
3.1.5 PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least two servings of lean meat,
poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds or legumes per day.
• Regular consumption of the above foods, and wholegrain breads and cereals, as part of a
balanced and varied diet will ensure adequate protein intakes.
28 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Vegetarian diets in New Zealand usually contain adequate protein. Women choosing
vegan diets must ensure they eat a range of legumes, nuts, wholegrain breads and
cereals, and milk substitutes daily to provide adequate protein (see section 4.5.2).
• Women suspected of having very low energy and protein intakes should be referred to a
registered dietitian for nutritional advice.
• High protein diets (over 20 percent of total energy), and consumption of protein
supplements, protein powders or high protein beverages, should be discouraged during
pregnancy.
3.2 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre
3.2.1 8ack¿round
Carbohydrates provide the largest source of energy in the diet. Carbohydrates can be
classified as sugars, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (FAO and WHO 1998), as shown
in Table 8.
1abIe 8: CIassification of the ma|or dietary carbohydrates
CIass 5ub-¿roup £xampIes
Sugars Monosaccharides
Disaccharides
Polyols
Glucose, galactose, fructose
Sucrose, lactose, trehalose
Sorbitol, mannitol
Oligosaccharides Malto-oligosaccharides
Other oligosaccharides
Maltodextrins
Raffinose, stachyose,
fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)
Polysaccharides Starch
Non-starch polysaccharides
(NSPs)
Resistant starch, amylose,
amylopectin, modified
starches
Cellulose, hemicellulose,
pectins, hydrocolloids
Source: FAO/WHO 1998.
Note that polysaccharides are often called complex carbohydrates.
The metabolism of carbohydrates (and lipids) alters throughout pregnancy to ensure that
the foetus receives a continuous supply of each macronutrient despite maternal intake
being intermittent (Butte 2000a). In early pregnancy, glucose tolerance is normal and insulin
sensitivity is enhanced, favouring maternal fat production and storage. In later pregnancy
there is a shift towards reduced insulin sensitivity, mobilisation of maternal fat stores and
maternal metabolism of fatty acids. Blood glucose levels are maintained at a significantly
higher level in order to meet the increasing requirements of the placenta and foetus.
The mother’s carbohydrate intake is important in pregnancy to ensure adequate glucose
for maternal brain metabolism, and for the foetus. The foetus uses glucose as its primary
energy source, but it can also metabolise ketone bodies. The transfer of glucose from mother
to foetus is thought to be about 17–26 g per day (Hay 1994), providing just over half of the
29 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
energy requirements of the foetus (Institute of Medicine 2002); the remainder of the energy
requirements are provided as ketone bodies.
Carbohydrate requirement increases in breastfeeding to provide the energy for the synthesis
of milk. Lactose, the principal carbohydrate in breast milk, is synthesised in the breast from
glucose. The concentration of lactose in breast milk is about 74 g per litre and varies little.
Low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended during breastfeeding. It can be difficult to
consume adequate micronutrients if avoiding carbohydrate-containing foods, and sufficient
glucose may not be available for breast milk production.
3.2.2 ûietary fibre
Dietary fibre is found in all plant materials. An adequate intake of dietary fibre is essential
for proper gut function and regular laxation, and may also be related to reduced risk for a
number of diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. The definition
used for the AI is that dietary fibre includes non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs), resistant
starch and lignin (a non-carbohydrate) (NHMRC 2006).
Water-insoluble NSPs are the most important contributors to faecal weight. Increasing
consumption of foods rich in these kinds of NSPs (such as wheat bran, cereals and
vegetables) is an effective means of preventing and treating constipation, haemorrhoids,
diverticular disease, irritable bowel syndrome and anal fissures. High intakes of NSPs may
also protect against gallstones (FAO/WHO 1998).
Water-soluble NSPs are found in peas, oats, dried beans, lentils, barley, pasta and fruit. They
reduce the glycaemic index (see below) of carbohydrate foods, increase bile acid excretion
and may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Soluble and viscous NSP
components in diets may delay the absorption of sugars from food and improve metabolic
control of glucose (Baghurst et al 1996). NSP and resistant starch are fermented in the colon,
where they stimulate the control of glucose and the proliferation of bacteria, resulting in
bulky stools. They also have a laxative-promoting effect (Ministry of Health 2003a).
In pregnancy, high progesterone levels affect smooth muscle tone and result in a decreased
rate of gastrointestinal transit. This decreased rate has advantages for nutrient absorption
because gut contents are in contact with sites of absorption for longer, but water is also
reabsorbed to a greater extent, which often results in constipation. Thus, adequate dietary
fibre intake is particularly important during pregnancy to maintain regular bowel habits.
3.2.3 CIycaemic index
The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking system of carbohydrate-rich foods based on their
effect on blood glucose levels. High GI foods break down quickly during digestion and
their blood glucose effect is fast. Low GI foods are digested slowly and cause a slow and
sustained increase in blood glucose (Brand-Miller 2003). Low GI foods result in more colonic
fermentation of carbohydrate and beneficial short-chain fatty acid production (Brand-Miller
2003).
Individuals vary in their capacity to metabolise glucose after eating. People with diabetes,
for example, have an impaired capacity to clear glucose from the blood – a process that is
30 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
under the control of the hormone insulin. The GI is valuable in planning diets for people with
diabetes, where it is important to maintain blood glucose within the normal range.
The GI of foods needs to be evaluated in conjunction with other dietary constituents and
recommendations. The GI has its limitations because high-fat foods have a low GI and may
not confer nutritional benefits when consumed. It is also important to use GI in the context of
meals and not individual foods.
3.2.4 Recommended carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes for pre¿nant and
breastfeedin¿ women
The recommended percentage of total energy from carbohydrate for adults over 14 years of
age is 45–65 percent (NHMRC 2006).
There are no numeric recommendations for carbohydrate intake for pregnant and
breastfeeding women in the NRVs. However, the US and Canadian recommended dietary
allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate intake in pregnancy is 175 g per day, which is 45 g more
than the RDA for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women. The RDA for carbohydrate intake
for breastfeeding women is 210 g per day, which is 80 g more than the RDA for non-pregnant,
non-breastfeeding women (Institute of Medicine 2002).
The AI for dietary fibre intake for healthy pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 22 g per day,
and 24 g per day for breastfeeding women (NHMRC 2006).
To meet the recommended percent total energy from carbohydrates and the AI for dietary
fibre, low energy density and/or low GI food sources should be chosen (eg, wholegrain
breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables) to ensure the nutritional quality of the overall diet.
3.2.5 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes in hew ZeaIand
In the NNS97 (Russell et al 1999), New Zealand women aged 25–44 years consumed a
median of 46 percent of energy as carbohydrate, or 223 g of carbohydrate per day, and a
usual daily median intake of 100 g of total sugar. The most recent New Zealand regional
survey of diet in pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999) found that pregnant women had a
mean carbohydrate intake that was 48.5 percent of energy intake. Breastfeeding women in
Dunedin had mean intakes of 46 percent of energy as carbohydrate (Todd and Parnell 1994).
The NNS97 found that women aged 25–44 years were consuming a median of 18 g of dietary
fibre per day (Russell et al 1999). The mean dietary fibre intake in pregnancy was 23–24 g
per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). Breastfeeding women were consuming a mean of
22 g of dietary fibre per day (Todd and Parnell 1995). Dietary fibre intakes in the NNS97 and
the regional studies of nutritional intakes refer to NSP intakes only.
In 1997, nine percent of women (aged 15 and over) consumed the recommended number
of bread and cereal servings (Russell et al 1999). The lower-than-recommended intake of
breads and cereals among women may be related to misunderstandings about the energy
density of carbohydrate foods.
Pregnant women in New Zealand are likely to meet requirements for carbohydrate without
specifically increasing their intake of breads and cereals. The recommended number of
31 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
servings of breads and cereals is at least six per day, preferably wholegrain, which is the
same as for adults. Breastfeeding women are advised to consume one extra serving of
breads and cereals, preferably wholegrain, to provide for extra energy and carbohydrate
requirements (at least seven servings).
3.2.6 5ources of carbohydrate and dietary fibre in the diet
The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the following principal sources of carbohydrate for
all women in the New Zealand diet (see Table 9).
1abIe 9: PrincipaI dietary sources of carbohydrate for hew ZeaIand women
Carbohydrate source Percent contribution to carbohydrate intake
Age range 19–24 years 25–44 years
Bread 18 21
Beverages (non-alcoholic) 18 17
Potatoes and ku¯ mara 8 9
Sugar and sweets 8 10
Fruit 7 9
Source: Russell et al 1999.
Principal sources of total sugars for all New Zealand women in the NNS97 were beverages
(non-alcoholic), sugar and sweets, and fruit (Russell et al 1999). Of the total sugars, sucrose
was the main contributor.
Principal sources of dietary fibre for all New Zealand women are bread, vegetables, potatoes
and ku¯ mara, and breakfast cereals (Russell et al 1999).
3.2.7 PracticaI advice
• Pregnant women should eat at least six servings daily of breads and cereals (preferably
wholegrain) and breastfeeding women at least seven servings. Pregnant and
breastfeeding women should eat at least six servings of well-washed vegetables and
fruit. Eating the recommended number of servings of these foods will provide adequate
carbohydrate and dietary fibre.
• If snacks are needed to meet increased energy and nutritional requirements, choose
foods from the breads and cereals, and the vegetables and fruit food groups.
• Increase dietary fibre intake (along with increasing fluid intake and physical activity) if
constipation is a problem.
• Remember that plant foods such as wholegrain breads, cereals, vegetables, fruit and
legumes are good sources of dietary fibre.
• Water and trim milk should be consumed as the drinks of choice.
• Flavoured waters, soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks are a dietary source of sugar
but supply very few other nutrients, and therefore intake should be limited.
32 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
3.3 fat
3.3.1 8ack¿round
Fat is a concentrated source of energy. It also provides the mechanism for absorption of
the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and carries flavour. Dietary fat is predominantly in
the form of triglycerides, which consist of three fatty acids and one glycerol unit. Fatty acids
can be classified into saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The
polyunsaturated fatty acids can be classified as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
There are two polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential in the diet because they cannot
be synthesised by the body. These are linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid. Individuals can use
linoleic acid to make the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) arachidonic acid
(AA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA); and use alpha-linolenic acid to make eicosapentanoic
acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentanoic acid (DPA). Dietary sources of
the two essential fatty acids and associated LCPUFAs are shown in Table 10.
1abIe 10: ûietary sources of essentiaI and Ion¿-chain poIyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP0fAs)
0me¿a-6 5ources 0me¿a-3 5ources
Essential
fatty acids
Linoleic acid Soybean, safflower,
sunflower and corn
oils; green leafy
vegetables; nuts
and seeds
Alpha-linolenic
acid
Soybean, canola,
flaxseed and
walnut oils; nuts
and seeds
LCPUFAs Arachidonic acid
(AA)
Egg yolk, meats
(particularly organ
meats)
Eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA)
Fish oils, oily
fish (eg, canned
tuna, sardines,
salmon, mackerel,
eel, warehou and
kahawai)
Gamma-linolenic
acid (GLA)
Evening primrose,
blackcurrant oils
Docosahexaenoic
acid (DHA)
Docosapentaenoic
acid (DPA)
Fish oils, oily
fish (eg, canned
tuna, sardines,
salmon, mackerel,
eel, warehou and
kahawai)
Source: Mann and Skeaff 2002.
3.3.2 Pre¿nancy
During early pregnancy the foetus uses fatty acids as food supplied by the mother. In later
pregnancy the foetus makes its own fatty acids, contributing to the high body fat in the
human newborn (Herrera and Amusquivar 2000).
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) are necessary for normal brain growth and
development in infants, especially in the last trimester, when nerve tissue growth is maximal.
33 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Almost half the high lipid content of the brain is LCPUFA. The foetus has a limited ability to
make LCPUFAs so it is dependent on placental supply for both LCPUFAs and essential fatty
acids (Herrera 2002a). A poor supply will affect neonatal growth (Herrera 2002b). Placental
supply comes from the mother’s dietary intake or her fat stores. Obese women with insulin
resistance, and thin women with little body fat, will be more dependent on dietary intake to
maintain an adequate supply.
Several factors may adversely affect the mother’s LCPUFA synthesis. These include
dietary intake of trans-fatty acids (Koletzko 1992); deficiencies of iron, magnesium, zinc,
calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12; diets low in protein or high in sucrose; alcohol
consumption; and inflammation (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004).
Consumption of oily fish, and therefore a rich supply of DHA, in pregnancy is associated
with a reduced incidence of pre-term delivery and low birthweight (Olsen and Secher 2002).
Omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy appears to have no effect on the
incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia without oedema, but may
increase the duration of pregnancy, birthweight or both (Makrides and Gibson 2000).
These positive effects have generated a great deal of interest in the role and requirements in
pregnancy for LCPUFAs, leading to the suggestion that supplementation with LCPUFAs or fish
oil might be beneficial. Supplementation is not recommended. LCPUFA metabolism is very
sensitive to changes in maternal fat intake. Excess intake of LCPUFAs can increase the risk of
oxidative damage (Herrera 2002b), and, potentially, excess intake of LCPUFAs may deplete
lipid antioxidant reserves, particularly vitamin E. However, there is no evidence to suggest
that LCPUFAs from dietary sources have the same effect, so the intake of LCPUFAs from food
sources, including oily fish, is extremely unlikely to cause any problem.
Concerns have been expressed about increasing fish intake excessively because fish oils
may contain high levels of vitamin A (see section 3.5.1), and some fish may be contaminated
with heavy metals. Pregnant women should follow the advice given in section 4.3.4 on the
appropriate intake levels and types of fish to consume.
3.3.3 8reastfeedin¿
Usually, just over half the energy content of breast milk is fat (Riordan 2005). However, the
fat content of breast milk is related to maternal anthropometry, pregnancy weight gain and
diet. Very low maternal fat intakes have been associated with lower breast milk fat content,
with fat concentration reaching a plateau at a maternal intake of around 35 g fat per day, or
about 20 percent of energy (Lonnerdal 1986). Although milk with a lower fat concentration
has a lower energy concentration, this does not appear to limit infant energy intake, because
infants consume more milk if allowed to breastfeed on demand.
The fatty acids in breast milk are sourced from maternal diet or maternal fat stores, or
synthesised by the breast. Maternal diets containing sufficient energy, but which are low in
fat, result in breast milk with a higher concentration of medium-chain fatty acids. Diets low
in total energy and total fat lead to breast milk with a fatty acid composition that reflects
maternal fat stores (Lonnerdal 1986).
Breast milk contains varying amounts of essential fatty acids and LCPUFAs depending on
maternal intake. Vegetarians and vegans have a higher concentration of linoleic acid and
a lower concentration of DHA in their breast milk than omnivores, and the level of DHA
34 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
is higher in the breast milk of women who eat fish (Sanders 1999). Supplementation of
breastfeeding women with oil rich in DHA results in a dose-dependent increase in breast milk
DHA (Helland and Saarem 1998; Hawkes et al 2002). It is thought that breastfeeding women
have increased requirements for LCPUFAs because their dietary intake has to meet both
maternal requirements and the significant amount of DHA that is transferred into the milk
(about 70–80 mg per day). There has been particular interest in the relationship between
maternal diet and levels of DHA in breast milk because of its role in the development of the
infant’s brain and retina.
Maternal reserves of LCPUFAs accumulated in early pregnancy provide a significant addition
to the maternal dietary intake of LCPUFAs of a breastfeeding woman (Scientific Advisory
Committee on Nutrition 2004). This means that DHA intake is important throughout
pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Supplementation with LCPUFAs during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended.
There is little evidence of benefit or harm as a result of omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation
during pregnancy or breastfeeding, based on supplement level up to 2.7g omega-3 LCPUFAs
per day (Makrides and Gibson 2000). It appears that omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation
as fish oil during pregnancy does not result in beneficial (or harmful) effects on cognitive
development or the growth of infants (Makrides and Gibson 2002).
In contrast to supplementation, increasing omega-3 LCPUFA consumption by eating foods
rich in omega-3 will improve intakes of minerals, trace elements and vitamins, especially
iron, iodine, selenium and folate, which would not be the case if a LCPUFA supplement was
used. Foods rich in omega-3 are green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, oily fish (canned
tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eel, warehou and kahawai), and oils (soybean, canola,
flaxseed and walnut oils).
3.3.4 Recommended fat intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The recommended intake of fat for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 20–35 percent of
total energy, the same as that recommended for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding adults.
This should be made up of no more than 10 percent of energy from saturated and trans-fatty
acids (NHMRC 2006).
The AI for essential fatty acids and omega-3 LCPUFAs are shown in Table 11. The AI value for
linoleic acid equates to 4–10 percent of total energy and 0.4–1 percent for alpha-linolenic
acid (NHMRC 2006).
1abIe 11: Adequate intakes for essentiaI fatty acids and ome¿a-3 LCP0fAs
AI LinoIeic acid aIpha-IinoIenic acid 1otaI ome¿a-3 LCP0fA
(ûRA+£PA+ûPA)
Pregnant women aged
19–50 years
10 g/day 1 g/day 115 mg/day
Breastfeeding women
aged 19–50 years
12 g/day 1.2 g/day 145 mg/day
Source: NHMRC 2006.
35 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
These values are based on the usual daily median intakes of populations with little apparent
fatty acid deficiency.
The ratio of linoleic (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) in the diet should be
between 5:1 to 10:1 (FAO and WHO 1994). The upper level of intake (UL) for omega-3
LCPUFAs is 3.0 g per day because high intakes may impair the immune response and prolong
bleeding time (NHMRC 2006).
3.3.5 fat intake in hew ZeaIand
The normal diet in New Zealand tends to have a higher fat intake than recommended. The
NNS97 found that women aged 25–44 years were consuming a median of 77 g of fat per day,
equivalent to 35 percent of their energy intake (Russell et al 1999). This survey identified
that the fat intake of women aged 25–44 years was approximately in the proportion of 15
percent energy from saturated fat, 11 percent from monounsaturated fat and 4 percent from
polyunsaturated fat. A New Zealand regional survey of dietary intake in pregnancy (Watson
and McDonald 1999) found that pregnant women had a mean fat intake of 36 percent of total
energy intake. Dunedin women who were breastfeeding have been found to have fat intakes
of 37 percent of total energy intake (Todd and Parnell 1994). The dietary fat intake level in
New Zealand is unlikely to limit the fat concentration of breast milk for most breastfeeding
women.
The estimated current dietary intake in New Zealand adults of linoleic acid is 15 g per day,
1 g per day a-linolenic acid, and 200 mg per day total DHA and EPA (Eyres 2000), but this is
likely to be less for women who do not eat fish or who consume a low-fat diet. In the NNS97,
for women aged 25–44 years the percentage consuming fish in various forms at least once a
week was canned fish 21 percent, battered fish 12 percent, steamed/baked/grilled fish
15 percent, fried fish 10 percent, shellfish 6 percent and seafood 2 percent (Russell et al
1999).
The ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is estimated to be 15:1 in the New
Zealand diet (Eyres 2000).
3.3.6 5ources of fat in the diet
The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the principal sources of fat in the New Zealand
diet for all New Zealand women as butter and margarine (16 percent), cakes and muffins
(7 percent), potatoes and ku¯ mara (6 percent), milk (6 percent), beef and veal (5 percent),
pies and pastries (5 percent), and cheese (5 percent). Note that potatoes and ku¯ mara are
identified as a source because they may be cooked in, or served with, fat (eg, hot chips, roast
potatoes and kùmara, mashed potatoes, and crisps).
Omega-3 LCPUFA supplements are not recommended. However, many supplements for
pregnancy and breastfeeding contain fish oils that provide between 150 and 350 mg omega-
3 LCPUFAs per day. The UL for omega-3 LCPUFAs is 3 g per day. If a woman chooses to take a
supplement, she should be advised not to exceed the UL for omega-3 LCPUFAs.
36 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
3.3.7 PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should aim to reach the recommended fat intake
level of 20–35 percent of energy intake. For many individuals this will mean a reduction
in fat intake, especially of saturated fat.
• Diets providing less than 20 percent of energy from fat are not recommended, particularly
for breastfeeding women, because they may affect the fat content of breast milk.
• Include more omega-3 LCPUFA-rich foods in the diet, such as green leafy vegetables,
nuts and seeds, oily fish* (canned tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eel, warehou and
kahawai), and oils (soybean, canola, flaxseed and walnut oils). These foods and oils can
replace foods with high saturated fat content, as explained below.
• Foods fortified with fish oil (such as milk or bread) or fish oils themselves may be a useful
way to increase the omega-3 LCPUFA content of the diet. The total amount of omega-3
LCPUFAs in the diet should not exceed the UL of 3 g per day.
• Choose snacks based on vegetables and fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals and low-fat
milk and milk products rather than potato crisps, biscuits or pastries.
• Select lean meat and trim visible fat from meat, and remove skin from chicken after
cooking.
• Grilling, boiling, steaming and microwaving food uses less fat in cooking, and these
methods are preferred over frying.
• Choose a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine (fortified with vitamin D)
instead of butter.
• Reduce the intake of sausages and processed meat, which can be high in fat, and if
eating these meats grill rather than fry them. These foods should always be served hot to
reduce the risk of food-borne illness, including listeriosis (see section 4.3.2).
• Fried foods such as fried/battered fish, fried chicken and chips should be eaten only
occasionally, and the portion size reduced to compensate for the higher fat and energy
content.
3.4 MineraIs and trace eIements
3.4.1 Iron
8ack¿round
Iron is present in haemoglobin as a carrier of oxygen in the blood, the liver, muscle, tissue
and many cell enzymes. Over 60 percent of iron is in haemoglobin, and about 25 percent as
ferritin iron stores, mainly in the liver (McPhail 2002).
There are two types of iron in the diet: haem and non-haem iron. Haem iron from meat,
poultry and fish is typically 20 to 30 percent absorbed, and absorption is not significantly
affected by other components of the diet. Non-haem iron from non-animal sources such
* Pregnant women should follow the advice given in section 4.3.4 on the appropriate intake level and type of fish to consume.
37 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
as plant foods, iron medication and iron fortificants in food is less bioavailable, with
absorption of 5 percent or less. Absorption varies with physiological requirements, the iron
status of the individual and dietary composition.
Dietary factors that promote absorption of non-haem iron are vitamin C and the presence of
meat, fish or poultry. Inhibitors of non-haem iron absorption include phytates (in legumes,
bran, grains and rice), polyphenols (in tea and coffee, grains and red wine), and vegetable
proteins such as those in soybeans. Note that legumes, wholegrains and rice are still useful
sources of iron, particularly for vegetarians and vegans. Timing of consumption of dietary
factors can influence non-haem iron absorption, however. For example, eating foods high
in vitamin C (such as kiwifruit or orange juice) with a non-haem iron source (such as baked
beans) will improve iron absorption, whereas tea consumed with iron-containing meals will
reduce iron absorption.
Iron requirements in pregnancy need to provide for the growing foetus and increased
maternal blood volume. Foetal requirements tend to be met at the expense of the mother.
Although first trimester iron requirements are lower than for the non-pregnant, non-
breastfeeding woman, requirements are markedly higher by the third trimester (Hallberg
2001). Some of the additional requirement is offset by menstrual savings and increased
maternal absorption of iron: non-haem iron absorption is known to increase in pregnancy,
especially in the third trimester (et al 1994).
Iron requirements in breastfeeding women are substantially lower than in pregnancy, and
even lower than those for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women. The average iron content
of breast milk is low at 0.35 mg per litre (Institute of Medicine 2000b), and appears to be
relatively unaffected by maternal intakes. Iron requirements for breastfeeding are based
on the assumption of menstruation not being resumed until after six months of exclusive
breastfeeding. Post-partum iron stores have been found to be higher in breastfeeding women
compared with non-breastfeeding women (Kalkwarf and Harrast 1998). It seems likely that
breastfeeding contributes to effective repletion of maternal iron stores, as long as the
pre-pregnancy iron intake is maintained.
Iron-deficiency anaemia
In adults, the spectrum of iron-deficiency anaemia can be characterised in terms of three
stages: iron depletion, iron-deficient erythropoiesis and iron-deficiency anaemia (see
Table 12).
1abIe 12: 5pectrum of iron deficiency
5ta¿e ûefinition Characteristics
1
2
3
Iron depletion
Iron-deficient erythropoiesis
Iron-deficiency anaemia
Low iron stores based on a fall in serum ferritin from 12
to 20 µg/L; normal haemoglobin
Depleted iron stores based on serum ferritin < 12 µg/L;
transferrin saturation < 16%; normal haemoglobin
Anaemia based on depleted iron stores and low
haemoglobin
Source: MacPhail 2002.
38 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Diagnosing iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy from haemoglobin concentration can
present some problems. The haemodilution of pregnancy (the plasma volume increases
to a greater extent than red blood cell mass) means that slightly lower haemoglobin
concentrations are normal at certain stages of pregnancy rather than indicating iron
deficiency anaemia. There is no consensus on the cut-off points for haemoglobin for iron
depletion and iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy. Regional laboratories have adopted
cut-off points to use to assess iron status. High haemoglobin concentrations, which reflect
inadequate plasma volume expansion, are associated with adverse pregnancy outcome
so there is a U-shaped relationship between haemoglobin concentration and favourable
pregnancy outcome. Serum ferritin is a more sensitive and specific indicator of iron status
because it reflects iron stores. However, levels during infection will be misleadingly higher,
which can cause under-diagnosis of iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency causes impaired red blood cell function and symptoms of weariness, poor
concentration and increased risk of infection, and appears to be common in pregnant
women. Anaemia increases the risk of post-partum haemorrhage, infection, mortality and
heart failure (Scholl and Reilly 2000).
Severe maternal iron deficiency can result in a sub-optimal iron supply to the foetus, with
associated increased risks of foetal death, perinatal mortality, pre-term delivery, and lower
birthweight (Scholl and Reilly 2000). Long-term consequences of maternal iron deficiency
on the offspring include effects on cognition, behaviour, motor development, activity and
physical capacity, and may not be reversible. Further, infants of iron-deficient mothers are
more likely themselves to have low iron stores and be susceptible to iron deficiency (Allen
1997).
Risk factors for iron deficiency in pregnancy and breastfeeding include:
• depleted iron stores before and during pregnancy
• post-partum anaemia
• post-partum haemorrhage
• vegetarianism
• chronic aspirin use (resulting in gastrointestinal lesions)
• low intake of factors that increase iron absorption (particularly vitamin C)
• high intake of factors that decrease absorption.
Iron deficiency is more likely with multiple gestation, low socioeconomic status and poor
educational attainment, in adolescent women, and in those with a short inter-pregnancy
interval. Previous use of oral contraceptives, which limits menstrual loss, tends to result in a
favourable iron status.
When a woman is suspected of being iron deficient during pregnancy, a full iron blood screen
should be conducted, and treatment initiated and followed up. Following birth, a woman
who has been iron deficient during pregnancy should have further follow-up to check if she
is still iron deficient. Iron deficiency during breastfeeding should be treated, because low
iron status leads to increased risk of illness, increased tiredness and breast infections. These
can negatively impact on the mother’s ability to care for her infant and also may affect her
breastfeeding.
39 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Iron medication should only be given after iron-deficiency anaemia has been diagnosed.
Iron medication in iron-replete women may increase the risk of gestational diabetes and
increased oxidative stress (Scholl 2005). A New Zealand review found insufficient evidence
to justify routine iron supplementation for pregnant women (Hewson 1999). Iron medication
should be given under supervision of the LMC.
Some women experience side effects in response to iron medications, such as constipation.
Absorption of iron medications is best on an empty stomach, but this may be associated
with more side effects. Low-dose iron medications are associated with fewer side effects,
and ferrous gluconate (eg, Fergon) appears to be less irritating (Yip 1996). Iron is potentially
toxic in excess. There is some evidence that high-dose iron medications (> 60 mg per day and
possibly less) can decrease plasma zinc levels (O’Brien et al 2000; Dawson et al 1989; Fung
et al 1997). Zinc supplementation is recommended when > 30 mg of iron is given (Institute of
Medicine 1990). For women taking more than 30 mg of iron per day, 15 mg of zinc and 2 mg
of copper as supplements are recommended (Institute of Medicine 1990).
Iron medications should not be given to women with haemochromatosis (Heath and
Fairweather-Tait 2003), a recessively inherited disease that results in iron overload. The
clinical effects of haemochromatosis, because of deposition of iron in the liver, heart and
pancreas, are not usually manifest or of concern in women of childbearing age because
menstrual losses help to maintain iron balance. Routine assessment of blood parameters,
such as serum ferritin in pregnant women, identify those with haemochromatosis who might
be at risk in later life of developing clinical effects (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Recommended iron intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 27 mg per day. Although iron requirements
in the first trimester are lower, the RDI was established using estimates for the third trimester
to build iron stores during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
Note that the UK reference nutrient intake, or RNI (the equivalent of the Australia and
New Zealand RDI), for iron for pregnant women is no higher than for non-pregnant, non-
breastfeeding women, based on the belief that increased iron absorption along with
adequate iron stores are sufficient to meet the needs of women eating a varied and balanced
diet (Department of Health, UK 1991).
The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 9 mg per day, which is half of
the RDI of 18 mg for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women. The recommendation for
breastfeeding adolescent women (14–18 years) is slightly higher at 10 mg per day to allow
for maternal growth needs (NHMRC 2006).
The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 45 mg per day, unless
anaemic and being treated with high-dose iron medications.
Iron intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of iron by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 10.3
mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand indicate
mean iron intakes between 11 and 14 mg per day (Benny et al 1991; McKenzie-Parnell et al
1993; Watson and McDonald 1999).
40 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The NNS97 identified that about 40 percent of women aged 15–44 years in New Zealand
have an inadequate intake of iron. The blood analyses in the NNS97 found that 4–7 percent
of women aged 15–64 had low iron stores, 2–6 percent had iron deficiency, and 1–6 percent
had iron-deficiency anaemia. The highest prevalence of low iron stores, iron deficiency and
iron-deficiency anaemia was among New Zealand Ma¯ ori women, especially those aged
15–24: approximately 12 percent of Ma¯ ori women in this age group had iron deficiency and
10 percent had iron-deficiency anaemia (Russell et al 1999).
In a regional study of diet in pregnancy, which included women from New Zealand European,
Ma¯ ori and Pacific ethnicities, there was no significant difference between the serum ferritin
and haemoglobin levels among the ethnic groups. Using a cut-off of 100 g haemoglobin per
litre for diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy, 6.2 percent of all women in
the study had iron deficiency anaemia. Of all women in the study, 31.5 percent has serum
ferritin levels less than 10 micrograms per litre (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to consume 11.8 mg iron per day (Todd and
Parnell 1994).
5ources of iron in the diet
The main sources of iron for women aged 25–44 years in the New Zealand diet are bread
(13 percent), beef and veal (11 percent), breakfast cereals (9 percent), and vegetables
(8 percent) (Russell et al 1999). Some breakfast cereals are fortified with iron, usually
between 6–10 mg per 100 g. A serving (30 g) of iron-fortified breakfast cereal will provide
around 2–3 mg of iron and is a useful source if eaten with vitamin C-rich foods, which
enhance iron absorption.
All women should be encouraged to eat two servings of lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs,
nuts, seeds or legumes per day, and to choose wholegrain breads and cereals. The iron
status in pregnant women should be monitored, and iron deficiency treated with iron
medications. All women should receive advice on dietary sources of iron and factors affecting
iron absorption.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat two servings of lean meat, poultry,
seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds or legumes per day.
• Monitoring of iron status throughout pregnancy, including iron stores and factors that
affect them, is important in identifying current or potential iron deficiency. This is
especially important for Ma¯ ori women.
• All women should receive advice on dietary sources of iron and factors affecting iron
absorption to avoid iron deficiency. This is especially important for women who had
low iron stores before becoming pregnant, and for ensuring adequate iron stores for
subsequent pregnancies.
41 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Women who were iron deficient during pregnancy should have further follow-up with a
blood test to check for ongoing iron deficiency.
• Iron supplementation may be necessary if iron-deficiency anaemia is diagnosed, but
must always be given in conjunction with appropriate dietary advice, and only under
supervision of the LMC.
• Sources of haem iron include lean red meat, fish, mussels (cooked and served hot),
chicken and liver (limit liver intake to 100 g per week – see section 3.5.1).
• Meals containing haem iron increase the absorption of all types of iron.
• Sources of non-haem include wholegrain breads and cereals (especially fortified
breakfast cereals), vegetables and legumes, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
• Eat vitamin C-containing foods such as vegetables, fruit and fruit juices with meals to
increase non-haem iron absorption.
• Avoid drinking tea with iron-containing meals, because tea reduces the absorption of
non-haem iron.
• Vegetarian and vegan women may find it difficult to meet their iron requirements. They
should consume wholegrain breads and cereals, especially fortified breakfast cereals,
vegetables and legumes, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and have vitamin C-rich foods and
drinks (fruit, fruit juices and vegetables) with meals.
3.4.2 CaIcium
8ack¿round
Calcium is required for the normal development and maintenance of the skeleton. It is
present in the bones and teeth to provide structure and strength. Calcium is laid down
in bone reaching peak bone mass by 18–20 years of age. A low calcium intake has been
associated with loss of bone mass (osteoporosis), resulting in bone fracture in older people,
especially women. Calcium reserves in bone are affected by dietary calcium intake and
calcium losses from the body. Calcium status is also affected by vitamin D status (see section
3.5.2). Dietary sodium, protein, caffeine and acidifying agents raise calcium losses, and
phosphorus, alkaline agents and some diuretics lower excretion. Moderate physical activity
is associated with increasing bone mineral density. Alcohol consumption and cigarette
smoking may adversely affect bone density (Goulding 2002).
Foetal requirements for calcium are significant but are met largely by increased maternal
calcium absorption, turnover and retention in early pregnancy. Maternal bone mass
decreases in pregnancy, whatever the calcium status of the mother. However, there is no
relationship between the number of previous pregnancies and bone mineral density or
fracture risk, suggesting that there is no increased need for dietary calcium during pregnancy
(Oliveri et al 2004). Most of the calcium is transferred to the foetus during the third trimester
(Institute of Medicine 1997).
Calcium supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of hypertensive disorders
and related problems has been studied. The majority of trials tended to show a protective
effect of 1500–2000 mg per day of calcium supplementation on foetal growth, possibly by
both a direct effect on growth and by prolonging gestation (Merialdi et al 2003). Improved
pregnancy outcomes have been observed with supplementation of calcium, zinc and
42 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
magnesium (Ramakrishnan et al 1999). However, the effects of calcium, zinc and magnesium
supplementation may be limited to women at high risk of developing pregnancy-induced
hypertension, and women with inadequate intakes of these minerals, so supplementation is
generally not necessary.
A breastfeeding woman transfers approximately 260 mg per day of calcium to breast milk
(Goulding 2002). Decreased maternal excretion and increased maternal resorption of bone
calcium are the most important contributors to levels of calcium in breast milk rather than
increased dietary intake or increased absorption (Prentice 1994). The calcium concentration
of human milk and increased bone resorption, particularly in the lumbar spine and femoral
neck regions, are independent of calcium intake. The low oestrogen levels of breastfeeding
amenorrhoea allow increased bone resorption, and the bone loss is regained once
oestrogens return to non-breastfeeding levels.
Recommended caIcium intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19 years and over is 1000 mg per day,
the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women aged 19 years and over.
The RDI for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 1300 mg per day.
Adolescent pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased requirement because their
own bones are growing (NHMRC 2006).
CaIcium intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of calcium by women in New Zealand aged 25–44 years is
about 714 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). The NNS97 found that a high proportion of Ma¯ ori
women across all age groups had inadequate intakes of calcium.
Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand estimated mean intakes of 761
mg (Benny et al 1991), 920 mg (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 938 mg per day (Watson
and McDonald 1999). This last more recent study found marked differences with ethnicity (a
lower intake in Ma¯ ori and Pacific women) and socioeconomic status.
Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean calcium intake of 923 mg per day (Todd
and Parnell 1994). A small number of breastfeeding women avoid milk and milk products
because of concern about the allergic response of the infant (see section 4.6.2) (Todd and
Parnell 1995).
5ources of caIcium in the diet
The principal dietary sources of calcium for New Zealand women aged 25-44 years are milk
(38 percent), cheese (11 percent), bread (6 percent), beverages (non-alcoholic) (6 percent),
dairy products (5 percent), and vegetables (5 percent) (Russell et al 1999).
Foods vary greatly in their calcium content. Milk has a particularly high calcium content,
but other excellent sources include cheeses, yoghurt and calcium-fortified soy beverages.
Good sources include nuts, canned fish with bones, green leafy vegetables and dried fruit
(Goulding 2002).
43 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Calcium supplements are only necessary for women with inadequate intake from food.
Calcium supplements – including calcium chelated with amino acids, calcium phosphate
dibasic, or calcium acetate, carbonate, citrate, gluconate or lactate – are absorbed equally
well and as well absorbed as calcium from milk. Calcium from calcium supplements
containing calcium and magnesium carbonate, oyster shell calcium fortified with organic
magnesium, chelated calcium-magnesium combination, or calcium carbonate fortified with
vitamins and iron is less well absorbed (Whitney and Rolfes 1999).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least three servings of calcium-rich
foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt every day to ensure an adequate intake of
calcium. This is especially important during breastfeeding.
• Women who avoid milk and milk products need to maintain adequate intakes by eating
non-dairy sources of calcium, such as calcium-fortified soy milk, canned fish (with
bones), nuts, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, tofu, and wholegrain breads and cereals.
• Food sources of calcium are preferable to supplements. However, a calcium supplement
may be needed if calcium intake from food is inadequate.
• Adequate intake of calcium may be protective against hypertensive disorders in
pregnancy.
3.4.3 Zinc
8ack¿round
Zinc is essential for many functions, including growth and neurobehavioural development,
immune and sensory function, reproduction, antioxidant protection and membrane
stabilisation. Zinc requirements increase in pregnancy and breastfeeding, and even more
so for pregnant and breastfeeding adolescents, who are still growing (Institute of Medicine
2000a).
Zinc deficiency in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of congenital abnormality
(including neural tube defects), low birthweight and other complications of pregnancy and
delivery, such as impaired development and premature delivery (Velie et al 1999; Keen et al
2003). Low zinc intakes in pregnancy together with vitamin A deficiency may contribute to
increased risk of infection (Christian and West 1998).
Reduction of the uterus and decreased maternal blood volume following childbirth releases
about 30 mg of zinc (King and Turnlund 1989) to provide 1 mg per day for the first month
of breastfeeding. The level of zinc in milk decreases sharply during the first six months of
breastfeeding (Krebs et al 1995) but is not altered by maternal supplementation. Breast milk
concentrations of zinc appear to be protected from low maternal intake (Sian et al 2002).
The bioavailability of zinc in foods varies considerably and is lower in foods with high phytate
content such as legumes, bran, wholegrains and unrefined rice. However, food preparation
practices such as sprouting beans, seeds and grains, and leavening bread, alter phytate
levels and allow greater zinc absorption (American Dietetic Association 2003).
44 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
There is some evidence that high-dose iron supplementation can decrease plasma zinc
levels (O’Brien et al 2000; Dawson et al 1989; Fung 1997) (see section 3.4.1). Zinc in excess
may induce a secondary copper deficiency (Institute of Medicine 1990).
Recommended zinc intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–18 years is 10 mg per day, and for women aged 19–50
years is 11 mg per day.
The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 11 mg per day, and for women aged
19–50 years is 12 mg per day (NHMRC 2006).
The UL is 40 mg per day of zinc (NHMRC 2006).
Zinc intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of zinc by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
10.1 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women estimated a
mean intake range of 9–11 mg per day (Benny et al 1991), 10 mg per day (McKenzie-Parnell
et al 1993) and 10.8 mg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean zinc intake of 11.8 mg per day (Todd and
Parnell 1994).
5ources of zinc in the diet
The main sources of zinc for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are beef and veal (17 percent),
bread (10 percent), milk (9 percent), vegetables (6 percent) and grains and pasta (6 percent)
(LINZ Research Unit 1999).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups, especially
wholegrain breads and cereals and lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds or
legumes (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.4.4 5eIenium
8ack¿round
Selenium is involved in a number of roles in the body, including antioxidant functions and
thyroid hormone metabolism (Thomson and Paterson 2003). The amount of selenium in
food reflects the soil in which it was grown, and New Zealand soils are low in selenium.
A relatively low intake of selenium (about 20 µg per day) is required to prevent Keshan
disease, a cardiomyopathy (NHMRC 2006). Higher intakes of selenium may be protective
against some cancers and cardiovascular disease by protecting against free radical damage,
but there is no conclusive evidence of these protective effects (Thomson and Paterson
2003).
Selenium requirements increase in pregnancy to allow for growth of the foetus and increased
selenoprotein synthesis and tissue accumulation. The placenta actively transports selenium
45 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
to the foetus (Hytten and Leitch 1971), but it is not known whether maternal absorption of
selenium increases in pregnancy.
Twelve micrograms of selenium is secreted into breast milk per day, so it is appropriate to
recommend a higher intake of selenium when breastfeeding (NHMRC 2006).
The margin between adequate selenium intake and toxicity is narrower than for many other
trace elements, and adverse effects have been described in those with dietary intakes as low
as 900 µg per day (Thomson and Paterson 2003).
Recommended seIenium intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 65 µg per day, and for breastfeeding
women aged 14–50 years is 75 µg per day. The UL is 400 µg per day (NHMRC 2006).
5eIenium intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of selenium by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
41 µg per day, and 33 µg per day in women aged 15–18 (Russell et al 1999). Survey data of
pregnant women in the North Island of New Zealand suggest a mean intake of 66 µg per day
(Watson and McDonald 1999). Mean selenium intakes of breastfeeding women in Dunedin
were found to be 35.8 µg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994).
The Total Diet Survey estimated the dietary selenium intakes for women aged 25 and over to
be 49 µg per day (Vannoort and Thomson 2005).
Selenium intakes in New Zealand tend to vary regionally, and the variation is correlated to
selenium concentration in bread and other wheat products. Imported wheat, especially
Australian wheat, is higher in selenium and is used for all bread making in the north of the
North Island, so that region has higher selenium intakes. In the south of the North Island
about 30-35 percent of wheat used is Australian. In the South Island usually all wheat is
grown locally, accounting for lower selenium intakes in that region (Thomson and Paterson
2003).
Selenium intakes appeared to increase between 1987/88, and 1997/98. This was attributed
to increased levels of selenium in wheat products and animal products. Livestock are given
selenium supplements to maintain fertility and prevent disease (Vannoort and Thomson
2005).
Data from NNS97 are insufficient to allow definitive conclusions on the adequacy of the
selenium intake of New Zealanders because of difficulties in establishing food composition
data for selenium, given regional variations (Russell et al 1999). Although these intakes are
lower than the RDI, further work needs to be done to demonstrate a health impact of a lower
intake.
5ources of seIenium in the diet
The main sources of selenium for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are fish and seafood
(31 percent), bread (11 percent), poultry (9 percent), pork (5 percent), and eggs and egg
dishes (5 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). Organ meats, seafood, Brazil nuts, sesame
46 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
seeds, imported legumes and baked products made from imported flour are rich sources of
selenium.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should regularly choose foods rich in selenium, such
as fish and seafood, meat and poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, bread, nuts and
seeds, particularly Brazil nuts and sesame seeds.
• The use of selenium supplements is not recommended unless under specialised
nutritional and medical advice.
3.4.5 Ma¿nesium
8ack¿round
Magnesium is found in the skeleton and soft tissues, and is required for energy production
and bone metabolism. Serum magnesium levels are usually very constant, but decrease in
pregnancy because of plasma volume expansion.
Magnesium deficiency is very rare and usually only occurs in clinical settings. Moderate
or marginal deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for chronic diseases such as
osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but the results of studies on the effects
of magnesium deficiency are not consistent (Fleet and Cashman 2001).
Poor magnesium status has been implicated in the incidence of pre-term labour (via uterine
hyper-irritability), pregnancy-induced hypertension, foetal growth retardation, cerebral palsy
and mental retardation (Institute of Medicine 1997). Some intervention studies have found
that magnesium supplementation increases birthweight (Merialdi et al 2003).
Magnesium has been used in high intravenous doses in the treatment of eclampsia and
severe pre-eclampsia. There is no evidence for the use of magnesium for mild pre-eclampsia
and gestational hypertension (Fleet and Cashman 2001).
The concentration of magnesium in breast milk is not influenced by maternal dietary intake
and there is no evidence to suggest requirements increase during breastfeeding.
Several surveys of women from poor socioeconomic backgrounds, who have a higher risk of
poor pregnancy outcome, have observed low intakes of magnesium (Doyle et al 1989).
Recommended ma¿nesium intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnancy is 400 mg per day for women aged 14–18 years, 350 mg per day for
women aged 19–30 years and 360 mg per day for women aged 31–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
The RDI for breastfeeding women is 360 mg per day for women aged 14–18 years, 310 mg
per day for women aged 19–30 years, and 320 mg per day for women aged 31–50 years. The
RDIs for breastfeeding women are the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women
(NHMRC 2006).
47 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Ma¿nesium intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of magnesium by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
275 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Survey data of pregnant women in regional New Zealand
suggest a mean intake range of 301–451 mg per day (Benny et al 1991), and 260 mg per day
(McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993).
5ources of ma¿nesium in the diet
Rich sources include green vegetables, legumes, nuts and shellfish. Unrefined cereals
are a reasonable source (NHMRC 2006). Magnesium occurs in a wide range of foods, and
efficiency of absorption will adapt to a wide range of intakes.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups, especially
green vegetables and legumes (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition
Guideline Statements.
3.4.6 Iodine
8ack¿round
Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T
4
) and its active form
3,5,3’-triiodothyronine (T
3
). The thyroid hormones play an important role in growth and
development, and in energy production. Iodine levels in soil, irrigation and fertilisers affect
iodine in food. Most soils in New Zealand are low in iodine, resulting in low concentrations in
locally grown foods. Iodine is efficiently absorbed from the intestine, but dietary goitrogens
(present in vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potatoes) and
nitrates may interfere with the utilisation of absorbed iodine.
Iodine deficiency affects growth and development and reproductive function. Mild to
moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy adversely affects both maternal and infant
thyroid function and has implications for the mental development of the infant (Zimmermann
and Delange 2004). Severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with abortions,
stillbirth, congenital abnormalities, increased perinatal and infant mortality, psychomotor,
speech and hearing defects, dwarfism, spastic diplegia, cretinism and mental retardation. In
infants, children and adults, iodine deficiency leads to goitre, hypothyroidism and impaired
mental and physical development (Hetzel et al 1990).
Requirements for iodine increase in pregnancy and breastfeeding because the foetus and
neonate have a high rate of growth. Pregnant women are identified by the World Health
Organization (WHO) as one of the vulnerable groups for iodine deficiency disorders. Iodine
deficiency is an emerging public health issue in New Zealand (see below), and mandatory
fortification of food with iodine in New Zealand is currently under consideration. In the
interim, health practitioners have a role in educating women about the importance of
adequate iodine in the diet and encouraging consumption of iodine-containing foods.
Seaweed and kelp tablets are known to be rich sources of iodine, but the iodine content in
these tablets is extremely variable and can be high enough to be toxic. A review of the iodine
status of pregnant women in Europe identified the variability in quality and quantity of iodine
48 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
in dietary supplements targeted at pregnant women (Zimmermann 2004). Currently, there
are no oral iodine preparations available as registered medicines (the only products that
have specific and appropriate quality control) in New Zealand. If an oral iodine preparation
becomes available as a registered medicine, it may be appropriate to recommend this to
pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Ninety micrograms of iodine is transferred into breast milk per day (NHMRC 2006). The iodine
content of breast milk correlates to maternal dietary iodine intake. In New Zealand, Skeaff
et al (in press) found that the mean breast milk iodine concentration is 22 µg per litre. In
countries with iodine deficiency disorders, breast milk iodine concentrations are typically
below 50 µg per litre. When iodine intakes are adequate, breast milk iodine concentrations
range between 60 and 150 µg per litre (Dorea 2002).
Recommended iodine intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 220 µg per day, and for breastfeeding
women aged 14–50 years it is 270 µg per day (NHMRC 2006).
The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14-18 years is 900 µg per day, and for
pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19-50 years it is 1100 µg per day (NHMRC 2006).
Iodine intake in hew ZeaIand
In a study of pregnant women, Thomson et al (2001) found median values for 24-hour urinary
iodide excretion ranging from 0.30 to 0.47 µmol per day. Urinary iodine excretion represents
75–90 percent of oral intake, so the pregnant women in the study would have had median
intakes of around 60–70 µg per day, only one-third of the RDI.
The Total Diet Survey estimated for women aged 25 years and older a mean dietary iodine
intake of 60 µg per day (Vannoort and Thomson 2005).
Recent nutritional surveys of the New Zealand population suggest that iodine intake is
falling, and is below the recommended intake. The decrease in iodine intake has several
causes. Dairy industry cleaning compounds called iodophors, which increased the amount
of iodine in milk and milk products, have been replaced by non-iodine-containing cleaning
products. The use of more ready-to-eat and pre-prepared foods (in which salt is not iodised)
and the recommendation to use less added salt may have also contributed to a reduced
iodine intake.
5ources of iodine in the diet
The Total Diet Survey estimated that the main sources of iodine for New Zealand women
aged 25 years and over are dairy foods (34 percent), chicken, eggs, fish, meat (28 percent),
takeaways (12 percent), and grains (11 percent) (Vannoort and Thomson 2005).
Marine animals and plants concentrate iodine from seawater, so seafoods (including
seameal, seaweed and kelp) are rich sources. Iodine is secreted into milk, so milk and milk
products are a useful source. Other sources of iodine include eggs, some meat and cereals,
and seameal custard. Iodised salt is readily available (Thomson 2004).
49 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should regularly choose foods that are sources
of iodine, such as low-fat milk products, eggs, fish and seafood. Foods that contain
seaweed, such as sushi, seameal and alginates (food-thickening agents), also provide
a good source of iodine. Note that sushi should only be eaten if it does not contain raw
fish, cold meat or egg and is freshly prepared (see section 4.3.2).
• Iodised salt should be used when salt is used for cooking and at the table. Rock salts
and other salts have negligible levels of iodine and are not recommended.
• Seaweed and kelp supplements are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding
women.
• The iodine supplements currently available in New Zealand are not recommended for
pregnant or breastfeeding women. However, if an oral iodine preparation becomes
available as a registered medicine, it may be appropriate to recommend this to pregnant
or breastfeeding women.
• If any supplements containing iodine are taken, then the total daily intake of iodine from
supplements must not exceed the UL of 900–1100 µg per day.
3.4.7 Copper
8ack¿round
Maternal serum has twice the non-pregnant concentration of copper, suggesting a role
for copper in pregnancy (Krachler and Rossipal 1999). Copper requirements in pregnancy
are based on copper accumulated in the foetus, especially the liver, and in the amniotic
fluid and new maternal tissues. Copper deficiency in pregnancy in experimental animals
is associated with foetal abnormality and miscarriage (Keen et al 2003). Physical activity,
infection, inflammation, diabetes, hypertension and high intakes of fructose or zinc may
influence copper levels, but, generally, copper deficiency is rare in humans and only found in
people who have a genetic defect in copper metabolism. Iron and zinc supplementation may
compromise copper absorption and transfer (see sections 3.4.1 and 3.4.3).
Little is known about copper toxicity, but the risks of excess copper intake from food and
water sources are low (Institute of Medicine 2000a). The concentration of copper in breast
milk declines naturally during the course of lactation and is not affected by maternal
nutrition.
Recommended copper intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
There were insufficient data available to set an RDI for copper, so an AI based on median
population intakes has been set. The AI for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 1.3 mg per
day and 1.5 mg per day for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
Copper intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of copper by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
about 1.2 mg per day (Russell et al 1999).
50 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
5ources of copper in the diet
The main sources of copper for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are non-alcoholic
beverages (13 percent), bread (12 percent), potatoes and ku¯ mara (11 percent), vegetables
(ten percent) and fruit (nine percent). Copper is widely distributed in foods. Particularly rich
sources are organ meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, cereals and grains.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.4.8 Potassium, sodium, suIphate and fluoride
Potassium
There is a small overall potassium increase in pregnancy, but this probably does not
require an increased intake of potassium. Hence the AI is the same as for non-pregnant,
non-breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years: 2800 mg (72 mmol) per day. The AI for
potassium for breastfeeding includes an allowance for potassium secreted in breast milk. For
breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years the Al for potassium is 3200 mg (82 mmol) per day
(NHMRC 2006).
5odium
Sodium increase is slightly more marked than potassium increase to maintain the increased
plasma volume in pregnancy. These additional sodium needs of pregnancy are probably met
by altered rates of excretion, although some studies have suggested that appetite for sodium
increases in pregnancy (Brown and Toma 1986). Although both vomiting in pregnancy and
onset of sweating at a lower temperature (Clapp 1991) might increase sodium loss, there is
no evidence to suggest sodium requirements in pregnancy are higher than in non-pregnant,
non-breastfeeding women. Salt restriction has been recommended for pregnant women
at risk of hypertension. However, clinical trials have not found any benefit from restricting
sodium intake (Knuist et al 1998).
The AI for sodium is 460–920 mg (20–40 mmol) per day for pregnant and breastfeeding
women aged 14–50 years, the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women. The
UL for sodium is 2300 mg (100 mmol) per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding (NHMRC
2006).
A regional study in New Zealand indicated a mean sodium intake of 3473 mg (151 mmol)
per day (Thomson and Colls 1998). Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were shown to have a
mean sodium intake of 2635 mg (114 mmol) per day (Todd and Parnell 1994).
The latest reviews of the evidence of the benefits of salt reduction recommend continued
promotion of salt reduction (Thomson and Colls 1998; National Heart Foundation 1999;
Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2003). The National Heart Foundation (1999)
states that sodium intake could be reduced by about 1150 mg (50 mmol) by avoiding salty
foods and not adding salt during cooking or at the table.
51 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The three-day meal plans (Appendices 7 and 8) use low-salt margarine to ensure the UL is
not exceeded.
5uIphate
Sulphate requirements are higher in pregnancy (Institute of Medicine 2004). However,
sulphate requirements can be met from drinking water and eating protein foods rich in
sulphur-containing amino acids, such as methionine and cysteine. Sulphate intake usually
exceeds requirements if protein intake is adequate, so no NRVs have been established for
sulphate requirements. There are, however, some medications, such as acetaminophen
(an antipyretic analgesic), which can deplete sulphate. Magnesium sulphate is used
therapeutically to prevent eclampsia; it is considered to be safe and effective, but the serum
sulphate concentration of treated women doubles.
fIuoride
Fluoride is transported across the placenta to the foetus and is incorporated into the
developing deciduous teeth. There is no evidence that pregnant women have a higher
fluoride requirement than non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women. The AI is 3 mg per day
for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
Fluoride concentrations in human milk are low, and vary little with maternal intake.
The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women for all ages is 10 mg of fluoride per day
(NHMRC 2006). Epidemiological studies show no evidence of an association between the
consumption of fluoridated drinking water by mothers and increased risk of spontaneous
abortion or congenital malformation (WHO 2002). The fluoridation rate allowed in the
Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand is 0.7–1.0 mg/litre. Hence intakes will be below
the UL, and it is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women to drink fluoridated water.
The main source of fluoride is fluoridated water. For those who live in areas without
fluoridated water, fluoride toothpaste is the main source of fluoride.
PracticaI advice for potassium, sodium, suIphate and fluoride
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
• Use iodised salt when salt is used for cooking or added to food during the meal.
• Drinking fluoridated water is appropriate. For women living in an area that does not
have a fluoridated water supply, the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste is the
recommended alternative for preventing tooth decay.
52 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
3.5 fat-soIubIe vitamins
3.5.1 vitamin A
8ack¿round
Vitamin A is involved in vision, reproduction, gene expression, embryological development,
growth, immune function, integrity of the epithelium, and bone remodelling.
The term vitamin A includes retinol (preformed vitamin A) from animal sources, and
pro-vitamin A carotenoids (precursors of retinol) in oils, vegetables and fruit. Carotenoids are
pigments in plants. There are over 600 carotenoids, but only a small number have vitamin
A activity, and beta-carotene is the most active. Dietary vitamin A is expressed as retinol
equivalents (RE), where 1 RE is equivalent to:
• 1 µg of all-trans retinol
• 6 µg of all-trans beta-carotene
• 12 µg of a-carotene, B-cryptoxanthin and other provitamin A carotenoids.
Absorption of beta-carotene is increased with chopping, pureeing and cooking, and by the
addition of a small amount of fat (American Dietetic Association 2003).
Vitamin A status in pregnancy is positively correlated with birthweight, head circumference
and length and gestational duration. Low status is associated with increased maternal
mortality and decreased birthweight (Ramakrishnan et al 1999). Vitamin A deficiency can
contribute to nutritional anaemia (West 2002). High alcohol consumption is associated with
reduced liver vitamin A stores partly because of reduced intake of vitamin A.
A high retinol (preformed vitamin A) intake is also associated with teratogenicity in the first
trimester and causes birth defects (West 2002). These defects are manifested as craniofacial
deformations (such as cleft lip and palate) and abnormalities of the central nervous system
(not neural tube defects), heart and thymus. Birth defects in humans have been associated
with the use of vitamin A analogues (retinoic acid) for the treatment of acne, which may be
especially relevant for pregnant adolescents. Alcohol intake enhances the toxicity of vitamin
A in pregnancy, which may be a factor in the pathogenesis of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
(Leo and Lieber 1999) (see section 4.1.2).
Vitamin A requirements for breastfeeding women are greater than for pregnant women.
The vitamin A content of breast milk is affected by maternal vitamin A status and intake in
pregnancy and breastfeeding. Infants are born with low vitamin A status and the infant relies
on an adequate supply in breast milk to prevent deficiency.
Recommended vitamin A intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for women aged 19–50 years for pregnancy is 800 µg REs per day and 1100 µg REs
per day for breastfeeding.
The UL for vitamin A as retinol for women aged 19–50 years is 3000 µg retinol (NHMRC
2006).
53 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
If any nutritional supplements are taken, care must be taken that the total daily intake from
all supplements, including fish oils, does not exceed the UL because of the serious toxicity
problem with vitamin A during pregnancy.
It is generally agreed that there are no adverse effects of carotenoids from normal dietary
levels of intake (West 2002).
Concern has been expressed about high vitamin A intakes from eating liver during
pregnancy. It appears that occasional consumption of liver will have little risk of birth
defects, but chronic high intake of vitamin A may increase the risk (West 2002). In a number
of European countries, pregnant women have been advised not to eat liver, or to limit intake
of liver because of high levels of vitamin A in liver resulting from the supplementation of dry
animal food with vitamin A. Animal feeding practices are different in New Zealand, so vitamin
A levels in liver are likely to be lower. Liver may be consumed in amounts up to 100 g per
week (Department of Health 1990). However, pâté, including liver pâté, is not recommended
because of the risk of food-borne illness, including listeriosis (see section 4.3.2).
vitamin A intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin A by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand was
reported to be 827 µg REs per day (Russell et al 1999). Younger women (aged 15–24 years)
have a lower usual daily median intake of vitamin A (725–698 µg REs per day). Survey data
for pregnant women in regional New Zealand suggest a mean intake range of 1170–1920 µg
REs per day (Benny et al 1991), 930 µg REs per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 1133
µg REs per day (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean intake of 1316 µg REs per day (Todd and
Parnell 1994).
5ources of vitamin A in the diet
The main sources of vitamin A for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are vegetables (27
percent); butter and margarine (15 percent); milk (seven percent); and other meats such as
venison, rabbit and liver (six percent), and fruit (four percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). The
major source of vitamin A is retinol in animal products such as oily fish, egg yolk, milk and
other milk products, and vitamin A in margarine. The main sources of carotenoids are dark
green leafy vegetables, and yellow, red and orange vegetables and fruit.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
• Choose a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, including dark-green leafy vegetables
(spinach, silverbeet or pu¯ ha¯ ) and yellow, red and orange-coloured vegetables and fruit
(carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, apricots, tamarillos).
• Not more than a 100 g serving of liver should be eaten once a week during pregnancy
because of the potentially toxic effects of ingesting large amounts of vitamin A. Liver
should be well cooked, served hot and eaten immediately after cooking.
54 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Supplements containing vitamin A are not recommended during pregnancy, unless under
supervision of the LMC. Care must be taken that the total daily intake of vitamin A from
any supplements taken, including fish oils, does not exceed the UL of 3000 µg REs per
day.
• Women taking medication for the treatment of acne or other dermatological problems
should check with their LMC to see whether the medication may contain large doses of
vitamin A or its analogues. If so, discontinue its use prior to and during pregnancy.
3.5.2 vitamin û
8ack¿round
The main function of vitamin D is to maintain serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations
within the range that optimises bone health, by affecting the absorption of these minerals
from the small intestine, their mobilisation from bone and calcium resorption by the kidney.
Vitamin D circulates in the blood as 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and is converted in the kidneys to
the biologically active form, 1.25-dihydroxy vitamin D.
Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin, hence dietary requirements depend on exposure to
sunlight. Women who are regularly exposed to sunlight are much less dependent on dietary
sources of vitamin D. During the daylight savings months, when Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR)
levels are high or extreme, most people should be able to achieve adequate vitamin D levels
through incidental outdoor ultra violet (UV) exposure outside peak UV times, ie, before 11am
or after 4pm. During winter, particularly in southern New Zealand, where UVR levels are
dramatically lower, vitamin D status may drop below adequate levels. Additional measures
to achieve adequate vitamin D status may be required particularly for those at risk of vitamin
D deficiency. Summer levels of vitamin D influence winter levels of vitamin D because body
stores decline in winter (Sunsmart Partnership 2005).
The time to achieve adequate vitamin D levels depends on skin type. Skin types 1–3 are
fair-skinned, burn more easily and need less time for adequate vitamin D synthesis. Skin
types 4–6 are darker-skinned, burn less easily and need more time for adequate vitamin
D synthesis because the pigment in the skin reduces UV absorption. This may have
implications for the vitamin D status of Ma¯ ori, Asian and Pacific communities, especially
those living further south. People with skin types 1–3 may only need five minutes of
exposure outside peak times (to the face, hands, and forearms), while people with skin types
4–6 will need more, for example, up to 20 minutes (Sunsmart Partnership 2005).
Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is associated with decreased foetal growth via the effect
on maternal calcium homeostasis (Brunvand et al 1996). Vitamin D deficiency in the infant
results in inadequate mineralisation or demineralisation of the skeleton. Rickets occurs in
New Zealand, and in Auckland was found to be more common among children of Indian
ethnicity (Blok et al 2000). A recent paper based on the NNS97 indicated that, in New
Zealanders aged 15 years and older, there is a low prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and
a high prevalence of insufficiency, with a higher prevalence observed in Ma¯ ori and Pacific
peoples than in New Zealand European/Other groups. However, the clinical significance of
low serum vitamin D levels in these populations is yet to be determined (Rockell, Skeaff,
Williams et al 2005).
55 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Groups of women and infants at risk of vitamin D deficiency include babies of vitamin D
deficient mothers, women who are housebound or are in institutional care, women with
darker skin types and those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons (Cancer
Society 2005). Low socioeconomic status, and low educational levels have also been
identified as risk factors (Hollis and Wagner 2004). Children of these families are vulnerable
to vitamin D deficiency postnatally due to low maternal levels and lifestyle, for example, non-
exposure to sunlight, being covered by clothing, and not opening curtains. Those pregnant
and breastfeeding women and children at risk of vitamin D deficiency are more dependent on
dietary vitamin D.
Health practitioners should identify women and children at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
These at risk women should be advised that oily fish, eggs and vitamin D fortified margarine
are rich sources of vitamin D. Mothers and babies with risk factors for vitamin D deficiency
may need a 10µg tablet of vitamin D per day.
Exposure to sunlight for vitamin D synthesis may carry risk of skin cancer if it is excessive
(Sunsmart Partnership 2005). Deliberate exposure at peak UV times is not recommended
as this increases the risk of skin cancer, eye damage, and photo aging. During the daylight
saving months, when Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) levels are high or extreme, most people
should be able to achieve adequate vitamin D levels through incidental outdoor Ultra Violet
(UV) exposure outside peak UV times, ie, before 11 am or after 4pm.
The Ultra Violet Index (UVI) is a measure of the intensity of UVR in our environment. The UVR
intensity can reach levels as high as 14 or 15 during the New Zealand summer. The higher
the number the greater the risk of skin and eye damaging exposure to UVR.
When the UVI is low (1 or 2), no sun protection is required. When the UVI is higher than
or equal to 3, sensible sun protection behaviour is warranted. When it is 6 and above sun
protection is essential. It is important to encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to
adopt sun protective behaviour, including wearing a broad brimmed sunhat, sun protective
clothing, for example sleeves and a collar, a broad spectrum, SPF30+ sunscreen and
sunglasses that meet the Australian/NZ standard.
Recommended vitamin û intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The AI for pregnancy and breastfeeding is 5 µg of vitamin D per day, the same as for adults
(NHMRC 2006).
The UL for all women is 80 µg of vitamin D per day (NHMRC 2006).
vitamin û intake in hew ZeaIand
As the predominant source of vitamin D is synthesis in the skin, it has been considered that
there is little need to collect data about vitamin D intake. Most New Zealand women are likely
to have adequate vitamin D status because of adequate exposure to UVR. However, there is
increasing evidence that New Zealanders have less than optimal vitamin D status (NHMRC
2006).
56 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
5ources of vitamin û
Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as canned tuna, sardines, herrings,
mackerel, eel, warehou and salmon), vitamin D-fortified margarine, eggs, fish oils and liver
(see section 3.5.1).
PracticaI advice
• During the daylight savings months (between October and March inclusive), before
11am and after 4pm, expose face and arms to 5–20 minutes of UVR per day (not through
glass). The amount of time depends on skin type.
• During the daylight savings months (between October and March inclusive), between
11 am and 4 pm, adopt sun protective behaviour including seeking shade, wearing a
wide brimmed hat (minimum 7cm brim), sun protective clothing (eg sleeves, collar and
fabric with a tight weave), sunglasses that meet the Australian/NZ standard, and a broad
spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen.
• Outside the daylight savings months (between April and September inclusive), make
sure you spend some time in the sun to ensure adequate vitamin D synthesis.
• Women who have dark skin, who are housebound, or who do not expose themselves to
sunlight for cultural or religious reasons should also include oily fish, eggs and vitamin D
fortified margarine in their diet and their children’s diet. These women and their infants
may need a 10 µg vitamin D tablet per day under supervision of the LMC.
3.5.3 vitamin £
8ack¿round
Vitamin E is the name of a group of substances known as tocopherols. The different forms of
tocopherols have different biological activity, and a-tocopherol is the most active. Vitamin
E activity is expressed as a-tocopherol equivalents (a-TE). Vitamin E is a potent, fat-soluble
antioxidant that protects against fat peroxidation and the resulting membrane damage. The
major role is to protect polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and requirements are increased
when PUFA intake is increased (NHMRC 2006). During pregnancy, blood levels of both fats
and vitamin E increase. The placenta actively transports vitamin E to the foetus (Hytten and
Leitch 1971).
Overt vitamin E deficiency is rare, and there have been no reports of deficiency in pregnancy.
It is suggested that vitamin E supplementation might be protective against pre-eclampsia
(Chappell et al 2002) and pre-term delivery. There are no reports of naturally occurring
vitamin E toxicity.
There is no evidence of increased needs for vitamin E in pregnancy. The average amount
of vitamin E transferred to breast milk per day is 4 mg of a-TE, so the recommendation for
breastfeeding women is increased by this amount.
Recommended vitamin £ intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The AI for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is the same as for non-pregnant women: 7 mg
of a-TE per day (NHMRC 2006). The AI for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 11 mg
of a-TE per day (NHMRC 2006).
57 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
vitamin £ intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin E by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
8.6 mg a-TE per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in the
upper North Island estimated a mean intake of 9.3 mg a-TE per day (Watson and McDonald
1999).
5ources of vitamin £ in the diet
The main sources of vitamin E for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are butter and
margarine (12 percent); vegetables (11 percent); fruit (eight percent); potatoes and ku¯ mara
(seven percent); beverages, cakes/muffins and sauces (all five percent); and fats and
oils (four percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). Good sources of vitamin E are oils such as
wheatgerm, sunflower, safflower, canola and olive oils (but not soybean and corn oils);
margarine; nuts (especially almonds) and seeds; and ku¯ mara.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.5.4 vitamin K
8ack¿round
Vitamin K is involved in maintaining normal blood coagulation. It is synthesised in the gut,
with some dietary intake. Use of drugs that interfere with the metabolism of vitamin K,
such as warfarin, can increase the risk of foetal haemorrhage, microencephaly and mental
retardation. Anti-epileptic treatments can inhibit placental transport of vitamin K, which
affects foetal synthesis of clotting factors and increases risk of haemorrhage. For this reason,
pregnant women with epilepsy should seek medical advice to see if it is necessary to take a
vitamin K supplement.
The infant is at risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), which is also known as
haemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN). The risk arises because placental transport of
vitamin K is not efficient, concentration of clotting factors is low at birth, breast milk levels
of vitamin K are low, and production of vitamin K from microflora in the infant gut is limited
until full microbial colonisation is achieved. Administering a prophylactic dose of vitamin K
to the infant shortly after delivery can effectively prevent VKDB, and this can be done with
the consent of the mother/parent. Increased maternal dietary intake of vitamin K or vitamin K
supplementation of the mother is not effective in the prevention of VKDB (Greer 1999).
Recommended vitamin K intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The AI for vitamin K for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 60 µg per
day, the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women.
vitamin K intake in hew ZeaIand
There are no data on the dietary intake of vitamin K in New Zealand. The significance of
dietary intake is difficult to assess because the microbial contribution to requirements may
be significant. Microbial synthesis of vitamin K may be compromised by the use of broad-
58 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
spectrum antibiotic treatment (particularly if it is required for a significant period), making
dietary sources more important when on antibiotic treatment.
5ources of vitamin K in the diet
Good dietary sources of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, oils (particularly soybean and
canola oils), wheat bran and margarine. The contribution of microbial vitamin K synthesis has
not been accurately determined but is often assumed to be about equal to the dietary intake.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least three, and ideally six, servings of
vegetables a day, including green leafy vegetables. This will have a positive effect on the
intake of many micronutrients, including vitamin K.
• Health practitioners need to identify any use of medication, such as anti-epilepsy
preparations and vitamin K antagonists, that might affect vitamin K metabolism and
requirements.
• Microbial synthesis of vitamin K may be compromised by the use of broad-spectrum
antibiotic treatment (particularly if it is required for a significant period), making dietary
sources more important when on antibiotic treatment.
3.6 water-soIubIe vitamins
3.6.1 foIate
8ack¿round
Folate is a generic term applied to dietary sources of related compounds that are involved
in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids, and hence the synthesis of DNA, RNA and
proteins. Folate has a role in recycling homocysteine to methionine.
Folate requirements are expressed as dietary folate equivalents (DFEs). The term DFE
includes folate from food, and folic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, found in
supplements and fortified foods and beverages. It is more bioavailable and more stable than
folate from food. Foods fortified with folic acid will include folic acid in the ingredient list
on the label. The total folate value on the nutrition information panel includes the naturally
occurring folate in the food plus the added folic acid.
The term DFE is a new term, adopted in New Zealand when the NRVs were adopted in 2006.
Previously, folate intake was measured in micrograms (µg) of total folate and did not take
into account the different bioavailability of folate from food and folic acid.
Note that 1 µg of DFEs equals:
• 1 µg of folate from food
• 0.5 µg of a folic acid tablet taken on an empty stomach
• 0.6 µg of folic acid from fortified food, or as a tablet taken with meals (NHMRC 2006).
59 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Requirements for folate increase considerably in pregnancy and breastfeeding because of
increased nucleotide synthesis and cell division.
Low serum and red-cell folate levels in early pregnancy are known to be teratogenic (Stover
2004). Low levels are associated with neural tube defects (NTDs) in the infant, megaloblastic
anaemia of pregnancy, cervical dysplasia and atherosclerosis in the mother.
The prevalence of NTDs at birth (live and stillbirths) in New Zealand was 3.4 per 10,000
births in 2001 (New Zealand Health Information Service 2005a, New Zealand Health
Information Service 2005b), although this figure does not include termination data. Up to
12 percent of second trimester terminations are for NTDs in the foetus, which means there
may be one to two terminations for NTDs for every affected live birth.
NTDs are the most common congenital abnormality, and result from failure of the neural tube
to close effectively between 22 and 27 days post-conception. Increased intake of folic acid
around conception has been shown to overcome abnormalities (Boddie et al 2000) in the
folate metabolic pathways of genetically predisposed women. There is a well-established
protective effect of folic acid supplementation of 400 µg daily that significantly reduces the
prevalence of NTDs. Note, however, that not all NTDs are related to low-serum and red-cell
folate.
The risk of NTDs is higher in infants of obese women, but the benefit of high doses of folic
acid has not been studied in non-diabetic obese women.(ACOG 2005).
Folic acid tablets are recommended in New Zealand for women planning pregnancy. About
half of pregnancies in New Zealand – as in many other developed countries – are unplanned
(Schader and Corwin 1999), so these women are unlikely to have been taking the folic acid
tablet. There may also be some resistance to taking ‘medication’ in pregnancy (Bower and
Werler 2001).
Some drugs increase the risk of NTDs, and this may be in part because they are folate
antagonists (Pimentel 2000). These drugs include anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant drugs
(such as carbamazepine and valproate), infertility treatment (such as clomiphene), insulin,
vitamin A analogues (used to treat acne) and some anti-tumour agents.
Folate has a role in reducing and maintaining the level of homocysteine in the blood at an
optimal level. Hyperhomocysteinaemia (high circulating homocysteine) is associated with
cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and some types of cancer
(Wu and Wu 2002). It is unknown whether consuming folic acid tablets reduces the risk of
cardiovascular disease. Raised levels of homocysteine in pregnancy are associated with
complications and adverse outcomes of pregnancy. These may include an increased risk
of pre-eclampsia, NTDs and other congenital abnormalities, low birthweight and pre-term
delivery, placental abruption and spontaneous pregnancy loss (Holmes 2003; Vollset et al
2000).
High folate intake can mask anaemia caused by vitamin B
12
deficiency, delaying diagnosis
of B
12
deficiency and increasing the risk of permanent neurological damage to the foetus
(Shane and Stokstad 1983). However, at the recommended folic acid tablet dose, the
masking effect does not appear to be a significant issue, particularly as vitamin B
12

60 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
deficiency anaemia tends to affect predominantly older people and is usually not a problem
in women of childbearing age (unless they are vegan).
The average amount of folate in breast milk is estimated to be 85 µg per litre per day
(Institute of Medicine 1998). Breast milk folate concentrations are protected from relatively
low maternal intake at the expense of maternal status (Mackey and Picciano 1999), so it
is important that women have adequate folate intakes to protect their own health. Good
maternal folate status is particularly relevant for women who may become pregnant again
soon after giving birth.
Recommended dietary foIate equivaIents (ûf£s) intakes for pre¿nant women, and
foIic acid suppIementation
The RDI for intake of DFEs for pregnant women aged 14–50 years for the entire duration
of their pregnancy is 600 µg DFEs per day. This does not include the folic acid tablet
recommended to reduce the risk of NTDs (NHMRC 2006).
The Ministry of Health recommends that all women planning pregnancy, or who are in the
early stages of pregnancy, take an 800 µg (0.8mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least four
weeks before, and 12 weeks after, conception to reduce the risk of NTDs. Women at high risk
of a pregnancy affected by NTDs are recommended to take a 5000 µg (5 mg) folic acid tablet
for the same period of time. Women at high risk are those who:
• have previously had an NTD-affected pregnancy
• have a family history of NTD, or whose partner had a family history
• are affected by NTD themselves, or whose partner is affected by NTD
• are on insulin treatment for diabetes
• are taking medications known to affect folate metabolism such as anti-convulsants,
infertility treatment, vitamin A analogues used to treat acne and some anti-tumor agents;
for example, carbemazepine, clomiphene, valproate, retinoids and etretinate.
The folic acid tablets recommended are registered medicines which are available over the
counter from pharmacies, either as 0.8 mg (800 µg) tablets or 5 mg (5000 µg) tablets.
Supplementing with 400 µg (0.4mg) is sufficient to reduce the risk of NTDs, but the only folic
acid tablets currently available as registered medicines in New Zealand contain 800 µg
(0.8 mg) or 5000 µg (5 mg).
Women are recommended to take only folic acid tablets that are registered as medicines to
reduce the ocurrence and re-ocurrence of NTDs, and not to rely on dietary supplements for
their folic acid.
The UL for folic acid for pregnant women aged 14–18 years is 800 µg per day. The UL for
folic acid for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 1000 µg per day. This value is based
on limited evidence of the effects on people with vitamin B
12
deficiency. As vitamin B
12

deficiency is usually not a problem in women of childbearing age, women at high risk of a
pregnancy affected by NTD can safely take the 5 mg tablet.
61 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Note that the UL is for folic acid and does not include dietary folate. Pregnant women should
be encouraged to meet the RDI for DFE intake for their entire pregnancy as well as taking the
folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before, and 12 weeks after, conception.
Recommended dietary foIate equivaIents (ûf£s) intakes for breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for DFEs for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 500 µg DFEs per day.
The UL for folic acid for breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 800 µg per day, and for
breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 1000 µg per day.
foIate intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of total folate by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
213 µg per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand
estimated a mean intake range of 203–257 µg of total folate per day (Benny et al 1991), 190
µg of total folate per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 275 µg of total folate per day
(Watson and McDonald 1999). Breastfeeding women were found to have a mean total folate
intake of 311 µg per day (Todd and Parnell 1995).
Note that folate intake figures in these surveys indicate total folate intake and not DFE intake,
which takes into account the different bioavailability between dietary folate and folic acid.
However, we can assume that the folate intake figures are likely to be similar to what the DFE
intake figure would be, because voluntary folic acid fortification was only permitted in New
Zealand in 1996, after these surveys were conducted.
In the NNS97, 50 percent of women aged 19–24 years ate three or more servings of
vegetables per day, and 48 percent ate two or more servings of fruit. Of women aged 25–44
years, 71 percent ate three or more servings per day of vegetables and 49 percent ate two
or more servings of fruit (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in
New Zealand indicated that seven percent of pregnant women ate three or more servings of
vegetables per day, and 71 percent ate two or more servings of fruit per day (Watson and
McDonald 1999).
5ources of foIate in the diet
Sources of folate for women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand are vegetables (18 percent),
breads (13 percent), breakfast cereals (11 percent), fruit (9 percent), and potatoes and
ku¯ mara (7 percent) (Russell et al 1999). Women aged 15–18 consume a lower percentage
from vegetables (15 percent) and a higher percentage from bread (15 percent).
Note that folate sources indicate sources of total folate and not DFE. However we can assume
that the folate sources are likely to be similar to what the DFE sources would be, because
voluntary folic acid fortification was only permitted in New Zealand in 1996.
The main folic acid-fortified foods available are breakfast cereals and fruit juice. A serving
(30 g) of folic acid-fortified breakfast cereal will provide between 70 and 100 µg total folate.
A 250 ml glass of folic acid-fortified fruit juice will provide about 100 µg total folate. On
average, a serving of vegetable supplies 40 µg total folate, and fruit 8 µg total folate. The
mandatory fortification of food with folic acid is being considered. Health practitioners have
a role in educating women about the importance of folate in the diet and encouraging the
62 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
consumption of foods containing folate and folic acid, and advising on the use of folic acid
tablets.
PracticaI advice
• Women planning pregnancy, or who are in the early stages of pregnancy, should take an
800 µg (0.8mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after
conception, as well as consuming foods rich in folate and foods fortified with folic acid.
• Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an NTD should take a 5000
µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after
conception.
• Women are recommended to take only folic acid tablets that are registered as medicines
and not to rely on dietary supplements for their folic acid.
• At least six servings of well-washed vegetables and fruit should be eaten per day, aiming
for 10 servings per day.
• Choose folate-rich foods: leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit, wholegrain breads,
legumes, folic acid-fortified foods such as breakfast cereal and juice, and liver (limit to
100 g per week – see section 3.5.1).
3.6.2 1hiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid
8ack¿round
1hiamin (vitamin 8
1
) is a co-enzyme involved in energy supply and the metabolism of
carbohydrate, protein and fat. Thiamin deficiency in pregnancy affects foetal growth, and
is associated with an increased risk of malformations such as cleft lip and palate, pre-
eclampsia and sudden infant death syndrome (Ortega et al 2004). Thiamin is preferentially
transported by the placenta to the foetus at maternal expense (Schenker et al 1990).
Thiamin deficiency is most likely to be associated with heavy alcohol use in conjunction
with limited food consumption. Pregnant women who restrict bread and cereal consumption
are potentially at risk of deficiency. The requirement for thiamin in pregnancy increases
to support maternal and foetal growth and to provide for the increased energy utilisation
(Institute of Medicine 1998). The requirement for thiamin during breastfeeding is also
increased to cover the energy cost of milk production and the thiamin transferred to breast
milk. Breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. The RDI is 1.4 mg of thiamin per day for
pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
Riboflavin is a co-enzyme involved in a range of metabolic processes. Maternal intake of
riboflavin may be associated with foetal growth (Badart-Smook et al 1997), and deficiency
of riboflavin may be a risk factor for pre-eclampsia (Wacker et al 2000). The requirement for
riboflavin increases in pregnancy to support growth and the increase in energy utilisation.
Requirements are further increased in breastfeeding to cover the riboflavin transferred to
breast milk, and breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. The RDI is 1.4 mg riboflavin per
day for pregnant women aged 14–50 years, and 1.6 mg riboflavin per day for breastfeeding
women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
hiacin functions as a co-enzyme or co-substrate in energy metabolism. The amino acid
tryptophan is converted to niacin through a biochemical pathway, so the recommended
intake of niacin is expressed as niacin equivalents (NEs): 1 NE is equal to 1 mg of niacin or
63 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
60 mg of tryptophan. The higher requirement for niacin in pregnancy is related to increased
energy use and growth. The higher niacin requirement for breastfeeding is based on the
niacin transferred to breast milk and the energy expenditure involved in milk production.
Breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is
18 mg NEs per day. The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 17 mg NEs per day
(NHMRC 2006).
Pantothenic acid is a component of co-enzyme A and phosphopantotheine, which are
involved in fatty acid metabolism. It is widely distributed in foods, and deficiency is unusual.
Low maternal blood concentrations have been reported for women with low dietary intake.
There is little evidence that requirements for pantothenic acid increase in pregnancy.
However, the requirement for pantothenic acid increases during lactation to cover the
amount present in breast milk. The AI for pregnancy for women aged 14–50 years is 5 mg
per day (the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women), and 6 mg per day for
breastfeeding women (NHMRC 2006).
Intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid in hew ZeaIand
1abIe 13: Reported intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid in some
studies of hew ZeaIand diets
vitamin 1hiamin
m¿
Riboflavin
(m¿)
hiacin m¿
(h£)
Pantothenic
acid (m¿)
Usual daily median intake for women aged
25–44 years in New Zealand (Russell et al
1999)
1.2 1.6 30 -
Mean intake range of pregnant women in
Wellington (Benny et al 1991)
1–1.4 1.5–2.3 15.5–18.5 -
Mean intake of pregnant women in Dunedin
(McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993)
1.1 1.7 17 -
Mean intake of pregnant women in the
upper North Island (Watson and McDonald
1999)
2.3 1.9 16.7 -
Usual daily median intake for women aged
25–44 years in New Zealand (LINZ Research
Unit 1992)
- - - 3.6
Mean intake of breastfeeding women in
Dunedin (Todd and Parnell 1994)
- - 15 -
64 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1abIe 14: ûietary sources of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid for
hew ZeaIand women a¿ed 25–44 years
vitamin ûietary sources
Thiamin Bread, potatoes and ku¯ mara, breakfast cereals, vegetables, milk and pork
Riboflavin Milk, bread, beef and veal, breakfast cereals, dairy products, vegetables
Niacin Bread, beef and veal, poultry, non-alcoholic beverages, milk, fish/seafood
Pantothenic acid Widely distributed in foods (NHMRC 2006)
Source: Russell et al 1999
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups, especially for
wholegrain breads and cereals (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition
Guideline Statements.
• Women who avoid milk and milk products may need to choose other sources of
riboflavin (see Table 14).
3.6.3 vitamin 86 (pyridoxine)
8ack¿round
Vitamin B6 comprises six compounds: pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and their
respective phosphates. The principal active form is pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP), a
co-enzyme involved in the metabolism of amino acids and glycogen. Serum concentrations
of vitamin B6 fall throughout pregnancy to a greater degree than can be accounted for by
haemodilution. This appears to be because of active transfer to the foetus, placenta and
uterus, particularly in the third trimester.
Deficiency of B6 on its own is rare, and is usually only seen with deficiencies of other
vitamins or with protein deficiency (Truswell and Milne 2002). Pregnant and breastfeeding
women who have low dietary intake of vitamin B6 may compromise the vitamin B6 status
of their infant. Vitamin B6 is essential for the developing nervous system and affects brain
development and cognitive function. It may also prevent dental caries and protect the
placenta (Mahomed and Gulmezoglu 2000).
The vitamin B6 level of breast milk depends on maternal dietary intake. The additional
requirement for breastfeeding is higher than that suggested by the amount transferred to
breast milk. Infants who have a low intake of vitamin B6 grow more slowly (Chang and Kirksey
2002) and may be at risk of infant convulsions and greater irritability in the first week after
birth (Mallory Boylan et al 2002).
High intakes of vitamin B6 can be toxic. Intakes greater than 200 mg per day have been
associated with neuropathy (Truswell and Milne 2002).
Vitamin B6 has been used therapeutically for treating women with severe nausea and
vomiting. However, the evidence to support this treatment is inconclusive and there are
concerns for safety because the doses used are close to the upper recommended limit
(see section 4.4.1). The effect of high doses of B6 on the developing foetus, particularly
65 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
neural function, is not known. Vitamin B6 has also been used to treat post-natal depression,
but the evidence for vitamin B6 deficiency being associated with post-natal depression is
insubstantial (Institute of Medicine 1998).
Recommended vitamin 86 intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 1.9 mg of vitamin B6 per day. The RDI for
breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 2.0 mg of vitamin B6 per day.
The UL is 40 mg of vitamin B6 as pyridoxine per day for women aged 14–18 years, and 50 mg
of vitamin B6 as pyridoxine per day for women aged 19–50 years (NHMRC 2006).
vitamin 86 intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin B6 by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
1.3 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Pregnant women in a regional survey had a mean daily
intake of 1.8 mg at seven months’ gestation (Watson and McDonald 1999). Breastfeeding
women in Dunedin had a usual daily mean intake of 1.6 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994).
5ources of vitamin 86 in the diet
The main sources of vitamin B6 for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are fruit (15 percent),
breakfast cereals (13 percent), potatoes and ku¯ mara (10 percent), vegetables (9 percent),
and milk and poultry (both 7 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.6.4 vitamin 812 (CobaIamin)
8ack¿round
Vitamin B12 is essential for normal blood and neurological function.
Absorption of vitamin B12 may increase in pregnancy, and the foetus is dependent on
maternal dietary intake (Allen 2002). The placenta preferentially transports newly absorbed
vitamin B12 from the mother’s dietary intake, rather than stored vitamin B12 from the mother’s
liver. The placenta then concentrates the vitamin B12 and transfers it to the foetus. Hence,
if dietary intake is inadequate, transfer to the foetus may be compromised even though the
mother shows no overt signs of deficiency. Women who are vegan or with a low intake of
vitamin B12 may compromise the foetal vitamin B12 levels even if they have become vegan
only recently (Specker et al 1990).
Infant tolerance to deficiency of vitamin B12 is much lower than adult tolerance. Breastfed
infants may suffer serious consequences, such as severe megaloblastic anaemia and
neurological damage, even if their vitamin B12 deficient mothers are not showing clinical
signs of deficiency. The first symptoms of infant vitamin B12 deficiency are repetitive
vomiting, drowsiness, problems with swallowing, severe constipation and tremor
66 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
(particularly involving tongue, face, pharynx and legs). Progression to unconsciousness,
coma and, ultimately, death can be swift. The consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency for the
breastfed infant of a deficient mother are therefore serious and can be life-threatening.
The vitamin B12 level of breastmilk reflects maternal vitamin B12 status. Low maternal intake
or absorption of vitamin B12 may result in infants with signs of clinical deficiency.
Recommended vitamin 812 intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 2.6 µg per day. The RDI for breastfeeding
women aged 14–50 years is 2.8 µg per day. These values are higher than the RDI for non-
pregnant, non-breastfeeding women of 2.4 µg per day, to allow for the increased foetal and
placental needs, and for the amount secreted into breast milk (NHMRC 2006).
vitamin 812 intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin B12 by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand
is 3.5 µg per day (Russell et al 1999). Adolescents have a lower usual daily median intake.
Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand estimated a mean intake range
of vitamin B12 of 2.8–5.3 µg per day (Benny et al 1991), and 3.3 µg of vitamin B12 per day
(McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993).
Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to have a mean intake of 4.3 µg of B12 per day
(Todd and Parnell 1994).
Individuals who consume animal produce are likely to have an intake of 3–32 µg per day,
whereas vegans might consume extremely low intakes (less than 1 µg per day) (Stabler and
Allen 2004).
5ources of vitamin 812 in the diet
Vitamin B12 is synthesised by bacteria and found in animal products (eg, meat, eggs, milk
and milk products). Plant sources, such as seaweed and spirulina, often contain vitamin
B12 analogues, which have not been shown to have vitamin B12 activity in the human body.
These vitamin B12 analogues may even increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency through
competition. Bacteria in the human intestine synthesise B12, but the bioavailability of this B12
is uncertain (Martens et al 2002).
The main dietary sources of vitamin B12 for New Zealand women aged 35–44 years are beef
and veal (17 percent), milk (18 percent), fish and seafood (16 percent), and egg and egg
dishes (6 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999).
Vegetarian women may need to be advised that milk and milk products are a source of
vitamin B12. The only dietary sources for vegans are plant foods exposed to vitamin B12
producing bacteria; plant foods contaminated with soil, insects or other substances
containing B12; or foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as soy milk and textured vegetable
protein (TVP). Vegan women need to take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods that have
been fortified with vitamin B12.
67 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
• Vegan women should eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 and are likely to need vitamin
B12 supplementation. This is very important for breastfeeding because of infant needs.
• Vegetarian women should eat foods that contain vitamin B12, such as milk and milk
products, eggs and foods fortified with B12, such as soy milk and TVP products. They may
also require supplementation with vitamin B12.
• Vitamin B12 in plant sources, such as seaweed and spirulina, does not have vitamin B12
activity in the human body.
3.6.5 8iotin
8ack¿round
Biotin is required for cellular function and growth. It is essential for foetal development, and
the foetus depends on maternal dietary intake (Mantagos et al 1998). There is emerging
evidence that biotin deficiency may be teratogenic (Zempleni and Mock 2000). Some studies
have shown low plasma levels of biotin in pregnancy, but it is not clear whether this is
related to low intake or haemodilution. Biotin deficiency is rare.
Recommended biotin intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The AI for biotin for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 30 µg per day, which is 5 µg more
than that set for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women to account for additional body
size.
The AI for biotin for breastfeeding women is 35 µg per day because about 5 µg is transferred
to breast milk per day (NHMRC 2006).
8iotin intake in hew ZeaIand and sources of biotin in the diet
Biotin intake was not assessed in the NNS97. The usual median daily intake of biotin by
women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 26.9 µg (LINZ Research Unit 1992). Biotin is
present in a wide range of foods so deficiency is rare. There is also some microbial synthesis
of biotin in the colon.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.6.6 vitamin C
8ack¿round
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant and a co-factor for enzymes involved in the
synthesis of collagen, neurotransmitters and carnitine. It is involved in the recycling of
68 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
vitamin E and also enhances absorption of iron (Hallberg et al 1987). Plasma vitamin C
concentration is lower in pregnancy because of increased blood volume and the effect of
haemodilution.
Vitamin C deficiency is associated with premature rupture of the placental membranes
(waters breaking) (Siega-Riz et al 2003), pre-term delivery (Ramakrishnan et al 1999) and
infection (Casanueva et al 1993). Intervention studies have shown reduced incidence of
pre-eclampsia in at-risk women supplemented with vitamin C and vitamin E (Chappell et al
2002).
There is no evidence for maternal toxicity with high vitamin C intakes, and adverse effects
have been reported only after taking doses over 3 g per day (Institute of Medicine 2000b).
Requirements for vitamin C are increased with cigarette smoking, passive smoking, use of
recreational drugs, use of significant quantities of alcohol, regular use of aspirin (Cogswell et
al 2003), and exposure to environmental pollution. Therefore, additional dietary vitamin C is
recommended for pregnant women exposed to these factors.
The vitamin C concentration in breast milk appears to be affected by maternal intakes of up
to 100 mg per day. Intakes higher than 100 mg per day result in increased urinary excretion
of the vitamin (Byerley and Kirksey 1985).
Recommended vitamin C intakes for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
The RDI for vitamin C for pregnancy is 55 mg for women aged 14–18 years, and 60 mg for
women aged 19–50 years per day. The RDI for vitamin C for breastfeeding is 80 mg for
women aged 14–18 years, and 85 mg for women aged 19–50 years per day (NHMRC 2006).
There is no UL for vitamin C, but expert bodies suggest that intakes of no more than 1000 mg
per day are prudent (NHMRC 2006).
vitamin C intake in hew ZeaIand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin C by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is
92 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand
suggest a mean intake range for vitamin C of 164–217 mg per day (Benny et al 1991), 90 mg
per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993), and 152 mg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999).
New Zealand breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to have a mean usual vitamin C
intake of 140 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994).
5ources of vitamin C in the diet
The principal sources of vitamin C in the New Zealand diet are vegetables and non-alcoholic
beverages (both 26 percent), fruit (23 percent), and potatoes and ku¯ mara (13 percent) (LINZ
Research Unit 1999). Foods rich in vitamin C include vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, spinach,
ku¯ mara) and fruit (strawberries, kiwifruit, oranges). Dried fruit is not a good source of vitamin
C (Ministry of Health 2003a).
69 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat least six servings of well-washed
vegetables and fruit per day.
• Cooking methods should be used that minimise loss of vitamin C, such as microwaving
and steaming.
3.6.7 ChoIine
Choline is required for cell membranes, neurotransmission, methyl metabolism, and fat and
cholesterol transport and metabolism. It seems to be important during embryo development,
particularly of the nervous system (Zeisel 2000). Low periconceptual intake of choline may
contribute to the risk of NTDs (Shaw et al 2004).
The requirements for pregnancy and breastfeeding are derived from the adult requirements,
with additional allowance made for foetal and placental accumulation of choline, and the
amount transferred to breast milk. Transport of choline to the foetus occurs at maternal
expense. A substantial amount (125 mg per day) is secreted in breast milk. The adult AI is
based on experimental studies (NHMRC 2006).
Intake of choline in New Zealand has not been measured. However, the United States intake
has been estimated at around 600–1000 g per day (Bowman and Russell 2001).
The AI is 440 mg and 550 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19–50
years, respectively (NHMRC 2006).
Choline is widely distributed and abundant in foods, mostly as phosphatidylcholine in
membranes. Particularly rich sources are meat, eggs and liver. (Remember that liver intake
should be limited to no more than 100 g per week.)
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
3.7 ûrinks
8ack¿round
A significant proportion of the weight gained in pregnancy is water, both intracellular and
extracellular. Water requirements are slightly increased in pregnancy because of expanding
extracellular fluid space, the needs of the foetus, and the amniotic fluid. The extra
requirement for breastfeeding is to replace the fluid lost in breast milk, which is around 700
ml per day above basic needs. For both pregnant and breastfeeding women, high levels of
activity, high environmental temperatures or high humidity will increase sweat losses and
increase fluid requirements. Inadequate fluid intake may contribute to constipation. The
colour of the urine can be used as an approximate guide to sufficiency of fluid intake: the
urine should be clear to light yellow (Riordan 2005).
70 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
It is useful to remind breastfeeding women that their fluid intake should be increased,
particularly as changed social behaviour (such as ceasing work with scheduled refreshment
breaks) may affect fluid intake.
Food is an important source of fluid, especially vegetables and fruit. It is assumed that
water from food provides about a fifth of the total water intake. Water and trim milk are the
recommended drinks. However, all beverages contribute equally to the fluid intake (Institute
of Medicine 2004). Caffeinated drinks should be limited (see section 4.1.7), as should those
high in sugar (see section 2.4).
The carbonation in carbonated drinks is not harmful for pregnant and breastfeeding women,
but some of the other ingredients in these drinks need consideration because they may
be unsuitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Caffeine and guarana, a Brazilian
berry extract, are commonly added to energy or smart drinks (see section 4.1.6). Many of
the energy or smart drinks also contain amino acids, such as tyrosine and taurine, and B
vitamins at levels higher than are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Herbal teas should be selected with caution (see section 4.1.6).
Pregnant women should drink potable water during pregnancy to avoid the risk of waterborne
illnesses (see section 4.3.1).
Recommendations
The AI for pregnant women is 3.1 litres of totaI water (from food and fluids), which will
include about 2.3 litres (or about nine cups) as drinks, including drinking water (NHMRC
2006).
The AI for breastfeeding women is 3.5 litres of totaI water, which includes approximately 2.6
litres (about 10 cups) as drinks, including drinking water (NHMRC 2006).
fIuid sources in hew ZeaIand
The NNS97 showed that women aged 25–44 years regularly drink (at least three times a
week) water (83 percent), coffee (63 percent) and tea (61 percent). The consumption of
carbonated drinks, fruit juices and powdered drinks is higher in women aged 15–19 years
(Russell et al 1999).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should aim for nine cups of drinks per day when
pregnant and 10 cups when breastfeeding. This is only a guide because actual amounts
depend on environmental temperatures and humidity, levels of activity and the water
content of food.
• Water and trim milk should be consumed as the drinks of choice.
• Colour of urine can be used as an approximate guide to indicate sufficiency.
• Increase fluid intake (particularly if constipation is a problem).
• For breastfeeding women, a useful guide is to have a drink with each breastfeed.
71 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Caffeinated beverages should be limited; for example, no more than six cups of tea or
instant coffee (see section 4.1.7 for more detailed information).
• Flavoured waters, carbonated drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks are a dietary source
of sugar, and supply very few other nutrients, and therefore their intake should be
limited.
• Herbal teas should be checked for safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding, and used with
caution (see section 4.1.6).
• Energy and smart drinks may contain high levels of caffeine and other ingredients
not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, so such drinks are not
recommended (see section 4.1.6).
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink fluoridated water, if available.
72 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 4: 0ther Issues
4.1 LifestyIe
4.1.1 PhysicaI activity
8ack¿round
There are benefits for women who are physically active during pregnancy. These include
more appropriate weight gain, weight loss after pregnancy, improved mood and sleep
patterns (Kramer 2002), faster progression of labour, less need for induction, and a lower
requirement for pain relief and operative delivery (Brown 2002; Lumbers 2002). Physical
activity seems to be a safe therapy for assisting with the control of gestational diabetes (Artal
2003). Physical activity may also assist in the management of back ache, leg cramps, high
blood pressure and constipation (SPARC 2003).
Moderate aerobic and strength-conditioning activities are considered safe and to be
encouraged in pregnancy (Jarski and Trippett 1990). The aim should be to maintain a good
fitness level during pregnancy rather than reach peak fitness or train for competitive events
(Davies et al 2003). Examples of safe activities are walking, swimming, yoga, stretching,
biking, and low-impact aerobics and certain physical activity programmes. A common guide
is that when being physically active, pregnant women should have enough breath to hold a
conversation. Women athletes should discuss their training during pregnancy with their LMC.
Pregnant women are advised to seek advice before starting a physical activity programme.
Some conditions may limit physical activity during pregnancy. These conditions include
high blood pressure during pregnancy, a history of miscarriages, premature rupture
of the membranes, a weak cervix, premature labour in this or previous pregnancies,
multiple pregnancy, bleeding, placenta previa, anaemia, and medical conditions that limit
cardiovascular reserve (SPARC 2003).
Concerns about the potential adverse effects of physical activity during pregnancy, such as
decreased birthweight, pre-term delivery and hyperthermia, are not supported by the most
recent scientific reviews. Physiological adaptations to physical activity during pregnancy
appear to protect the foetus, and maintain placental and foetal tissue perfusion and
oxygenation and nutrient delivery (Clapp 2000).
Moderate physical activity (20 minutes 3–5 times a week) begun in early pregnancy
enhances placental development and foetal growth, whereas physical activity begun in
mid- and late pregnancy is associated with reduced placental and foetal growth (Clapp et
al 2000). Women who are physically active before pregnancy and who continue to be so to
the same extent during pregnancy tend to weigh less, gain less weight, and deliver slightly
smaller infants than controls (but not low birthweight) (Clapp et al 2000).
High-intensity physical activities, such as sprinting and squash, may result in respiratory
stress (hyperventilation) or hyperthermia and are best avoided. Contact sports, water-skiing,
trampolining, gymnastics and walking or running on rocky or unstable ground should be
avoided to reduce the risk of falling, injury and foetal trauma (Davies et al 2003). In late
73 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
pregnancy, activities that involve lying on the back are best avoided because the weight of
the uterus can impede venous return to the heart and may cause postural hypotension (Coad
and Dunstall 2001). Physical activity at high altitude may be associated with pregnancy
complications, such as dehydration, bleeding and pre-term labour, so should be avoided
unless women are acclimatised to high altitude. Scuba diving should be avoided because it
may affect the oxygen supply to the baby.
Breastfeeding women should be encouraged to be physically active to enhance their
wellbeing. Pelvic floor exercises are also beneficial in the post-natal period. Breastfeeding
women who were assigned to a physical activity programme increased their physical fitness
without any ill effects on the nursing relationship or milk volume being reported (Lovelady
et al 2000). Lactic acid passes into breast milk, but is present only transiently. Infants can
detect lactic acid in breast milk (Wallace et al 1992), but its presence did not cause any
change in infant acceptance of breast milk collected one hour after moderate physical activity
(Wright et al 2002). If breast refusal is associated with maternal physical activity, the mother
can be advised to feed the infant before physical activity and then an hour or more after
physical activity.
PracticaI advice for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. The
aim is to be physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not
all days of the week.
• Regular, moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be
maintained to help achieve the recommended weight gain.
• If active before becoming pregnant, the level of physical activity enjoyed before
becoming pregnant can be maintained, but not increased beyond that level.
• A good support bra is recommended (not an underwire bra, as this may put undue
pressure on the breasts and could lead to blocked milk ducts), along with loose clothing
and supportive footwear.
• Exercising pregnant and breastfeeding women should take frequent breaks, consume
adequate food and drinks, and avoid exercising in extremely hot weather.
• Physical activity should not cause severe discomfort, breathlessness or exhaustion.
A common guide is that when being physically active, pregnant women should have
enough breath to hold a conversation. If pregnant women experience vaginal bleeding
or fluid discharge, pain, dizziness, fainting, persistent contractions or a reduction in
the baby’s movements, they should stop the activity and seek advice from their LMC
urgently.
• Breastfeeding mothers may need to consider the timing of breastfeeding and physical
activity if breast refusal is a factor.
74 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.1.2 AIcohoI
8ack¿round
Pregnancy
Alcohol readily crosses the placenta, so foetal blood alcohol levels will be similar to maternal
levels and may affect foetal neurological and behavioural development (de la Monte and
Wands 2002; Duester et al 1996). Alcohol may interfere with metabolic processes (Lieber
2000) and the supply of nutrients from the mother to the foetus, and hence the development
of the foetus. Recent studies in experimental animals have suggested that prenatal alcohol
exposure may predispose an infant to developing insulin resistance and impaired glucose
tolerance (Chen et al 2004; Chen and Nyomba 2004). Infants exposed to alcohol in utero
may show symptoms after birth consistent with withdrawal, such as hyperactivity, excessive
crying, irritability, weak sucking, disturbed sleep patterns, tremors, seizures, hyperphagia
and diaphoresis (American Academy of Pediatrics 1998). Infants with foetal alcohol
syndrome (FAS) may also show some of these symptoms, but with longer duration. These
infants may therefore be difficult to breastfeed successfully.
FAS is the most readily recognisable outcome of maternal alcohol drinking during pregnancy.
It is characterised by intrauterine and post-natal growth restriction, characteristic unusual
facial features, and adverse effects on brain function leading to mental retardation and/or
behavioural disturbances (O’Leary 2004; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2004).
Full FAS is generally only encountered in instances where the foetus has been exposed to
regular heavy alcohol intake or to very high alcohol concentrations at critical periods in
development.
It is now recognised, however, that there is a range of effects, less readily classifiable
as a defined syndrome and therefore more difficult to diagnose, that may be found in
children who have been exposed to lower amounts of alcohol in utero. The term foetal
alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes the full range of effects of alcohol that may be
observed in exposed children (O’Malley and Nanson 2002; Koren et al 2003). The effects
may include some or all of the following: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
inability to foresee consequences, inability to learn from previous experience, inappropriate
or immature behaviour, lack of organisation, learning difficulties, poor abstract thinking,
poor adaptability, poor impulse control, poor judgement, and speech, language and other
communication problems (Koren et al 2003).
There is no known safe level for alcohol consumption at any stage during pregnancy.
The lower limit of alcohol intake at which it is certain that no adverse effect will occur for
any developing foetus has not as yet been determined, and may not exist. There is some
evidence suggesting that measurable changes in behaviour may be observed in children
exposed before birth to as little as one standard drink of alcohol per week (Sood et al
2001) and in cognitive skills with one drink per day (Goldschmidt et al 1996; Kodituwakku
et al 2001). The effects of foetal alcohol exposure depend on the dose and timing of the
exposure, other dietary factors, and on the genetic makeup of the mother and the child
(Molotkov et al 2002), hence the outcome is not identical for every alcohol-exposed child.
Proposals that antioxidant supplementation might improve the adverse effects of alcohol on
foetal development (Cohen-Kerem and Koren 2003) should be treated with caution, as
75 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
antioxidants may affect vitamin A metabolism and could cause vitamin A deficiency (Kitson
et al 2001).
Women consuming relatively large amounts of alcohol may consume an inadequate amount
of food, because of the provision of energy from alcohol, or a poor diet possibly as a result
of economic or lifestyle constraints associated with heavy alcohol drinking or alcoholism.
A recent study in New Zealand has indicated that women drinking alcohol heavily prior to
or during pregnancy had lower intakes of a range of nutrients (Parackal 2003). High alcohol
intake also interferes with the absorption and metabolism of micronutrients (Lieber 2000),
which may also affect the growth and development of the foetus.
Breastfeeding
Results from the limited research on the effect of alcohol intake during breastfeeding
consistently show a decrease in lactational performance. Milk quantity and quality may be
compromised and the milk ejection reflex reduced if a mother drinks alcohol regularly or
heavily (Liston 1998). Alcohol imparts a detectable odour to breast milk, which apparently
stimulates sucking initially. One drink taken just before nursing has the net effect of
decreasing milk intake by almost one-fourth during the nursing session (Schulte 1995).
The resulting cumulative effect of a decrease in milk intake by the infant could affect infant
body weight, growth and development. Reduction of milk quality could occur through the
metabolic effects of high alcohol intake, such as inhibition of protein synthesis, fluctuations
in glucose levels, changes in lipid metabolism, and a reduced intake, absorption and
metabolism of vitamins. The Institute of Medicine (1991) concluded that an excess of 0.5 g
alcohol per kg of maternal body weight may be harmful to the infant, potentially because of a
possible reduction in milk volume.
Infants exposed to alcohol have been reported to be more wakeful in the hours following
breastfeeding (Mennella and Gerrish 1998) and have a reduced milk intake because the
mother produces less milk (Mennella 2001). There are also concerns about a negative
effect on the motor development of infants resulting from maternal alcohol intake during
breastfeeding, although the evidence is inconclusive (Little et al 2002). Exposure to alcohol
through breast milk may also influence the infant’s response to alcohol at a later age
(Menella 2001).
Women who consume moderate to high intakes have alcohol levels higher in breast milk
than in blood. At lower alcohol intakes, blood and breast milk levels are similar (Giglia and
Binns in press). The level of alcohol in the maternal blood, and breast milk, peaks after about
30 to 60 minutes. Alcohol will return from breast milk in the breast to the blood supply over
time without emptying the breasts. Emptying the breast (pumping and dumping) does not
increase the speed of elimination of alcohol either from breast milk or from the body as a
whole (Schulte 1995).
A chart from which you can estimate the time it takes for all alcohol to be cleared from breast
milk has been published (Ho et al 2001). An example from this chart is that if a 61 kg woman
consumes one standard drink, it will take one hour and 40 minutes until the zero level in milk
is reached. However, the rate of disappearance of the alcohol (in maternal blood and breast
milk) varies considerably between women.
76 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
There is no good evidence that alcohol increases breast milk supply (Giglia and Binns in
press). The belief that stout is a good iron source for the nursing mother is also unfounded.
If a mother is consuming alcohol during breastfeeding, the immediate concern should be the
safety of the baby. The baby may be at risk of accidents, such as being dropped or rolled on
during sleep, and at risk of nutritional deficiency. If the baby has been exposed to alcohol
in utero as well, breastfeeding may be difficult to establish. The mother and baby should be
provided with as much assistance as possible, and the nutritional and developmental status
of the baby should be closely monitored.
Intakes of alcohol in pregnancy in New Zealand
Recent surveys of usual rates of drinking in New Zealand indicate consistently that about
80–85 percent of all women drink some alcohol (Wylie et al 1996; Ministry of Health
2004b; Habgood et al 2001; Parackal 2003; ALAC 2004). A recent survey has indicated that
about half the New Zealand population (women and men over 18 years of age) are either
constrained (23 percent) or uninhibited (29 percent) binge drinkers (ALAC 2004).
In the 2004 New Zealand Health Behaviours survey, the majority (68 percent) of pregnant
women aged 16–39 reported they had stopped using alcohol (SHORE 2005). Regional
surveys of pregnant women in New Zealand during the 1990s (Parackal 2003; Watson and
McDonald 1999; Counsell et al 1994) indicated that 30–40 percent of women consumed
some alcohol during pregnancy. Rates of consumption were similar throughout all regions of
New Zealand (Parackal 2003). Rates of heavy and binge drinking appeared to be around 10–
12 percent of the pregnant population (Parackal 2003; Watson and McDonald 1999). Ma¯ ori
and Pacific women were less likely to drink than New Zealand European women, but those
Ma¯ ori and Pacific women who did drink were more likely to be binge drinkers (Caswell 1980;
Watson and McDonald 1999). Adolescents are particularly at risk of drinking in pregnancy. A
survey of midwives showed that 80 percent of adolescents reported consuming some alcohol
during pregnancy (Parackal 2003).
A review of studies reported that there was a reduced intake of alcohol during pregnancy
and after birth a return to pre-pregnancy levels, or at least to higher intakes than during
pregnancy (Giglia and Binns in press).
Recommendations for pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol.
The message from health practitioners to abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy is
unequivocal and should be promoted by all health practitioners.
The consequences of alcohol exposure for the child and family should be clearly explained to
pregnant women and to women contemplating, or exposed to the possibility of, pregnancy.
Where a pregnant woman is unable to abstain from drinking alcohol, all possible assistance
should be offered by the LMC, including referral to appropriate agencies. Some women may
have drunk some alcohol before realising that they were pregnant. LMCs need to reassure
these women while maintaining a strong advocacy for abstinence (Koren et al 2003).
77 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Alcohol should be avoided during breastfeeding, particularly in the first month, when it is
important for sound breastfeeding patterns to be established (Giglia and Binns in press).
However, if it is not possible for the woman to abstain from alcohol, they should be advised
to limit themselves to one to two standard drinks occasionally (see Table 15). Binges of
alcohol should be avoided. Mothers who do choose to drink moderately and socially during
breastfeeding, but wish to avoid exposing the baby to alcohol, can achieve this by waiting
until maternal blood alcohol level drops, allowing two to three hours to pass after drinking
alcohol. An infant needing to be fed during this time can be given expressed breast milk that
is free from alcohol (Ho et al 2001). The woman may need to express the breast milk for her
comfort and to maintain milk supply, and, in that case, the alcohol-exposed milk should be
discarded.
1abIe 15: 5tandard drinks contained in typicaI servin¿s of aIcohoI
A standard drink contains 10 g of alcohol.
1ype of aIcohoIic drink voIume humber of standard drinks
Can of beer @ 4% alcohol 330 ml 1
Can of beer @ 4.2% alcohol 440 ml 1.5
Bottle of beer @ 5% alcohol 330 ml 1.3
Bottle of lite beer @ 2.5% alcohol 330 ml 0.7
Bottle of beer @ 4% alcohol 750 ml 2.4
Bottle of wine @ 13% alcohol 750 ml 7.7
Bottle of sparkling wine @ 12% alcohol 750 ml 7.1
Bottle of wine @ 14% alcohol 750 ml 8.3
Bottle of spirits @ 37% alcohol 50 ml 1.1
Bottle of RTD* @ 5% alcohol 275 ml 1.1
Bottle of RTD* @ 8% alcohol 335 ml 2.1
Bottle of spirits @ 37.5% alcohol 500 ml 15
Bottle of spirits @ 47% alcohol 1000 ml 37
Source: ALAC 2005 *RTD = ready to drink
PracticaI advice
• Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol.
• Continue avoiding alcohol when breastfeeding, especially during the first month.
• Where the mother is alcohol dependent, health practitioners need to offer support and
referral to appropriate agencies.
4.1.3 Ci¿arette smokin¿
8ack¿round
Smoking during pregnancy is a major health problem in New Zealand. About 25 percent of
women of childbearing age smoke (Ministry of Health 2003d), and although some women
stop or reduce smoking when they become pregnant, a significant number continue to
smoke throughout pregnancy (McLeod et al 2003). Smoking rates in New Zealand fell by
78 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
about 10 percent in the 1990s but not across all ethnic groups. Smoking rates, especially in
Ma¯ ori women, are among the highest in the world (Barnett et al 2004).
Smoking is associated with poorer outcomes of pregnancy, including decreased birthweight,
increased early spontaneous abortion, placental complications such as premature placental
abruption, sudden infant death syndrome, and pre-term delivery (Lambers and Clark 1996).
Exposure to cigarette smoke in the womb has also been linked to subsequent symptoms of
attention deficit disorders in exposed children (Linnet et al 2003). The health of infants is
also compromised by environmental (second-hand) cigarette smoke. In particular, exposure
to cigarette smoke is a major risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (Mitchell et al
1993), and for respiratory infections in children (Schulte-Hobein et al 1992). Women who
smoke tend to breastfeed for a shorter duration (Amir 2001).
The mechanism(s) by which smoking affects the outcome of pregnancy is/are not completely
understood. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide are vasoconstrictors and may affect blood
flow to placental and foetal tissues. Nicotine can increase maternal blood pressure and heart
rate, which may compromise uterine blood flow. Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin,
forming carboxyhaemoglobin, which can cause foetal hypoxia and is implicated in sudden
infant death syndrome (Haustein 1999). Cigarette smoke also contains lead, cadmium and
thiocyanate, all of which are potentially hazardous to the foetus.
Compared with non-smokers, smokers have lower serum levels of beta-carotene, vitamin
B
12
, vitamin B
6
and folate (Cogswell et al 2003), but it is not clear whether this is related to
decreased intake or increased utilisation. Cigarette smoke is a source of free radicals and
oxidative stress, so vitamin C requirements are higher for pregnant women who smoke. It
is estimated that metabolic turnover of vitamin C in smokers is about 35 mg per day higher
than non-smokers (Kallner et al 1981) or 0.8 mg of vitamin C per cigarette (Cross and
Halliwell 1993). Smokers may be more likely to consume alcohol and other substances that
interact with nutrient metabolism, and are less likely to take nutrient supplements (Cogswell
et al 2003).
Smoking decreases appetite, potentially affecting the amount of food consumed by a
pregnant woman. Women who smoke have lower nutrient intakes than non-smokers (Haste
et al 1990; McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and eat less fruit, vegetables and milk compared
with female non-smokers (Wang and Roe 1994). In particular, young pregnant smokers are at
risk of low micronutrient intakes (Mathews et al 2000).
Ex-smokers are recognised as a group at higher risk of obesity. Special attention should be
directed at preventing excessive weight gain for those who cease smoking (Ministry of Health
2003a).
Several studies show that smoking by mothers reduces breast milk volume significantly
(Matheson and Rivrud 1989; Vio et al 1991), and is also associated with a slower weight
gain of infants. Nicotine is present in milk at about one and a half to three times its
concentration in maternal plasma, although it is not clear whether this presents a risk to
infant health (Dahlstrom et al 1990). Women who are unable to quit or reduce smoking
should continue to breastfeed, because the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any risks
to infants associated with the presence of nicotine in breast milk (Galtry 1995). If a woman
79 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
continues to smoke, she should minimise exposure of the infant to second-hand smoke by
not smoking while breastfeeding, and by smoking outside.
Parental smoking has also been associated with the development of allergy in genetically
susceptible children (Arshad et al 1992). The majority of women who quit smoking during
pregnancy will resume during the post-partum period (Levine and Marcus 2004) because
they are often influenced by concerns about weight gain.
Interventions and health promotion to reduce smoking in pregnant and breastfeeding
women should be targeted at the whole family, particularly for reducing the effects of
second-hand smoke.
PracticaI advice
• Women should not smoke if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
• If a breastfeeding woman continues to smoke, exposure of the infant to second-hand
smoke should be minimised by not smoking while breastfeeding, and by smoking
outside.
• Women who are ceasing or reducing smoking may require expert support and advice
from a registered dietitian about weight gain and energy intake in pregnancy.
• Services available to aid smoking cessation include the free QUITLINE number 0800 778
778, Aukati Kai Paipa Smoking Cessation Services, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Exchange Card providers, Smoke Change programme, and self-help manuals and advice
from the LMC on intervention strategies (National Advisory Committee on Health and
Disability 2002).
• Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) should be considered if the pregnant or
breastfeeding woman is unable to quit (National Advisory Committee on Health and
Disability 2002).
• If a woman chooses to smoke during pregnancy, it is especially important for them to
eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings from
the four major food groups (see Table 1), and to follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline
Statements.
4.1.4 IIIicit dru¿s and ‘party piIIs’ (restricted substances)
8ack¿round
Illicit drugs are generally categorised as opioids ( for example heroin, opium, morphine,
codeine and a range of pharmaceutical drugs), stimulants (for example amphetamines,
metamphetamines, cocaine, crack), hallucinogens (for example MDMA (‘ecstasy’), LSD,
magic mushrooms) and cannabis. The use of illicit drugs or ‘party pills’ is not advised if a
woman is pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Illicit drug use can
affect the mother’s own health and interfere with her ability to support the pregnancy
(Wright and Walker 2001). Most illicit drugs can cross the placenta and enter the foetal
blood. The most serious consequences are pre-term birth and low birthweight, birth defects,
growth restriction and small head size, impaired neurodevelopment, poor motor skills,
learning disabilities, behavioural problems and increased risk of infection and sudden infant
80 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
death syndrome (Spear et al 2002). Use of illicit drugs can increase the risk of miscarriage,
premature labour and placental abruption.
If illicit drugs are taken late in pregnancy, the newborn infant may itself be drug dependent
and suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors and muscle spasms, sleeping and feeding
difficulties. Behaviour is affected; newborn interaction may be reduced or infants may be
hyperactive. Learning difficulties may develop later and continue throughout early childhood.
Women who inject drugs and share needles (or whose partners use intravenous drugs) are
at risk of becoming infected with blood-borne viruses such as human immunodeficiency
virus (HIV) (Bishai and Koren 1999). They are also more likely to have poor nutrition, low
gestational weight gain and cardiovascular effects such as high blood pressure and pulse.
Many pregnant women who use illicit drugs use more than one substance (polydrug use) and
are more likely to smoke tobacco and consume alcohol in pregnancy.
Women who use illicit drugs may have other social problems, such as a history of sexual
abuse, parents or partners who themselves abuse drugs or alcohol, reduced self-confidence
and low self-esteem. They may also have mental health issues co-occurring with their drug
use; for example, psychosis, suicide risk, risk of harm to the foetus or infant, depression and
post-natal depression. Women may be reluctant to seek help for drug abuse, fearing they
may be punished or that their children may be taken into care. Women may also fear violence
from their partner. The infants of women who continue to abuse illicit drugs after pregnancy
are at increased risk of neglect, physical abuse and poor nutrition.
Not all women who use illicit drugs have health or social issues and they may consider
themselves to be recreational drug users only. However, the harmful effects of using illicit
drugs still apply to those undertaking recreational use.
Several illicit drugs have been shown to have adverse effects on the breastfed infant
(Liston 1998). These include amphetamines, which cause irritability and poor sleeping
patterns; cocaine, which causes irritability, seizures, vomiting and diarrhoea; and heroin,
which causes restlessness, vomiting and poor feeding. It is also thought that cannabis and
hallucinogens may be harmful to the breastfed infant.
‘Legal highs’ or ‘herbal highs’ (often known as ‘party pills’) are lower-risk restricted
substances which contain benzylpiperazine (BZP). They may also contain trifluorophenyl
methylpiperazine (TFMPP). There is no specific evidence to date that products containing
BZP or TFMPP affect the foetus when a pregnant woman takes ‘party pills’. However, it is
recommended that products containing the substances are not used during pregnancy or
while breastfeeding.
Cannabis is the third most popular recreational drug in New Zealand after alcohol and
tobacco (excluding caffeine). In the 1998 National Drugs Survey, for the preceding
12 months 43 percent of males and 27 percent of females aged 18–24 had used cannabis.
The 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey found that 14.2 percent of all adults had used
cannabis in the last year. Males are significantly more likely to smoke cannabis regularly.
In both males and females, Ma¯ ori are more likely than any other ethnic group to smoke
cannabis regularly (Ministry of Health 2004b).
81 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Five percent of all respondents in the 1998 National Drugs Survey had used hallucinogens,
3 percent of all respondents had used stimulants, and 1 percent of all respondents had used
one or more forms of opiates. Fewer than 1 percent had used tranquillisers and solvents in
the previous 12 months (New Zealand Health Information Service 2001).
PracticaI advice
• Women should avoid all illicit drugs and ‘party pills’ during pregnancy or while
breastfeeding.
• Health practitioners should appreciate that some drug users may be vulnerable, and
should deal with issues sensitively, using appropriate referral agencies.
4.1.5 Medications and breast impIants
8ack¿round
Most medications cross the placenta. Appropriate therapeutic options should be available
to all women, so LMCs should use accurate information as a basis for informed consent and
rational decision-making. Medications have been categorised to take into account the known
harmful effects of medicines on the developing foetus, including the potential to cause birth
defects, have unwanted effects around the time of birth, and cause problems in later life
(Therapeutic Goods Administration 1999). This reference and the Medsafe website (www.
medsafe.govt.nz) should be consulted for specific information on prescribing medication
during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Pregnant women should ask when a medication
is prescribed if it is safe to take during pregnancy. The medication should be used only
as prescribed, without exceeding the stated dose. Medications should only be taken if
absolutely necessary. Any medication not used correctly may have harmful effects for the
foetus or woman.
Most medications are safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants (Hale 2004), but
certain drugs are contraindicated during breastfeeding. Cytotoxic medications, such as
Methotrexate, may affect immune suppression and growth, or be associated with the
development of cancer in the infant (American Academy of Pediatrics 2001). Anti-anxiety
drugs, antidepressants and neuroleptic drugs may affect neurotransmitter function of
the infant’s developing central nervous system. Drugs that may reduce milk production
include progestins, oestrogens, ethanol, bromocriptine, ergotamine, cabergoline, and
pseudoephedrine (Riordan 2005). With any substance that might transfer to breast milk, the
effect may be minimised if the mother takes the substance just after she has breastfed the
infant or just before the infant is due to have a lengthy sleep. However, the effect depends on
the peak and half life, and bioavailability of the drug, the infant’s age and condition, and the
relative infant dose. The mother should be advised to observe the infant and milk production
and report any changes (Riordan 2005).
Benzodiazepines should only be taken with caution during breastfeeding. The potential
health risks of ceasing the medication should be weighed against the benefits of
breastfeeding. If the decision is made to breastfeed, and hence stop taking benzodiazepines,
there should be a supervised gradual reduction in the dose to manage withdrawal.
82 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Galactogogues work predominantly by promoting prolactin secretion to increase milk
production. Domperidone (Motilium) has replaced metoclopramide as the galactogogue
of choice because there are fewer central side effects, and reduced possible risks to the
infant (da Silva et al 2001; Gabay 2002). Various herbal galactogogues such as fenugreek,
blessed thistle, milk thistle, fennel, marshmallow root, garlic and goat’s rue have been used.
However, there are few studies on either the effectiveness or the safety of these herbs (see
section 4.1.6). Use of galactogogues should not take the place of addressing a breastfeeding
management problem, which may be the actual cause of insufficient milk supply.
Women who have breast implants can breastfeed, and many do so successfully. It is not clear
whether silicone breast implants themselves have an adverse effect on the breastfeeding
infant or whether any possible toxicity may be mediated via an immunological mechanism
(American Academy of Pediatrics 2001).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant women (including women planning pregnancy) and breastfeeding women
should discuss medication use with their LMC.
• Medications should only be taken if necessary, and only as prescribed, without
exceeding the stated dose.
4.1.6 RerbaI preparations and teas
Products made from plants and that are used to reduce the risk or effect of disease are
known as natural remedies or medicines, herbal products, herbal foods, phytomedicines,
functional foods or nutraceuticals. They are available in many forms: fresh, dried, liquid or
solid extracts, tablets, capsules, powders and teas. They may be consumed as the herb,
or added to a food (eg, muesli bars with spirulina, yoghurt with Echinacea, and herbal soft
drinks). They may also be available in combination in products marketed as fat burners,
energisers or muscle builders. In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the use
of plants for medicinal purposes (eg, garlic, ginger, St John’s wort).
Because herbal preparations are perceived as natural, they are seen as safe. However, there
are serious concerns about their safety and efficacy, quality control and contamination,
and little is known about contraindications, potential adverse effects and interactions
between herbal preparations and medications (Silvers and Taptiklis 2005). Very few
randomised clinical trials have examined the safety and efficacy of alternative therapies
during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the quality of the products is not monitored
(American Dietetic Association 2002). Potential adverse reactions may result from direct
effects or from contaminants within the products; for example, herbicide and pesticide
residues, heavy metals such as arsenic and lead, biologic toxins, endogenous plant toxins,
and radioisotopes (Kostka-Rokosz et al 2005). Interactions between herbal preparations and
medications have been noted between aloe and digoxin and diuretics; feverfew and ginko
biloba and anticoagulants; ginseng and furodemide and digoxin; kava and sedatives; Ma
Huang and beta blockers; St John’s Wort and Yohimbe and antidepressants; and ginger and
anticoagulants (Beuhler 2003).
The NNS97 found that almost one-third of the population consumed other dietary
supplements in the previous year, with 12 percent less than once a week and 17 percent
83 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
at least once a week, with women being higher users than men. The category ‘other dietary
supplements’ included botanicals, garlic, oils, bran/fibre, bee products, sports supplements
and other. Garlic preparations, oils (evening primrose, cod liver and halibut) and botanical
products (herbal remedies, brewer’s yeast, spirulina and acidophilus) were the most
frequently chosen (Russell et al 1999). Data from the NNS97 were used to describe the
characteristics of supplement users in New Zealand, and showed that they were usually
female, from the European/Other group, well educated and relatively young (Smith et al
2005).
At an Australian antenatal clinic, 211 women were interviewed to assess vitamin, mineral
and herbal use pre-conceptually and in the three trimesters of pregnancy. Most women
(62 percent) used both a vitamin or mineral supplement and a herbal preparation in
pregnancy. Folate (70 percent), iron (38 percent) and multivitamins (27 percent) were the
most frequently used vitamin and mineral supplements. Ginger (20 percent) and raspberry
leaf (9 percent) were the most frequently used herbal preparations. Women relied on advice
from friends and relatives in deciding to use herbal preparations (Maats and Crowther 2002).
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious in using most herbal or other natural
remedies, including most herbal teas. They should not self-diagnose any health condition,
but should work with the LMC to determine how best to achieve optimum health and always
check with the LMC before taking a supplement, especially when combining or substituting
it with other foods or medicine. The LMC should ask specifically about the use of herbal
and non-traditional medications. If a herbal product is not critical to a woman’s health, it
should not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding as the safest way to avoid potential
complications.
A list of herbs that may not be safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is given in
Appendix 11.
The use of ginger in pregnancy is controversial. There are some questions about the absolute
safety because of the effects on thromboxane synthetase, which could increase bleeding
(JADA 2002). Several sources advise women to avoid ginger in pregnancy, and German
health authorities warn that medicinal amounts of ginger should not be taken for nausea and
vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) (Peirce 1999). However, three studies did not find any adverse
effects arising from the use of ginger, and a 1 g daily dose of ginger supplement has been
shown to be helpful in the management of NVP (Smith et al 2004). Tiran (2003) concluded
that the dose of ginger supplement should not exceed 1 g per day.
If herbal preparations are used, then the woman should investigate the product thoroughly
and buy high-quality products with informative and verifiable labelling. Adverse reactions
should not be ignored, and should be reported by the LMC to Medsafe or the Center for
Adverse Reactions (CARM).
If herbal teas are taken, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid unfamiliar
substances and choose herbal teas made with ingredients that would be a normal part of
their diet, such as mint, peppermint, blackcurrant, orange or lemon. (Refer to Appendix 11
for ingredients in herbal teas that should be avoided.) It is advisable to limit consumption
of herbal teas to two servings per day and use filtered teabags (JADA 2002). These should
preferably be purchased from reputable sources, such as supermarkets and other retail
84 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
outlets. Women could also make their own drinks using juices, lemon rinds, cinnamon,
cloves or other well-known ingredients.
Energy or smart drinks are defined in the Food Standards Code as formulated caffeinated
beverages which are non-alcoholic, water-based flavoured beverages which contain caffeine
and may contain carbohydrate, amino acids, vitamins and other substances, including
other foods, for the purpose of enhancing mental performance (FSANZ 2002). A formulated
caffeinated beverage must contain between 145 and 320 mg of caffeine per litre. There are
maximum limits on the amount of vitamins, taurine, glucuronolactone and inositol. Other
foods such as herbal substances may be added unless they are disallowed under other
provisions of the Food Standards Code. The label on the beverage must contain advisory
statements that the food contains caffeine, and that the beverage is not recommended for
children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and individuals sensitive to caffeine.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious in using herbal preparations and
teas, and should discuss their use with the LMC.
• Herbal teas should be limited to two servings per day, and filtered tea bags should be
used.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not drink energy or smart drinks.
• Any adverse reactions should be reported.
4.1.7 Caffeine
8ack¿round
Caffeine is a mild central nervous system stimulant, present in chocolate and beverages such
as coffee, tea, energy drinks and cola. Caffeine readily crosses the placenta to the foetus
(Anonymous, Merck Research Laboratories 2004) and has also been found to stimulate
metabolic rate (Acheson et al 1980). Many over-the-counter medications such as cold and
allergy tablets, headache medications, diuretics and stimulants also contain some caffeine.
High doses of caffeine in pregnancy have been associated with increased risk of congenital
abnormalities, pregnancy loss, low birthweight and behavioural problems. Decaffeinated
coffee appears to have no effect on birthweight (Bracken et al 2003). The effects of caffeine
may be synergistic with those of smoking and alcohol (Liston 1998).
Caffeine is transferred into breast milk. The infant metabolises and excretes caffeine slowly.
High caffeine load in breast milk may lead to irritability and poor sleeping patterns and,
occasionally, increased bowel activity (American Academy of Pediatrics 2001). The benefits
of breastfeeding outweigh any risks associated with the presence of caffeine in breast milk,
however. Consuming caffeine-containing beverages immediately after the baby has fed will
limit the amount of caffeine in the next feed.
The usual range of human exposure to caffeine is significantly below the threshold that
is thought to have adverse reproductive effects (Christian and Brent 2001). Moderate
amounts of caffeine (< 5–6 mg per kg body weight spread throughout the day) from food and
beverages seems safe, both for pregnant and for breastfeeding women.
85 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
The UK Food Standards Agency advises pregnant women to limit their intake of caffeine to
300 mg per day. See Table 16 for average caffeine contents.
1abIe 16: Avera¿e caffeine content of common foods and bevera¿es
food]bevera¿e 5tandard servin¿ m¿ caffeine
Long black coffee 160 ml 211
Decaf long black coffee 130 ml 19
Cappuccino 260ml 105
Plunger coffee 250 ml 66
Instant coffee 250 ml 51
Brewed tea leaves 250 ml 57
Tea made with tea bag 250 ml 47
Drinking chocolate 250 ml 5
Cola-type drinks 355 ml 35
Smart or energy drinks 250 ml 80
Chocolate bar 100 g 65
Source: The truth about ‘energy’ drinks 2002.
Note that the caffeine content of drinks made in cafes or at home may vary from the values above.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit caffeine consumption to 300 mg per
day.
• Note that 300 mg caffeine is roughly equivalent to one large long black, or three
cappuccinos, or four cups of plunger coffee, or six cups of instant coffee, or six cups of
tea, or 400 g of plain chocolate.
• Breastfeeding women should consider their caffeine intake if the infant is irritable or
wakeful.
4.1.8 5uppIements and fortified foods
8ack¿round
Supplements
Routine multivitamin supplementation is not necessary during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The only recommended supplement is folic acid tablets for all women before conception and
for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (see section 3.6.1). Supplements of other nutrients are
recommended in some circumstances during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including:
• vitamin B12 supplements, which are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding vegan
women
• calcium supplements for women who consume little or no milk and milk products
• iron, if indicated by monitoring of iron status
• vitamin D for covered women.
86 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Taking supplements during pregnancy should be undertaken in consultation with the
LMC to avoid toxicity and competition between nutrients (eg, iron and zinc). The need for
supplements is dependent on the individual’s diet, nutritional status and any increased
requirements they may have. Some women may benefit from other nutrient supplements,
depending on their individual circumstances. If a supplement or supplements is/are taken,
the total nutrient intake from all the supplements needs to be checked against the UL for
pregnancy, with particular attention paid to the level of vitamin A. Some supplements
are marketed as being specifically for pregnant or breastfeeding women, but the level of
nutrients is not always optimal, so labels should always be read very carefully.
About half of all New Zealanders consume vitamin and mineral supplements, with
the highest use reported by females aged 19–24 years (Russell et al 1999). These are
predominantly multivitamin and/or mineral supplements, antioxidants, iron and calcium,
which are either prescribed or bought over the counter.
A New Zealand regional study found that 63 percent of women took at least one type of
dietary supplement during the year before they became pregnant, with the most commonly
taken supplements being folic acid, multivitamin and mineral mixtures, multivitamins,
iron and vitamin C, in that order. When they became pregnant, supplement use declined
to 33 percent at month four and 28 percent at month seven. The most commonly taken
supplements during pregnancy were iron, multivitamin and mineral combination, folic acid
and vitamin C, in that order (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Fortified foods
The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code specifies the nutrients that may be added
and the foods that they may be added to (FSANZ 2002). The Food Standards Code also
specifies the permitted forms of the nutrients and the levels that may be claimed. The
addition of nutrients to a food must be identified in the ingredient list. The nutrients may
also be included on the nutrition information panel (NIP), but this is not required unless
a claim is made. The level of nutrient present as stated on the NIP does not take into
account the bioavailability of the nutrient. Allowed levels of nutrients in fortified foods are
determined taking into account the potential for toxicity among high consumers. Because
most fortification is voluntary in New Zealand, consumers must read the labels to be sure
they are choosing a fortified product. For example, not all milk substitutes are fortified to be
nutritionally similar to cow’s milk, and not all margarine is fortified with vitamin D.
Some nutrients are added to improve the dietary intakes of individuals (such as iodised salt
and calcium-fortified milk), or to obtain nutritional equivalence for a substitute food (such as
vitamin A fortification of margarine to the same level as in butter).
Fortified foods that may be nutritionally useful in the diet of some pregnant and
breastfeeding women include:
• folic acid- and iron-fortified breakfast cereals and wholegrain breads
• folic acid-fortified fruit juice
• iodised salt, if using salt
• margarine fortified with vitamins A and D
• soy milk or rice milk fortified with calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin and vitamin B12.
87 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
If any foods fortified with vitamin A as retinol, or nutritional supplements containing vitamin
A as retinol are consumed, care must be taken that the total daily intake from all foods and
supplements, including fish oils, does not exceed the UL of 3000 µg per day because of the
serious toxicity problem with vitamin A during pregnancy.
Consumption of folate-fortified foods is recommended for all women of reproductive age, but
does not take the place of folic acid supplementation advised during pregnancy and when
planning to become pregnant.
Overall, the toxicity from fortified foods is unlikely, but use of dietary supplements should be
monitored.
PracticaI advice
• Women planning pregnancy, or who are in the early stages of pregnancy, should take an
800 µg folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception
as well as consuming foods rich in folate and folic acid-fortified foods.
• Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an NTD should take a 5000
µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after
conception.
• Consumption of folate-rich foods is recommended for all women of reproductive age,
but does not take the place of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and when
planning to become pregnant.
• When using salt, iodised salt should be used.
• Vegan women should eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 and are likely to need vitamin
B12 supplementation.
• There is generally no need for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women who are
following the Food and Nutrition Guidelines (Table 1) to take vitamin or mineral
supplements, with the exception of folic acid, vitamin B12 for vegans, and iron, calcium
and vitamin D if recommended.
• The need for supplementation with other nutrients is dependent on the individual’s diet
and nutritional status. Women who smoke, use alcohol or drugs or have a poor diet may
benefit from supplements, as may women with multiple pregnancies.
Supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be undertaken in
consultation with the LMC in order to avoid toxicity and competition between nutrients
(eg, iron and calcium).
• If supplements are taken, the nutrient levels need to be checked in relation to the
appropriate RDIs and ULs, with particular attention paid to the level of vitamin A, to
ensure an excessive dose is not consumed.
88 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.2 food security
4.2.1 ûefinitions and back¿round
food security is an internationally recognised term that encompasses the ready availability
of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and the assured ability to acquire personally
acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way (Russell et al 1999). In the NNS97, food
security was reported on behalf of a household, or an individual if living alone.
food insecurity is characterised by anxiety about not having enough food to eat, running
out of food, and having no money to purchase more (Hamilton et al 1997). Adults who
are anxious there is not enough food may try to avoid hunger by cutting the size of meals,
skipping meals or even going without food for one or more days (Klein 1996).
The Rome Declaration on World Food Security affirmed the ‘right of everyone to have access
to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental
right of everyone to be free from hunger’ (FAO 1996). In New Zealand, the National Advisory
Committee on Health and Disability (1998) concluded that income is the single most
important modifiable determinant of health and wellbeing. In its report reviewing social
policy and food security, the New Zealand Network Against Food Poverty (2000) found that
actual food costs were much higher than most low-income households had available after
meeting their basic expenses such as for housing, power and transport.
4.2.2 ReaIth consequences of food insecurity
The highest rates of illness and premature death are generally experienced by those less
financially secure (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability 1998). Low
socioeconomic and income groups are food insecure more often and frequently have a
higher risk for obesity (Ford et al 1994), coronary heart disease (Brunner et al 1997), and
mortality from cancers (Sharp et al 1995). The NNS97 also found that obesity was more likely
in women from the more deprived rather than the least deprived areas (Russell et al 1999).
As food security status worsens, diet quality declines (Cristofar and Basiotis 1992) and
eating patterns become more disordered (Kendall et al 1995).
New Zealand studies in 1997 found that the diets of women of low-income households were
likely to be insufficient in a number of important food groups, including vegetables, fruit,
lean red meat, and milk and milk products, but tended to be too high in fat. Other lower
intakes included zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, dietary fibre, iron and calcium (Parnell
1997; Russell et al 1999). Similar lower nutrient intakes were found among pregnant women
from low socioeconomic backgrounds (Watson 1996). Nutritional inadequacies are of
significant concern for mothers and their infants during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
because nutrient requirements increase during these periods, and nutrient inadequacies can
have long-term health effects (see section 2.3).
4.2.3 Impact of food insecurity on popuIation ¿roups
Ma¯ ori and Pacific households are disproportionately represented in the two lowest income
quintiles (Statistics New Zealand 1999). Ma¯ ori and Pacific households were among those
that experienced the greatest income reductions between 1991 and 1993 (NHC 1998). The
NNS97 included eight statements about access to food, the responses to which provide a
nationwide assessment of food poverty in New Zealand (Russell et al 1999). Almost half of
89 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Ma¯ ori and Pacific peoples compared with a quarter of New Zealand European/Other groups
reported that in their households the variety of foods they were able to eat was limited by lack
of money. Ma¯ ori and Pacific peoples were more likely to access food banks than other families.
Women living in Ma¯ ori and Pacific households (31 percent and 32 percent, respectively) were
more likely to experience ‘stress because of not having enough money for food’ than were
New Zealand European/Other groups. Younger women (11 percent of those aged 19–24 years)
reported using food banks most frequently of all groups (Russell et al 1999). In a New Zealand
study of households on government benefits, 70 percent of mothers said they restricted
their own meal size to feed their children and the study indicated these women were getting
insufficient energy, iron and calcium (Parnell 1997).
Single-parent households were among those that experienced the greatest income reductions
between 1991 and 1993 (NHC 1998). A significant number of homes where the sole parent
was female were in the lowest income groups (Statistics New Zealand 1998, 1999). In addition,
a child of a female sole parent is more likely to be in the low-income households and so will be
at higher nutritional risk (Statistics New Zealand 1999).
4.2.4 food choices and househoId socioeconomic status
Although nutrient intakes are less than optimal among people with lower incomes, these
families have been found to obtain more nutrients for the amount of money spent than people
with higher incomes. The limited food budget means that they need to obtain more energy
(kJ) per dollar spent, which may result in purchasing foods high in fat and sugar. The NNS97
found that people in lower income areas were less likely to obtain the recommended servings
of vegetables and fruit. Households in these areas – as with all households – were making
choices based on a wide range of needs.
Before giving advice about food to pregnant and breastfeeding women, health practitioners
should be aware of and sensitive to the fact that inadequate diet may be a result of an
inadequate income rather than ignorance or lack of education (Parnell et al 2001).
4.2.5 PracticaI advice
• As necessary, pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families should be referred to
the appropriate agencies to ensure the family is receiving all the assistance it is entitled to.
4.3 food safety
4.3.1 food- and water-borne iIInesses
Food- and water-borne illnesses that cause diarrhoea and vomiting from bacteria or a virus,
such as camplylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, are not uncommon in New Zealand. The
estimates for the mean annual number of cases of food-borne illness among pregnant women
in New Zealand for the period 1996–1999 (toxoplasmosis data estimated from 1995 births
data) are: camplylobacteriosis 715, toxoplasmosis 82, salmonellosis 58, yersiniosis 18,
listeriosis 5, shigellosis 3 (Pikholz and Simmons 2004). Listeria is specifically covered in
section 4.3.2 and toxoplasmosis in 4.3.3.
90 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Food handling and food safety during pregnancy are of extra importance because food-borne
illness may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or illness or death of the newborn
infant. Women and their families should purchase, prepare, cook and store food to ensure
food safety. In addition, avoiding some foods during pregnancy will reduce the risk of food-
borne illness. Pregnant or breastfeeding women with symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting or
flu-like illness should seek medical advice immediately.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be made aware of food safety precautions
that are recommended for reducing the risk from food- and water-borne illness. These
precautions are listed in the practical advice (below). Pregnant women are advised not to eat
raw eggs.
Although it is important to follow the food safety advice, it is equally important that pregnant
(and breastfeeding) women consume a varied diet, including foods from each of the four
food groups, every day. To ensure nutritional adequacy, women should avoid unnecessary
restrictions on their diet.
Pregnant women should drink potable water during pregnancy to avoid the risk of
water-borne illness (eg, giardia). In practice, this means any water consumed should be from
a well-maintained and controlled supply system. Water from uncontrolled sources should be
avoided (eg, streams, rivers and private water tanks) unless it has been previously boiled.
Bottled water could be used as an alternative. Bottled water may not contain fluoride, so if it
is used as the sole source of water, then fluoride toothpaste should be used.
Expressed breast milk should be handled with care to reduce the risk of food-borne illness
in the infant. If a powdered infant formula is used, it must be prepared very carefully and
as close as possible to feeding time to reduce the risk of food- and water-borne illness. For
further information, see the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers
(Aged 0–2 years): A background paper (Ministry of Health 2008).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should follow these general food safety precautions.
– All foods should be safely handled, stored and protected from cross-contamination.
– Keep cooked food and ready-to-eat foods separate from raw and unprocessed foods,
so there is no cross-contamination.
– Eat freshly cooked foods as soon as possible after cooking.
– Use cooked or prepared foods that have been stored in the refrigerator within two
days.
– Reheat cooked food thoroughly so that it is steaming hot (ie, about 70
0
C).
– Take special care to heat food thoroughly when using microwave ovens.
– Wash raw vegetables and fruit thoroughly.
– Wash your hands and utensils and chopping boards before using for a different food
to avoid cross-contamination.
• Women should avoid eating raw eggs, especially when pregnant.
91 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink water from a well-maintained and
controlled supply system.
• Expressed breast milk should be handled with care to reduce the risk of food-borne
illness in the infant.
• If a powdered infant formula is used, it must be prepared very carefully and as close as
possible to feeding time to reduce the risk of food-and water-borne illness.
• Canned food should be eaten immediately after opening the can. Any leftovers should be
removed from the can for storage in the fridge and eaten within two days.
4.3.2 Listeria
8ack¿round
Listeria monocytogenes is widely distributed in the environment, and although it usually
does not cause symptoms in healthy people, it can cause disease (listeriosis) in pregnant
women and newborn infants (Hof 2003). Listeriosis develops as a result of infection with
Listeria monocytogenes, usually from food. If a pregnant woman develops listeriosis, it
causes influenza-like symptoms and can result in premature labour and reduced foetal
movements. If it is not treated promptly, listeriosis presents a serious threat to the foetus via
infection of the placenta, membranes and amniotic fluid, causing intrauterine sepsis and
foetal loss.
Listeria can multiply over a wide range of temperature from -1.5
0
C to 50
0
C, and can grow at
fridge temperature.
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should follow the food safety precautions given in
section 4.3.1.
• Pregnant women should avoid uncooked, smoked or pre-cooked fish or seafood
products that are chilled or frozen (unless reheated thoroughly and eaten hot); pâté;
cold, pre-cooked chicken, ham and other chilled, pre-cooked meat products;
hummus-based dips and spreads; stored salads and coleslaws; raw (unpasteurised)
milk; and surface-ripened soft cheese (eg, brie and camembert).
• It is important to note that the above-named foods are safe to eat if heated thoroughly to
steaming hot (over 70
0
C).
• Other advice includes using perishable items within the sell-by date, cleaning
refrigerators regularly and checking the temperature control.
Food safety information is available in the health education resource Food Safety: Avoiding
listeria, Code 9007, produced by the Ministry of Health and available from your local public
health unit. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) produces a resource Food Safety
in Pregnancy, which is also available from your local public health unit.
92 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.3.3 1oxopIasmosis
8ack¿round
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, and
is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans and other mammals (Montoya
and Liesenfeld 2004). Cats are hosts of toxoplasmosis. Although toxoplasmosis is usually
asymptomatic in pregnant women, the foetus can be severely damaged. Transmission to the
foetus occurs in about 40 percent of cases. Incidence of transmission is highest in the third
trimester, but severity of infection is highest in the first trimester (Enkin et al 2000). Those
exposed in the first weeks of pregnancy are most likely to have the worst outcomes (eg,
stillbirth or brain damage). If exposure is later in pregnancy, outcomes will be less severe but
still debilitating. The brain and eye are most often affected and toxoplasmosis can lead to
hydrocephalus, chorioretinitis and blindness, epilepsy, psychomotor or mental retardation,
convulsions, intercranial calcification, deafness and other neurological deficits. Symptoms
may be present at birth or may develop later.
Infection is acquired by eating food or water contaminated with oocysts shed by cats, or
by eating raw or under-cooked contaminated meat (mainly pork or lamb) containing tissue
cysts, or by drinking water or food contaminated with oocysts from the faeces of infected
cats.
The rate of toxoplasmosis infection in pregnant women in New Zealand is relatively low (Moor
et al 2000). A study screening for toxoplasmosis in pregnant women in Auckland showed that
2 percent of women tested showed signs of a recent infection (Morris and Croxson 2004).
Women should discuss queries about toxoplasmosis with a health practitioner. Laboratory
testing and treatment are available.
PracticaI advice
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should:
• not eat raw or under-cooked meat – cook until the juices run clear (no blood present)
• avoid cross-contamination of other foods with raw or under-cooked meat
• protect against exposure to cat litter, contaminated soil, and foods exposed to
contaminated soil and water
• wash hands with soap and water after exposure to cats, soil, sand, raw meat or
unwashed vegetables, and use gloves when gardening.
4.3.4 £nvironmentaI contaminants
Lead, mercury and cadmium
Background
Lead and mercury are metals with toxic effects on the foetus (Dorea 2004). They are
widespread in the environment and are found in water and the food chain. The diet is
usually the main source of maternal exposure to both metals, although there is some lead
in airborne particles, and mercury amalgam fillings contribute to the mercury load. Breast
93 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
milk levels of these heavy metals will generally be lower than the levels found in infant
formula (Dorea 2004).
Lead
Sources of lead exposure include dietary contamination; occupational exposure during car
and airplane paint manufacturing, lead production or smelting; exposure to stained-glass
solder; and environmental exposure during home renovation (Gardella 2001). Lead exposure
in the New Zealand diet is low relative to other developed countries (NZFSA 2004). Lead
poisoning in pregnancy causes maternal malaise and anaemia. It is rare, and usually occurs
by ingestion of lead from soil, clay or pottery due to pica, rather than from environmental
contamination (Shannon 2003). Old paint can be a source of lead, as before 1965 many
house paints in New Zealand had a high lead level.
Lead freely crosses the placenta (Shannon 2003). Any level of foetal lead exposure can
be detrimental to the developing central nervous system. High lead exposure causes
neurobehavioural effects in infants and children. The cumulative effects of low levels of lead
exposure in utero and after birth can also have similar effects (Gardella 2001). The level
of lead in breast milk is much lower than in the blood because the translactational barrier
is more effective than the transplacental barrier. Lead is preferentially taken up by bones.
Relatively high intakes of calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding may decrease the
release of lead from the maternal bones (Hernandez-Avila et al 1997; Hernandez-Avila et
al 2003). Inadequate intakes of iron and calcium enhance lead absorption and retention
(Whitney and Rolfes 1999).
Mercury
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and in industrial pollution. It accumulates
in streams and the sea. Mercury in water is taken up by aquatic organisms as
monomethylmercury and is concentrated in fish at the top of the food chain (eg, larger,
longer-living fish such as shark (flake), ray, swordfish, barramundi, gemfish, orange roughy,
ling and southern bluefin tuna). The tuna species commonly used in canning and small
fish that are canned (including sardines, pilchards and herring) are generally short-lived
species which accumulate only low amounts of mercury (NZFSA 2008). Freshwater fish
from geothermal areas of New Zealand, such as trout, may also have higher mercury levels
because of mercury naturally occurring in the water. Maternal mercury exposure is directly
related to fish consumption.
Mercury amalgam fillings may also contribute to the mercury load. However, there is no
scientific evidence of any link between mercury amalgam filling use and birth defects or
stillbirths. Current thinking is that it is better to avoid dental work involving mercury amalgam
fillings when possible during pregnancy, unless the effects of avoiding treatment could cause
greater problems (eg, the loss of a natural tooth). Women who are breastfeeding should also
avoid having mercury amalgam fillings inserted or removed, because mercury can be passed
to the baby through breast milk (NHMRC 1999).
Monomethylmercury, if consumed regularly and in large enough amounts, can damage the
brain and developing nervous system of the foetus. It can delay the mental development of
children exposed to it, and cause learning deficits and other neurological problems (Dorea
2004).
94 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
For many commonly eaten fish and seafood in New Zealand there is little concern about
mercury levels and these species can be eaten freely. This includes skipjack tuna, tarakihi,
blue cod, hoki, john dory, monkfish, warehou, whitebait, flat fish like flounder and mussels.
Fish and seafood to be mindful of during pregnancy are some of the longer-lived and
larger fish. Consumption of these should be limited to three servings (each about 150 g)
per week. These include salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, gemfish, orange roughy, ling,
skate, kahawai, hapuka (groper), bluenose, ghost shark, bass, oreo dory, red cod, ribaldo
and rig (spotted dogfish or lemonfish). There are a small number of species where it is
recommended to eat no more than one serving (150 g) per fortnight during pregnancy and
not at all if consuming other types of fish or seafood. These include dogfish (apart from rig),
school shark, swordfish, marlin, cardinal fish, and fish such as trout caught in geothermal
regions (mercury is produced from volcanic emissions) (NZFSA 2008).
These recommendations should not be interpreted as advice to avoid fish in pregnancy. Some
oily fish (canned tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eel, warehou and kahawai) are an excellent
source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and it may be difficult for women to consume
optimal amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (see section 3.3) without eating oily fish.
Breastfeeding women are at no greater level of risk from mercury in fish than other members
of the population. Breast milk has a significantly lower level of mercury than cow’s milk, and
also has a lower level of mercury than maternal blood because the translactational barrier is
more effective than the transplacental barrier.
Cadmium
Cadmium is a heavy metal that has many industrial uses including batteries, pigments and
metal coatings. While many organisms are able to regulate the cadmium concentration in
their tissue, research show some aquatic life forms such as oysters and scallops do not
do this very well. Pregnant women should limit their intake of Bluff oysters and queen
scallops due to high cadmium concentrations (NZFSA 2008).
PracticaI advice
• For many of the commonly eaten fish in New Zealand there is little concern over the
amounts eaten. For example, canned tuna (however, check the type of tuna on the label),
sardines, tarakihi, blue cod, hoki, warehou and flat fish like flounder.
• Some longer-lived and larger fish can contain more mercury so consumption of these
should be limited to three servings (150 g per serving) per week. For example, salmon,
albacore tuna, mackerel, kahawai, red cod, orange roughy and ling.
• There is a small number of fish for example, school shark, swordfish, marlin and trout
caught in geothermal regions that should only be eaten once a fortnight or not at all if
consuming other types of fish or seafood.
• Eating Bluff oysters and queen scallops needs to be limited due to high cadmium
concentrations.
• Women with pica should avoid eating soil and clay during pregnancy, and take care
during home renovations, especially in older houses, which may have lead-based paint
work.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should ensure they have adequate intakes of iron-
and calcium-rich foods to reduce lead absorption and retention.
95 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
0r¿anochIorines
Background
Organochlorines (OCs) are organic chemicals containing carbon and chlorine atoms joined
together. They come from a variety of sources, but particularly from industrial processes and
byproducts, and insecticide residues. Harmful OCs are those that do not break down easily
and stay in the environment and human body for a long time. These include:
• dioxin, which is very toxic
• industrial chemicals that are toxic in their own right and contain dioxin, such as
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pentachlorophenol (PCP)
• chlorinated pesticides that are toxic (such as dieldrin and DDT).
OCs are stable and vapour forming and can be carried by air currents for long distances.
Eventually they condense and are deposited on land and water, particularly in cold climatic
regions.
If they contaminate the food supply of animals, OCs become more concentrated as they
move up through the food chain, so the highest levels of OCs are found in species at the top
of the food chain – human beings, fish-eating birds and marine mammals. OCs build up in
the fatty tissue and stay in the body for a long time because they are slowly metabolised and
excreted.
OC residues have been detected in air, water, soil, sediment, fish and birds throughout
the industrialised world. They have also been found in remote areas, such as open oceans
and polar regions. In remote areas, where there are no significant local sources, any
contamination must come from other parts of the globe.
Scientific studies since the 1950s have shown that a high body burden of chlorinated
pesticides (such as DDT) in animals can cause ecological damage – abnormalities in the
reproduction and development of fish-eating birds are well known. There is currently
international concern that the levels of OCs, such as dioxins and PCBs, found in some marine
mammals may be damaging their health. Effects seen include a range of illnesses affecting
fertility, reproduction, the immune system and growth (Ministry for the Environment 2005).
Levels of OC residues have declined in countries where use of the chemicals has been
banned or limited (Solomon and Weiss 2002).
From animal studies, dioxins have been shown to be very toxic. The only reported acute
effects in humans are chloracne (a skin disorder) and a porphyria (a blood disorder that
leaves a person sensitive to sunlight), because human exposure is very low (Pesatori et
al 2003). The long-term effects of dioxins are less certain, although they are recognised
as carcinogens and associated with a range of cancers and birth defects (Steenland et al
2004). A number of studies have found neurological and immunological effects (subtle
effects on learning and the immune system) in the developing foetus and infants exposed to
background or only slightly elevated levels of persistent OCs (Van Oostdam et al 2004).
96 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
OCs are found in breast milk. Long-term dietary exposure influences breast milk levels of
OCs, particularly fat intake and fish consumption.
In New Zealand, levels of OCs in breast milk were investigated in 1988 (Bates et al 1994)
and 1998 (Ministry of Health 2001b). The 1998 investigation found that the levels of OCs
in breast milk of New Zealand women had declined by about 70 percent over the 10-year
period 1988 to 1998. In general, the exposure of New Zealanders to OCs is low compared to
exposure in most other countries, and the levels of OCs in New Zealand breast milk are low
by international standards.
The World Health Organization has concluded that on current evidence, the benefits of
breastfeeding outweigh any risks to infants associated with the presence of low levels of OCs
in breast milk.
PracticaI advice
• The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any risks to infants associated with the presence
of OCs in breast milk.
4.3.5 Intense sweeteners
Eight intense sweeteners are permitted for use in New Zealand: cyclamate, saccharin,
aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), acesulphame-K, sucralose (Splenda), alitame, neotame
and thaumatin (FSANZ 2002). These sweeteners are known as intense sweeteners because
they sweeten with a very small volume, and are non-nutritive in that they provide negligible
energy.
Acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) have been set for intense sweeteners by the World Health
Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food
Additives (JECFA). The ADI is the amount of a food additive that can be ingested over an
entire lifetime without any appreciable risk to health. It is expressed in units per kilogram
of bodyweight per day (mg/kg bodyweight/day). The ADI applies to all sections of the
population, including children and infants from the age of 12 weeks. Occasional exposure
over the ADI does not necessarily indicate a health risk, as ADIs incorporate substantial
safety margins.
Table 17 shows the ADI, median exposure for New Zealand women and main contributor to
intake for each sweetener. In the case of aspartame, an adult would need to drink 14 cans
of a sugar-free drink before reaching the ADI, assuming aspartame was used in the drink at
the maximum permitted level. Most drinks use a combination of sweeteners so the level is
usually lower than the maximum.
97 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1abIe 17: AûI, median exposure and main contributor to intake for intense sweeteners
Intense
sweetener
AûI (m¿]k¿ body
wei¿ht]day)
AûI for a 61 k¿
woman (m¿]day)
Median exposure
for AustraIian and
hZ women (m¿]
day)
Main contributor
to hZ intake
Saccharin 0–5 0–305 7 Table-top
sweeteners
Cyclamate 0–11 0–671 69 Cordial and fruit
drinks
Aspartame 0–40 0–2440 104 Soft drinks
Acesulphame-K 0–15 0–915 21 Soft drinks
Thaumatin Not specified Not specified Not measured Not measured
Sucralose 0–15 0–915 9 Yoghurts and
mousses
Alitame 0–1 0–61 Not reported Chewing gum
Neotame 0–2 0–122 Not measured Not measured
Source: FSANZ 2004a
Aspartame has been studied extensively by the UK Food Standards Agency, the European
Commission’s Scientific Commission on Food, and the US Food and Drug Administration. The
consensus is that the ADI for aspartame is appropriate.
Aspartame is a source of phenylalanine. There is a small group of people with the rare
inherited disease phenylketonuria (PKU), who are unable to metabolise phenylalanine,
which may therefore accumulate in potentially harmful levels. These people must follow a
strict diet in order to limit their intake of phenylalanine. All foods containing phenylalanine,
including aspartame, must state that the food contains phenylalanine. It is particularly
important that women with PKU planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant seek
medical and dietetic advice and follow a phenylalanine-controlled diet.
The other sweeteners are considered to be safe at intake levels within the ADI (American
Dietetic Association 2002).
PracticaI advice
• Intense sweeteners are considered to be safe at intake levels within the ADI.
• Women with PKU planning to become pregnant, or who are pregnant, should seek
medical advice and follow a phenylalanine-controlled diet.
98 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
4.4 5pecific conditions
4.4.1 hausea and vomitin¿
8ack¿round
Morning sickness is more appropriately known as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP)
because symptoms may occur at all times of day. Nausea and vomiting are the most common
symptoms of pregnancy, affecting 70–85 percent and 50 percent of pregnant women,
respectively (ACOG 2004). Most women will experience mild-to-moderate symptoms of NVP
in the first half of pregnancy. A New Zealand regional study of pregnant women found that
New Zealand European women are more likely to suffer from NVP (75 percent) compared
with 63 percent of Ma¯ ori and 58 percent of Pacific women reporting symptoms (Watson and
McDonald 1999).
The spectrum of symptoms ranges from mild to moderate self-limiting NVP, to the persistent
and severe state of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which affects about 1–2 percent of
pregnant women (Soltani and Taylor 2002). This condition is characterised by severe nausea
and vomiting, causing dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and weight loss. Loss of 5 percent
of pre-pregnancy weight may have negative implications for maternal and foetal health.
Treatment of HG usually involves electrolyte replacement, nutrition therapy and sometimes
hospitalisation.
The pathogenesis of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is not clearly understood and there
are physiological, psychological, genetic and cultural contributing factors. It has been
suggested that the symptoms are a mechanism for protecting the mother and foetus from
foods containing substances that may cause birth defects and miscarriage (Flaxman and
Sherman 2000).
Overall, the prognosis for women experiencing mild or moderate symptoms is very good,
and can favour good outcomes of pregnancy (Coad et al 2002). Reasons for this may be that
women increase their nutrient intake to alleviate symptoms, improve the quality of their
diet, reduce energy expenditure or physiologically adapt to a reduced intake in a way that
optimises placental growth or nutrient partitioning, thus favouring foetal growth.
NVP must be distinguished from nausea and vomiting arising from other causes such as
gastroenteritis, pyelonephritis and pre-eclampsia (ACOG 2004).
Interventions such as prescribed anti-emetics, vitamin B
6
supplementation, acupuncture
and ginger have been used, with varying success (Jewell and Young 2003). Vitamin B
6

supplementation may be effective, but there are concerns about its potential toxicity (see
section 3.6.3). Ginger may have some beneficial effects (see section 4.1.6). Women with
a history of NVP may need less medical attention in a subsequent pregnancy if they take a
multivitamin supplement at the time of the next conception (ACOG 2004).
PracticaI advice
• Mild to medium symptoms of NVP will not adversely affect pregnancy outcome. Severe
NVP will need treatment.
• It may be helpful to have small, bland or dry snack-like meals, avoid spicy or fatty foods,
and avoid nauseating foods and smells (including non-food odours like paint and
perfume).
99 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Pregnant women should maintain an adequate fluid intake.
• Foods containing ginger may have some beneficial effects, but pregnant women should
not take more than 1 g per day.
4.4.2 Cravin¿s]aversions
8ack¿round
Many pregnant women experience dietary cravings and aversions. Many cultural groups
believe that an excess intake of a craved food results in peculiarities of infants, or that
unsatisfied cravings result in birthmarks (Shannon 2003), but there is no evidence for this.
Taste sensitivity and food preferences change in pregnancy and may play a role in increased
appetite and weight gain.
The most commonly craved foods are dairy and sweet foods, including fruit and fruit juices,
and salty snacks. The most common aversions are for alcohol, caffeinated drinks, meat, fatty
food, eggs, some vegetables, and strongly flavoured or strong-tasting foods.
Aversion and cravings do not necessarily have a negative effect on the quality of diet.
Generally, cravings tend to alter the diet in a way that is not harmful and does not
compromise nutritional status.
Pica (craving for non-food items such as ice, soil, pencil leads and washing powder) may
occur in pregnancy. Pica can be harmful if women eat non-food items containing heavy
metals or pesticides.
PracticaI advice
• Women who have cravings for foods of lower nutritional value, or who are avoiding a food
that is normally part of the diet, should be referred to a registered dietitian for advice on
achieving a nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain.
• Women should not eat non-food items containing heavy metals or pesticides.
4.4.3 Ruman immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis 8 and hepatitis C in
pre¿nancy and breastfeedin¿
8ack¿round
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
As the number of people around the world who are infected with HIV increases, the number
of children infected with HIV will increase if testing and treatment services for pregnant
women are not adequate. The overwhelming source of HIV infection in young children is
mother-to-child transmission (UNAIDS 2004). Without preventive drug therapy, about
15–25 percent of infants of HIV-infected women will be infected during pregnancy or
delivery, and an additional 5–20 percent may become infected during breastfeeding
(WHO 2003b).
In New Zealand, women found to be infected with the HIV virus are more likely to come from
an area of the world where the prevalence of HIV is high, or their sexual partner comes from
a high prevalence area, such as Africa and parts of Asia. Less common are women thought
to be infected via transmission from a bisexual male or through injecting drug use. In New
100 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Zealand, to the end of June 2005 a total of 875 people (799 males and 76 females) have
been notified with AIDS, and 2358 (1985 males, 355 females, and 18 sex not stated) have
been found to be infected with HIV (AIDS New Zealand 2005). In New Zealand there have
been 23 children diagnosed with HIV acquired from an infected mother at or around the time
of birth. There were six children diagnosed in both 2003 and 2004.
As part of routine antenatal care, health practitioners should assess with the woman their
risk for HIV infection and advise testing if appropriate. Women who are HIV infected and
who are pregnant or considering pregnancy must be informed about the risk of transmission
from mother to child. There are effective anti-retroviral drugs that reduce the risk of pregnant
women transmitting HIV to their infants. Health practitioners managing the pregnancy should
seek advice early on in the pregnancy from a medical specialist and a paediatrician to be
able to advise and manage the pregnant woman and her child.
Women infected with HIV should have access to information, follow-up care and support,
including family planning services and nutritional advice and information. Improved
nutrition improves the outcome of pregnancy in HIV-infected women (Fawzi 2000; Fawzi and
Msamanga 2004).
There are good data to suggest that breastfeeding is associated with the transmission
of HIV from mother to child, although the risks of transmission may be similar for
breastfeeding and not breastfeeding (Coutsoudis et al 1999). A study of Zimbabwean
women infected with HIV who breastfed their infants found a reduced risk of breastfeeding-
associated HIV transmission with exclusive breastfeeding compared to mixed feeding and
predominant breastfeeding (Iliff et al 2005). The risk of transmission depends on clinical
factors, and may vary according to the pattern and duration of breastfeeding, with risk
being greatest during the first months of infant life but persisting as long as breastfeeding
continues (Scarlatti 2004). There is some evidence that breast conditions including mastitis,
breast abscesses and nipple fissure may increase the risk of HIV transmission through
breastfeeding, but the extent of this association is not well quantified. Women infected with
HIV who decide to breastfeed should be assisted to ensure they use a good breastfeeding
technique to prevent conditions that may increase the risk of transmission. These conditions
should be treated promptly if they occur.
When replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe (Sedgh
et al 2004), breastfeeding should either not be initiated or be discontinued as soon as
feasible. The decision on infant feeding should take into account local circumstances, the
individual woman’s situation and the risks of replacement feeding (including infections
other than HIV, and malnutrition). All HIV-infected mothers should receive counselling, which
includes providing general information about the risks and benefits of various infant feeding
options, and specific guidance in selecting the option most likely to be suitable for their
situation (WHO 2000).
The Ministry of Health has recommended that HIV-infected mothers in New Zealand do not
breastfeed their children. Safe and effective alternatives to breast milk are available in New
Zealand (Ministry of Health 1999a). Infant mortality rates are low compared to developing
countries where the nutritional and health benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of
transmitting HIV.
101 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Mothers infected with HIV who choose not to breastfeed from birth or stop breastfeeding
should be provided with specific guidance and support for the first two years of the child’s
life to ensure safe and adequate replacement feeding.
Hepatitis B (HBV)
The prevalence of carriage of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses in New Zealand
is higher than the prevalence of HIV.
If a woman is a carrier of HBV there is significant risk of vertical transmission of HBV to the
baby during pregnancy and delivery, particularly if the mother is e antigen positive. All
women should be screened for HBV carriage in early pregnancy. Transmission of HBV can be
prevented by giving the baby hepatitis B immunoglobulin and hepatitis B vaccine at birth
(Ministry of Health 2006).
A woman who carries HBV may breastfeed her baby. Although the hepatitis B surface antigen
has been detected in breast milk, breastfeeding does not increase the risk of infection
(American Academy of Pediatrics 2003).
Hepatitis C (HCV)
Vertical transmission from mother to baby during delivery occurs in approximately 5 percent
of affected pregnancies (American Academy of Pediatrics 2003). There is no contraindication
to a woman with HCV infection breastfeeding her baby. Transmission of HCV via breast milk
has not been documented, although women should be informed of the theoretical risk since
both hepatitis C RNA and an antibody to HCV have been detected in breast milk. Similarly,
transmission has not been demonstrated via cracked nipples, and this risk is theoretical.
PracticaI advice
• HIV-infected women should receive nutritional advice and information, and follow-up
care and support, including family planning services.
• Women with HIV infection should be advised not to breastfeed.
• All HIV-infected mothers should receive counselling and information about infant feeding
options.
• Women carrying HBV and HCV should not see this as a barrier to breastfeeding.
• The mother should be supported in her choice of feeding method.
4.4.4 0verwei¿ht and obesity
8ack¿round
Obesity is a growing problem in New Zealand. An individual is classified as obese if their BMI
is over 30 for New Zealand European people, 32 for Ma¯ ori and Pacific peoples, and 27.5 for
Asian people (see Table 3).
The most recent data on overweight and obesity in New Zealand women are from the
2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey, which reported that 27.5 percent of women are
overweight and 21 percent are obese. Table 18 shows the percentage of overweight and
obese adult New Zealand females, by ethnic group.
102 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1abIe 18: Percenta¿e of overwei¿ht and obese femaIes a¿ed 15+ years in hew ZeaIand
£uropean]0ther
femaIe
Maori femaIe Pacific femaIe 1otaI femaIe
Overweight (%) 28 32 36 27.5
Obese (%) 21 27 47 21
Source: 2002/03 NZ Health Survey (figures rounded to nearest whole number)
An increased BMI increases the incidence of macrosomia, the need for obstetric
interventions, and consequent morbidity in the mother and the infant. Obesity is well
recognised as a high-risk condition for pregnancy (Usha Kiran et al 2005). During pregnancy,
obese women are at increased risk of gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, gestational
diabetes, foetal macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, spontaneous abortion, pre-term birth,
stillbirth and neonatal death.
Several case control studies show that the risk of NTD in infants of women with a BMI greater
than 30 is double that among women with a BMI less than 30, after correcting for diabetes
as a possible confounder (ACOG 2005). A large, retrospective population-based study in
Canada found a positive association between maternal weight and risk of having an infant
with an NTD (Ray et al 2005).
Labour is more likely to be prolonged and induction required in obese women than in
non-obese women, which appears to cause subsequent complications (Usha Kiran et al
2005). Obese women are more likely to have an emergency caesarean delivery, anaesthetic
complications, and post-operative wound breakdown and infections (ACOG 2005), with a
higher risk of neonatal admission (Usha Kiran et al 2005).
There were early reports of pregnancy complications if the woman had previously had weight
reduction (bariatric) surgery, but this is not supported by more recent studies. Pregnancy
after bariatric surgery is less likely to be complicated by gestational diabetes, hypertension,
macrosomia and caesarean section than pregnancy in morbidly obese women who have not
had the surgery. Bariatric surgery can result in iron, B
12
, folate and calcium deficiencies, so
these nutrients should be monitored (ACOG 2005).
Obesity increases the risk of low back pain, oesophageal reflux, constipation and tiredness,
all of which are recognised problems in pregnancy (NHMRC 2003).
Obesity is the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Ma¯ ori, Pacific peoples, Asian
peoples and people with a family history of diabetes are at increased risk of developing type
2 diabetes. The estimated overall prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in New Zealand adults is
3 to 4 percent, with higher prevalence among Ma¯ ori adults (5–10 percent) and Pacific adults
(4–8 percent) (New Zealand Guidelines Group 2003). There is a higher rate of perinatal
mortality, and higher risk of major congenital abnormalities, mostly NTDs and congenital
heart disease, compared to women in the general population (CEMACH 2005). All pregnant
women should be screened for gestational diabetes.
Maternal obesity is associated with increased birthweight. High birthweight infants tend to
be taller and heavier throughout childhood and have increased risk of obesity in later life
103 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
(Institute of Medicine 1990). Infants whose mothers were obese also have greater risk of
subsequent obesity and coronary heart disease.
The weight gain recommendation for obese women is 6 kg over the entire pregnancy.
(See section 2.2.1 for more detailed information.) Obese women should eat a nutritionally
adequate diet and receive individual dietary assessment and counselling (Institute of
Medicine 1990). The basal energy requirements of obese women are higher.
Several studies have found that obesity is associated with lower rates of initiation of
breastfeeding and shorter duration of breastfeeding. A systematic investigation of over
120,000 mother-infant pairs in the US concluded that obese women were less likely than
women with a BMI in the normal range to initiate breastfeeding, and on average fed for about
two weeks less (Li et al 2003). This may be due to delayed onset of lactogenesis in heavy/
obese women (Chapman and Perez-Escamilla 1999).
PracticaI advice
• Obese women who are planning to become pregnant should consider losing weight
before becoming pregnant.
• Pre-pregnancy height and weight should be measured and BMI recorded.
• Women who have a BMI greater than 29 before pregnancy should aim to gain around
6 kg over their pregnancy.
• Obese women planning their pregnancy and who are pregnant should be offered
nutrition counselling and encouraged to be physically active.
• All women should be screened for gestational diabetes.
• Women who have had bariatric surgery should consider taking vitamin and mineral
supplementation under supervision of the LMC.
4.5 5peciaI ¿roups
4.5.1 AdoIescent pre¿nancy and breastfeedin¿
8ack¿round
Physiologically, adolescence can be defined as the period between pubescence (the time of
initial physiological development during which the reproductive organs mature) and the time
when the changes are complete.
Adolescents may not be able to comply with nutritional advice, especially if their social
circumstances are compromised. Particular attention needs to be given to the level of adult
support and financial security they have, and their competence regarding life skills and
financial management. Care should be delivered within the individual’s social context using
a wha¯ nau ora approach, and involving support people, as appropriate. Adolescents may
require extra support in the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding.
Adolescence is a time when young women are most at risk for eating disorders, which
may affect BMI and nutritional status. Anorexia nervosa typically begins in mid- to late
adolescence (14–18 years) and bulimia nervosa usually begins in late adolescence or early
adult life. The risks associated with low BMI and poor nutrition are discussed in Part 2.
104 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Pregnancy
New Zealand has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates of any developed country.
For the 10–19-year-old age group, the overall rate was 37.3 per 1000 in 2002, with the
rate for Ma¯ ori women 62.9 per 1000 and for Pacific women 65.4 per 1000. The majority of
adolescent pregnancies occur in the 15–19 years age group (Ministry of Health 2004a).
The number of infants born to adolescent mothers has decreased, reflecting an increased
abortion rate (Statistics New Zealand 2004).
In 2002 the average age for all New Zealand women to have a baby was 29.7 years. The most
common age range for a Ma¯ ori woman to give birth was 20–24 years.
Low birthweight and pre-term deliveries are twice as likely, and neonatal mortality is
almost three times higher, in adolescent pregnancies. Adolescents continue to grow
during pregnancy (Scholl et al 1994), and biological immaturity and competition between
the mother and the foetus for nutrients seem to be important causes of poor pregnancy
outcome.
Adolescents have an increased risk for pre-eclampsia, hypertension, anaemia and renal
disease, and they tend to gain more weight, particularly fat, in the third trimester and retain
more post-partum weight (Lenders et al 2000).
Pregnant adolescents can be considered to be at nutritional risk, particularly girls who
conceive within two years of menarche (King 2003). These young mothers are likely to enter
pregnancy with depleted nutrient reserves because their own adolescent growth imposes
a heavy demand, and these nutritional deficits, particularly folate, iron and vitamin B
12
, are
compounded during pregnancy (Baron et al 2003). Pregnant women aged 14–18 years of age
have higher requirements for all nutrients than non-pregnant women of the same age, except
vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, selenium and fluoride (NHMRC 2006).
Breastfeeding
Age has little effect on breast milk volume, so adolescents should be able to breastfeed
their infants adequately (Lipsman et al 1985). It is important for adolescents who are
breastfeeding to have adequate energy intakes to maintain their own growth and the growth
of their infants. It is especially important that they consume adequate calcium to maintain
their bone calcium status.
Breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years of age have higher requirements for all nutrients
than women of the same age who are not breastfeeding, except for vitamin D, calcium, iron,
magnesium and fluoride (NHMRC 2006).
Among Dunedin women who were breastfeeding, women aged 30 years and over were found
to have higher energy and nutrient intakes than those aged under 30. The intakes were
significantly higher for dietary fibre, iron, zinc, vitamin A and thiamin. This suggests that
younger women may be at increased risk of having inadequate intakes of selected nutrients
(Todd and Parnell 1994).
105 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
PracticaI advice
• Adolescent women who are pregnant should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and
should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
• The Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Adolescents: A background paper (Ministry
of Health 1998) provides another source of advice on nutrition issues for adolescents
generally.
4.5.2 ve¿etarian and ve¿an women
8ack¿round
There are several types of vegetarian diets. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat plant foods, milk and
milk products, and eggs. Lacto vegetarians eat plant foods, and milk and milk products.
Vegans eat plant foods only, and nothing of animal origin (eg, no eggs, milk or gelatine).
The dietary advantages for vegetarian and vegan women include benefits of lower intakes
of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of carbohydrates and dietary fibre,
antioxidants, magnesium, potassium and folate. As a result, vegetarians have lower rates of
obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers (American
Dietetic Association 2003).
Well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets can meet the nutrient and energy requirements
of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Infants of vegetarian mothers generally have
birthweights that are similar to those of infants born to non-vegetarians. However, the
additional demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding may present a nutritional risk, and the
nutrients of concern are protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B
12
and LCPUFAs.
Protein intake is usually quantitatively adequate, but protein quality may be of concern (see
section 2.3). Non-meat sources of iron and zinc tend to be of lower bioavailability. However,
food preparation practices such as sprouting beans, seeds and grains, and leavening
bread and eating vitamin C-rich foods with meals improve iron absorption (American
Dietetic Association 2003). Women who do not consume milk and milk products may have
difficulty meeting their calcium requirements. Retinol intake may be lower and conversion
of carotenoids to retinol is not efficient, so higher intakes of carotenoids may be necessary.
Those who eat limited amounts or no animal products may have inadequate intakes of
vitamin B
12
, and women who do not eat fish may have an inadequate intake of LCPUFAs (see
section 3.3).
PracticaI advice
• Vegetarian and vegan pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of
nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings from the four
major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline
Statements.
• Steps to ensure optimal iron absorption (see section 3.4.1) should be followed. Iron
status should be monitored, with iron medications offered if necessary.
• Women who avoid milk and milk products need to maintain adequate intakes by
consuming non-dairy sources of calcium, such as calcium-fortified soy milk, canned
whole fish (with bones), nuts, leafy vegetables, dried fruit, tofu, and wholegrain breads
106 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
and cereals.
• Women not consuming animal products are likely to require vitamin B
12
supplements
(see section 3.6.4).
• Include more omega-3 LCPUFA-rich foods in the diet, such as green leafy vegetables,
nuts and seeds, oily fish (eg, canned tuna, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eel, warehou and
kahawai), and oils (eg, soybean, canola, flaxseed and walnut oils).
• Foods fortified with fish oil, such as milk or bread, or fish oils may be a useful way to
increase the omega-3 LCPUFA content of the diet. The total amount of omega-3 LCPUFAs
in the diet should not exceed the UL of 3 g per day.
4.5.3 Pre¿nancy and breastfeedin¿ with muItipIe infants
MuItipIe pre¿nancies
The incidence of multiple births has increased, as a result of both delaying childbirth and
assisted fertility treatments. Multiple pregnancies are associated with an increased risk of
low birthweight because of growth restriction and pre-term birth, and perinatal mortality
(Brown and Carlson 2000). Women pregnant with two or more infants need to seek early
antenatal care. There is increasing evidence that good maternal nutrition in multiple
pregnancies is linked with improved outcome (Roem 2003; Luke 2004). Dietary assessment
and regular monitoring are important, and nutritional supplements may be necessary.
Additional energy in multiple pregnancies is required because maternal tissue deposition is
increased and there will be an added requirement for each foetus and placenta. However, the
extent of the increased requirement is unknown. Data from weight gain in twin pregnancies
suggest that an extra 630 kJ (150 kcal) per day above that recommended for a singleton
pregnancy is required (Brown and Carlson 2000); ie, the recommended energy intake for
women pregnant with twins is:
• no extra energy requirement in the first trimester
• 2000 kJ or 490 kcal extra energy per day for the second trimester
• 2500 kJ (600 kcal) extra energy per day for the third trimester (NHMRC 2006).
Because maternal energy economies can contribute to meeting increased requirements
(as they can in singleton pregnancies), energy adequacy is probably best assessed by
monitoring weight gain.
From the little evidence available, it is suggested that weight gain in twin pregnancies should
be at least 16–20 kg (Brown and Schloesser 1990; Luke and Leurgans 1996; Luke et al 1997;
2003) and at least 22 kg in triplet pregnancies (Luke et al 2002) for women whose
pre-pregnancy BMI is in the normal range (20–25 kg/m2). There are insufficient data to make
a weight gain recommendation for women with a pre-pregnancy BMI outside that range. Early
weight gain is important for optimal outcome, and it is recommended that 2–3 kg be gained in
the first trimester (Brown and Carlson 2000). There should be a steady weight gain of 0.75 kg
per week in the second and third trimesters (Institute of Medicine 1990).
107 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Women pregnant with twins are likely to have higher protein requirements. A study where
mothers pregnant with twins were given an additional 50 g protein and 4200 kJ or 1000 kcal
per day showed improved weight gain and pregnancy outcomes (Dubois et al 1991). Hence,
women pregnant with twins may need to consume an additional 50 g of protein per day
during the second and third trimesters, along with sufficient energy to allow the protein to be
used efficiently (Institute of Medicine 2002).
The nutrient requirements for twin and multiple pregnancies, and for multiple breastfeeding,
are increased over those for singleton pregnancies (Brown and Carlson 2000), especially for
energy, iron, folate, calcium, vitamin D and essential fatty acids (Luke 2004). The incidence
of maternal anaemias of iron and folate are more common because the increase in blood
volume is greater and the demands of more than one foetus increase requirements.
Because of a lack of evidence on specific levels of nutrient need in multiple pregnancies and
multiple breastfeeding, recommendations for vitamin and mineral intakes should be based
on the NRV values. Women pregnant with multiple infants, or breastfeeding multiple infants,
should base their food intake on the recommended number of servings from the four major
food groups (see Table 1), and add an extra serving from the lean meat, poultry, seafood,
eggs, nuts and seeds, and legumes group (Brown and Carlson 2000). They also may need to
eat extra servings of wholegrain breads and cereals, and milk and milk products to meet the
increased energy and nutritional requirements.
8reastfeedin¿ muItipIe infants
A woman can provide sufficient breast milk to exclusively breastfeed twins, triplets,
quadruplets and even quintuplets (Saint et al 1986; Mohrbacher and Stock 2003). It has
been recommended that women who are breastfeeding multiple infants increase their energy
intake by approximately 1200–1400 kJ (280–330 kcal) per day for each infant.
A woman breastfeeding multiple infants can meet her nutrient needs through food, but the
practical aspects of procuring, preparing and eating food can be challenging with two or
more infants. Easy-to-consume, nutrient-dense snacks may be particularly important, as is
practical help and support in procuring food and preparing meals.
8reastfeedin¿ durin¿ pre¿nancy, and tandem feedin¿
There is no reason to believe that breastfeeding through a pregnancy in a well-nourished
population will have negative effects on birthweight (Merchant et al 1990; Siega-Riz and
Adair 1993; Ramachandran 1995; Marquis et al 2002). Tandem feeding was not found to
have negative associations with infant growth at one month (Marquis et al 2002).
Breastfeeding through a pregnancy and continuing to feed both siblings after the birth
(tandem feeding) increases the nutrient requirements of the mother. There has been little
research on the nutrient requirements of women in these situations. However, mothers
breastfeeding during pregnancy reported continued good health throughout their pregnancy
and good outcomes for the infant (Moscone and Moore 1993). We can assume that during
pregnancy a woman requires the sum of the increment for pregnancy and for breastfeeding,
and during tandem breastfeeding the incremental requirement could be doubled, depending
on the amount of breast milk taken by the older sibling.
108 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Women who continue to breastfeed through pregnancy may experience breast or nipple
tenderness/pain, predominantly in the first trimester (Moscone and Moore 1993), and
maternal fatigue. There may be changes in the taste of the breast milk (Riordan 2005), and
women report a decrease in breast milk supply that is independent of the frequency of their
child’s suckling (Moscone and Moore 1993). Some children voluntarily wean when their
mother is pregnant, possibly because of these changes.
PracticaI advice
• Women with a multiple pregnancy and/or who are breastfeeding two or more infants
should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings
from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition
Guideline Statements.
• Such women should choose extra servings of lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts,
seeds or legumes per day, and at least three servings per day of breads and cereals, and
milk and milk products to meet the extra energy and nutritional requirements.
• Weight gain in twin pregnancies should be at least 16–20 kg and at least 22 kg in triplet
pregnancies for women whose pre-pregnancy BMI is in the normal range (20–25 kg/m2);
2–3 kg should be gained in the first trimester.
• An 800 (0.8mg) µg folic acid tablet should be taken daily for four weeks before and
12 weeks after conception, as well as consuming foods rich in folate and folic acid.
• Monitoring of iron status throughout pregnancy, including iron stores and factors
that affect them, is important in identifying current or potential iron deficiency. This is
especially important for Ma¯ ori women.
• All women should receive advice on dietary sources of iron, and factors affecting iron
absorption, to avoid iron deficiency (see section 3.4.1).
• Seek early antenatal care and have the multiple pregnancy diagnosed. Support
throughout pregnancy, and particularly during breastfeeding, is important.
4.6 0ther
4.6.1 Pre-conception nutrition
Lifestyle factors should be considered when planning a pregnancy because these can affect
fertility, and the foetus if the mother has not realised she is pregnant.
If a woman has a medical condition (eg, allergy, HIV, depression or diabetes) she should
seek medical advice when planning pregnancy or if she is pregnant. Children of women
with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for congenital malformations, largely due to poor
periconceptual glycaemic control, so such women should aim for good glycaemic control
pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy (Ray et al 2001).
A review of 25 studies concerning the relationship between cigarette smoking, BMI and
caffeine consumption, and fertility, noted that a woman’s fertility was decreased with
cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption of more than four drinks per week, caffeine intake
of greater than 250 mg per day, and BMI greater than 27 or less than 17 (Barbieri 2001). An
observational study of 2112 pregnant women found that time to pregnancy was significantly
109 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
longer if either partner smoked more than 15 cigarettes per day, or consumed more than
six cups of tea or coffee per day; if the partner consumed more than 20 alcohol units per
week; if the woman’s BMI was greater than 25; or if they were socially deprived. The lifestyle
variables had a cumulative effect: couples who had more than four variables had a seven-
fold longer time to pregnancy. Dose-dependent effects occurred with smoking, and alcohol
and tea/coffee consumption (Hassan and Killick 2004).
Smoking may cause a modest increase in risks for ectopic pregnancy and spontaneous
abortion (CDC 2001).
The Australian alcohol guidelines recommend that women who might become pregnant
should limit their alcohol consumption. They may consider not drinking at all. If they choose
to drink, they should have no more than seven standard drinks over a week, and on any one
day have no more than two standard drinks (spread over at least two hours), and should
never become intoxicated (NHMRC 2001).
Women who are planning a pregnancy should avoid the use of illicit drugs and ‘party pills’,
and ask their health professional about potential problems with any medications they are
taking.
The fertility rate of obese women for both natural and assisted conception is lower than
for women of normal range BMI. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of
anovulation, and about 35–40 percent of affected women are obese. For overweight women,
weight loss may improve the chances of both spontaneous conception and the success of
fertility treatments (Hassan and Killick 2004).
Women planning pregnancy should take an 800 µg (0.8 mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least
four weeks before becoming pregnant, and women who are pregnant should take an 800 µg
folic acid tablet daily for 12 weeks after conception, as well as consuming foods rich in folate
and folic acid-fortified foods. Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an
NTD should take a 5000 µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and
12 weeks after conception.
Women planning a pregnancy should follow the guidelines about consumption of fish to
ensure they do not have a mercury intake that is too high.
PracticaI advice
• Women should take an 800 µg (0.8mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks
before and 12 weeks after conception, as well as consuming foods rich in folate and folic
acid-fortified foods. Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an NTD
should take a 5000 µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and
12 weeks after conception.
• A variety of nutritious foods should be eaten, including the recommended number of
servings from the four major food groups, especially green vegetables and fruit, and the
advice given in Eating for Healthy Adult New Zealanders (Code 1518) should be followed.
• Women who might become pregnant should limit alcohol consumption, and consider
not drinking at all, or if choosing to drink, have no more than seven standard drinks over
a week. On any one day such women should have no more than two standard drinks
(spread over at least two hours), and should never become intoxicated.
110 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• Both partners should cease smoking, and seek appropriate advice and support.
• Illicit drugs or ‘party pills’ should not be used.
• Women should check any medications with their doctor or LMC.
• Obese women who are planning to become pregnant should consider losing weight
before becoming pregnant.
• Women who have a habitually low energy intake (< 8000 kJ [1900 kcal] per day) and enter
pregnancy with a low BMI (< 20 kg/m
2
) should be referred to a registered dietitian for
advice on achieving a nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain.
• For many of the commonly eaten fish in New Zealand there is little concern over the
amounts eaten. For example, canned tuna (however, check the type of tuna on the label),
sardines, tarakihi, blue cod, hoki, warehou and flat fish like flounder.
• Some longer-lived and larger fish can contain more mercury so consumption of these
should be limited to three servings (150 g per serving) per week. For example, salmon,
albacore tuna, mackerel, kahawai, red cod, orange roughy and ling.
• There is a small number of fish for example, school shark, swordfish, marlin and trout
caught in geothermal regions that should only be eaten once a fortnight or not at all if
consuming other types of fish or seafood.
• Eating Bluff oysters and queen scallops needs to be limited due to high cadmium
concentrations.
4.6.2 £ffect of maternaI nutrition on incidence of infant aIIer¿y
8ack¿round
Food allergy is an abnormal immunological response to a food or food component, almost
always a protein. Genetic factors are important in the pathogenesis of allergic disease.
Environmental changes may be responsible for unmasking genetic predisposition and
increasing allergic disease.
Any infant and toddler may have an allergic reaction to food. However, children born into
families with allergies are more likely to have an allergy (50–80 percent) than are children
with no family history of allergy (20 percent). The risk appears to be higher if both parents
have an allergy (60–80 percent) and if the mother rather than the father has an allergy
(Kjellman 1998). Allergic disease typically refers to atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma,
allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and food allergy (American Academy of Pediatrics 2008).
Food allergies occur in around 6 percent of children under three years of age and decrease in
prevalence over the first decade of life (Wang and Sampson 2006). It is estimated that
80–90 percent of infants outgrow their allergies although this may take many years.
Currently, there is no reliable data on the prevalence of food allergy in New Zealand (Crooks
et al 2008). Common food allergens in Western populations are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts,
soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheat (NZFSA 2004). Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil
nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts,
pistachios and walnuts.
Maternal avoidance of common food allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not
recommended by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (Prescott
and Tang 2004). The American Academy of Pediatrics (2008) found a lack of evidence that
maternal dietary restrictions during pregnancy and breastfeeding played a significant role in
111 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
preventing atopic disease. Some evidence suggests that excluding common food allergens
during breastfeeding may prevent atopic eczema, but more data are needed to confirm this.
Even though it is not recommended, if the pregnant or breastfeeding mother wants to avoid
common allergens, a dietitian should be involved to help ensure the mother maintains a
nutritious diet for both her and baby.
Breastfeeding is thought to have a role in the primary prevention of allergic disease.
Evidence is conflicting (Zeiger 2003), but on balance breastfeeding probably reduces the risk
of developing a food allergy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (2008) recently concluded
that exclusive breastfeeding for at least four months compared with feeding intact cow milk
protein formula decreased the cumulative incidence of atopic dermatitis and cow milk allergy
in the first two years of life for high-risk infants. Exclusive breastfeeding also protects against
wheezing in early life but the evidence that it protects against allergic asthma occurring
beyond six years in not convincing.
PracticaI advice
• Maternal avoidance of common food allergens during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not
recommended.
• Exclusive breastfeeding until the infant is around six months old is the most effective
known way to reduce the incidence of allergy in infants.
• Pregnant women should not smoke.
• If a woman chooses to avoid common food allergens during pregnancy and
breastfeeding, she should consult with a registered dietitian to ensure that her
nutritional needs are being met, and to help identify all hidden sources of the food
allergen in the diet.
4.6.3 £ffect of maternaI nutrition on coIic and wind
8ack¿round
Colic (inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy infant) can be stressful for parents. This
behaviour is seen in both breastfed and formula-fed infants, although one study found that
crying time peaked at two weeks for artificially fed infants and at six weeks for breastfed
infants (Lucas and James-Roberts 1998).
The risk of colic has been associated with maternal smoking in pregnancy and maternal
anxiety (Sondergaard et al 2001), pain relief during labour, and employment of the mother
during pregnancy (Clifford et al 2002).
Many causes of colic have been proposed. One is gastrointestinal distress, but there is no
clear evidence that this is the case (Barr 2002). Another possible cause of an unsettled
infant is an imbalanced intake of foremilk. Too much foremilk, which has a less satiating
effect and may exceed the ability of the infant gut to absorb lactose, may cause colic and
other symptoms that can be misinterpreted as lactose intolerance. Other possible causes of
colic include hypersensitivity, gastroesophageal reflux disease and over-stimulation (Barr
2002; Mohrbacher and Stock 2003). Allergic reactions may also be responsible for a small
percentage of colic or unsettled behaviour: infants may respond to antigens in breast milk
with a variety of symptoms, including colic and eczema. Jakobsson and Lindberg (1983)
found that approximately one-third of infants referred to them for colic seemed to react to
cow’s milk protein in their mother’s diet.
112 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Mothers of breastfed infants in New Zealand commonly omit a range of foods from their
diet to avoid or relieve infant colic, unsettled behaviour or excessive wind (Todd and Parnell
1995). There has been little scientific research on the subject, but cow’s milk, onions,
cruciferous vegetables (eg, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) and chocolate
were identified by mothers as being associated with colic symptoms (Lust et al 1996). These
effects appear to be due to mechanisms other than allergic reactions. However, there is no
consistent evidence that the majority of unsettled infant behaviour or excessive wind is due
to maternal diet.
Mothers are recommended to allow the infant to complete feeding from one breast before
switching to the other breast to avoid the infant receiving too much foremilk. In some cases,
further management of breastfeeding may alleviate the infant’s discomfort (Mohrbacher and
Stock 2003). Restricting feeding by limiting the feed duration or feeding at timed intervals
does not help colicky infants and may compromise their nutritional intake.
PracticaI advice
• Breastfeeding women should be advised to continue their usual varied diet.
• Consider all possible causes of the unsettled behaviour before altering the diet.
• If cow’s milk or any other major food is removed from the diet, seek advice from a
registered dietitian.
4.6.4 A¿e of introduction of compIementary foods and effect on
breastfeedin¿
8ack¿round
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until infants are six
months of age, and the infant should receive adequate and safe complementary foods while
breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 2001) as a global public
health recommendation. Early introduction of complementary foods can result in a decrease
in breast milk intake even if breastfeeding frequency is maintained (Cohen et al 1994; Dewey
et al 1999). Decreased suckling at the breast may lead to a cycle of decreased milk supply
and increased supplementation, ending in premature weaning (Kramer and Kakuma 2004).
For the mother, introducing complementary foods before the infant is six months old is
associated with a shorter period of lactational amenorrhoea and a reduction in the level of
weight loss (Dewey et al 2001; Simondon et al 2003).
Breast milk is still the most important source of nutrients in the first months after
complementary feeding is started, and should be offered first along with continued
breastfeeding throughout the day so as to not decrease breast milk intake. From around
eight months, complementary foods (solids) may be offered before breast milk, along with
continued breastfeeding throughout the day. Infants will generally decrease their demand
for breast milk, although, ideally, breastfeeding will continue until the end of the first year
(Ministry of Health 2000) or longer (WHO 2001). The amount of milk taken by an infant
during this period is highly variable, and hence maternal nutritional requirements will also be
very variable during this time.
Maternal iron status should be monitored and, if required, treatment initiated and
followed up. If maternal iron status, and thus newborn iron status, is sub-optimal,
113 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
exclusive breastfeeding may compromise the haematologic status of the mother and affect
breastfeeding (Kramer and Kakuma 2004). Exclusive breastfeeding for six months where the
baby was full term and the mother had good antenatal iron status does not pose a health
issue. If exclusive breastfeeding is continued beyond six months, the iron status of the infant
may need to be monitored.
The New Zealand recommendations regarding the introduction of complementary foods are
outlined in Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years):
A background paper (Ministry of Health 2008).
PracticaI advice
• Milk supply can be maintained by appropriate breastfeeding frequency and duration.
• The age of introduction of complementary foods depends on developmental cues and is
around six months of age.
• When complementary foods are introduced, the mother should continue to offer breast
milk first until around eight months.
• Complementary foods should be chosen based on the guidelines given in Food and
Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years): A background
paper (Ministry of Health 2008).
• Maternal iron status should be monitored and, if required, treatment initiated and
followed up.
• The nutritional needs of the breastfeeding woman will vary greatly towards the end of the
first year, depending on how much breast milk the infant is taking.
4.6.5 Inter-pre¿nancy spacin¿
8ack¿round
The inter-pregnancy interval is defined as the period from delivery of one infant to the
conception of the next. This interval is important for replenishing nutrient reserves and
optimising the outcome of future pregnancies. The optimal outcome is associated with inter-
pregnancy intervals of between 18 and 59 months (King 2003).
Short inter-pregnancy intervals are associated with maternal depletion syndrome (Winkvist
et al 1992) and a poorer outcome of pregnancy. Nutrients most likely to be depleted with
a shorter inter-pregnancy interval are iron and folate, and possibly DHA. It is not known
whether repeated pregnancies lead to progressive depletion of DHA status (Scientific
Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004), but maternal DHA concentration falls during the
post-partum period to a greater extent if the mother breastfeeds.
Women with short inter-pregnancy intervals are at increased risk for pre-term delivery, low
birthweight or growth-restricted infants (King 2003). There is an increased risk of neonatal
death in children conceived after short inter-pregnancy intervals, and the incidence of
adverse maternal outcome is also increased. Risks of maternal death, third trimester
bleeding, premature rupture of membranes, postpartum infection and anaemia are higher.
A long interval between pregnancies (more than 10 years) is also more risky, possibly
because maternal age is likely to be higher or the pregnancy is unplanned or associated with
secondary infertility.
114 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Optimal nutrient replenishment will depend on the extent and duration of breastfeeding as
well as the inter-pregnancy interval.
PracticaI advice
• The optimal inter-pregnancy interval is 18–59 months to allow replenishment of nutrient
reserves.
• Women who have multiple births or an inter-pregnancy interval shorter than 18 months
may need additional nutritional support during their subsequent pregnancy.
4.6.6 Phytoestro¿ens
8ack¿round
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived chemicals with oestrogen-like activities (Vaya and Tamir
2004). Soy-based foods are rich in phytoestrogens, particularly isoflavones (Safford et al
2003).
A number of population sub-groups may be expected to have a higher than average intake of
phytoestrogens. These sub-groups are vegetarians and vegans, particular ethnic groups (eg,
Japanese and Chinese), consumers of soy-based foods, and consumers of phytoestrogen-
containing dietary supplements (Food Standards Agency 2003).
Consumption of phytoestrogens in pregnancy increases foetal exposure to phytoestrogens
(Foster et al 2002), which has been postulated to have a beneficial effect on foetal and infant
oestrogen metabolism, and to possibly alter cancer risk in later life (Adlercreutz et al 1999).
One study found an increased incidence of male infants born with hypospadias to vegetarian
women (North and Golding 2000). The increased incidence may be due to high intakes of
phytoestrogens, but the level of intake of soy milk made no difference to the incidence, and
other unrelated factors were noted to affect the incidence as well. Much more research is
needed in the area of in utero exposure to phytoestrogens before conclusions can be drawn
(Food Standards Agency 2003).
Breastfeeding women consuming phytoestrogens will secrete some of these phytoestrogens
into milk, but the level in breast milk will be much lower than that in soy-based infant
formula (Food Standards Agency 2003).
PracticaI advice
• Pregnant women should be encouraged to eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the
recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and to
follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements.
115 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 5: hutrition Issues for Maori
5.1 Maori pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
5.1.1 8ack¿round
Recent surveys have shown that Ma¯ ori are more likely than non-Ma¯ ori to experience poor
health as a consequence of inappropriate nutrition. A study of Ma¯ ori health trends suggests
that the factors that have contributed to this include:
• the impacts of colonisation on Ma¯ ori, including the adoption of a European diet and the
loss of mahinga kai (traditional food-gathering areas) through land loss and the pollution
of coasts and waters
• changes to Ma¯ ori economic and social status, with Ma¯ ori now being over-represented
among the low socioeconomic groups and those experiencing food security concerns
(Po¯ mare et al 1995; Russell et al 1999).
• possible genetic factors (such as those that may predispose to diabetes, asthma and
respiratory diseases)
• cultural factors in Ma¯ ori society that may affect the types of food eaten (Po¯ mare et al
1995).
He Korowai Oranga: Ma¯ ori Health Strategy (Minister of Health and Associate Minister of
Health 2002) is the foundation for supporting Ma¯ ori families to achieve their maximum
health and wellbeing, and reverse the effects of the trends listed above on health. Involving
the women, their family members and communities in decisions relating to preventive
or corrective measures relating to health, lifestyle or dietary practices is likely to improve
nutrition and health outcomes.
There could be significant Ma¯ ori health gain if all Ma¯ ori were able to access good nutrition
and dental care and receive appropriate support during and following pregnancy and
breastfeeding, and if there were fewer barriers to regular physical activity. The positive
promotion of Ma¯ ori identity, and Ma¯ ori world views and aspirations, has been shown to be
effective in reaching Ma¯ ori and in improving the adherence, access and quality of service
provided to Ma¯ ori (Pihema 1998; Simmons et al 1996). Health services delivered to Ma¯ ori
need to reflect an understanding of hauora Ma¯ ori as these have the potential to improve
awareness, and to encourage positive changes and acceptability within Ma¯ ori communities
(Pihema 1998; Simmons et al 1996).
Factors that are likely to impact negatively on nutrition for Ma¯ ori women of childbearing years
include:
• first-time pregnancies, which may be extremely difficult for young Ma¯ ori mothers and are
often characterised by a lack of emotional support from partners and sometimes family,
combined with a lack of awareness and appropriateness of maternity services, resources
and support (Goodwin 1996)
• information or support from maternity services does not often meet their needs (Ratima
et al 1994)
116 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• first infant feeding experience at a relatively young age is potentially significant in the
decision made about feeding subsequent infants
• lower rates of full breastfeeding (Ministry of Health 1999b; 2001b)
• a greater likelihood of experiencing post-natal depression (Webster et al 1994)
• higher adolescent and young adult pregnancy rates
• higher fertility
• a greater likelihood of coming from lower socioeconomic groups
• a higher proportion receiving the Domestic Purposes Benefit and having a household
income below $20,000 (Ministry of Women’s Affairs 2001)
• food insecurity
• higher unemployment rates and lower full-time employment rates
• lower education participation rates and level of educational achievement.
There may be a particular concern for adolescent Ma¯ ori mothers who – by virtue of their
limited life experience, own continued growth, interrupted education or socioeconomic
status – may already be at a nutritional, educational, emotional or social disadvantage
(Dickson et al 2000; Ministry of Women’s Affairs 2001; Woodward et al 2001).
5.1.2 Maori modeIs of heaIth
Ma¯ ori approaches to health are primarily based on the view that hauora, or holistic health,
is a product of wellbeing at a physical, spiritual, psychological and social level. There are
many models of health in use that encompass this view. These include He Whare Tapa Wha¯
(the four corner-posts of health) (Po¯ mare et al 1995); Te Pae Mahutonga (the Southern
Cross) (Durie 1999); Te Wheke (the octopus) (Pere 1984); and the values and principles of
whanaungatanga (having a shared vision and connectedness) (Ministry of Health 2004c).
5.1.3 1raditionaI foods and cuIturaI practices
A number of traditional foods still form part of the diet for many Ma¯ ori (Parker et al 2001).
Traditional vegetables include ku¯ mara, kamokamo, pu¯ha¯ , watercress, pikopiko and
kangawai. Kaimoana forms a significant part of traditional diets in coastal areas, and
includes kina, pipi, ko¯ ura, ngaeti, parengo, pa¯ ua, tuna (eel), pa¯ tiki, inanga and kuku. Ti ¯ti ¯ and
re¯ wena are other highly regarded foods.
Traditional Ma¯ori foods are generally compatible with the Food and Nutrition Guidelines
(Po¯mare and de Boer 1988), and their inclusion into the diet should be promoted within the
Ma¯ ori and general communities (Smith 1995). Ku¯ mara is of special significance for Ma¯ ori
and is likely to be included among those foods introduced to infants at weaning. In addition
to being a traditional staple of the Ma¯ ori diet, it is believed to offer spiritual sustenance not
found in other foods (Department of Health 1991; Parker et al 2001).
Pregnant Ma¯ ori women may be avoiding certain foods because of cultural practices. Any food
avoidance should be assessed to ensure that nutritional status is not compromised.
Connected to the spiritual and cultural significance of food for Ma¯ ori is the social function of
foods, such as in the practices of manaakitanga (honouring manuhiri or visitors) and
117 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
mana-a¯ -iwi (food provision demonstrating the mana of the hosting group) (Durie 1985;
Pihema 1989). However, in the NNS97 three in 10 Ma¯ori women reported that their
households were often or sometimes stressed because they could not provide the food they
wanted for social occasions (Russell et al 1999).
Traditional cultural practices surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding are likely
to be practised within some Ma¯ ori wha¯ nau (Mikaere 2000; Rimene et al 1998; Po¯ mare et
al 1995). Current cultural practices of Ma¯ ori women or wha¯nau of specific relevance during
pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding are varied. They may include some or all of the
following: mirimiri (abdominal massaging during pregnancy); rongoa¯ (use of herbal or other
medicinal practices); karakia (prayers); baby massage; infant bed-sharing; non-separation of
the baby from the mother; and retention of the whenua (placenta and afterbirth). In addition,
practices around tapu and noa requires a separation of anything associated with food from
materials involved with body waste, menstrual, or birthing processes. (Note that breast milk
is perceived as a food product and not associated with body waste, menstrual or birthing
processes.) The head, or materials associated with the head (hair, pillows), is regarded as
tapu and should not be associated with that which is considered noa (eg, not passing food
over the head). Extremely important to most Ma¯ ori women and wha¯nau, however, is a central
involvement of the wha¯nau – especially partners and female relatives during pregnancy and
birth, and in decisions relating to these occasions (Ellison-Loschman 1997; Mikaere 2000;
Rimene et al 1998; Taylor 1996).
5.1.4 LifestyIe diseases and behaviours
Prevalence of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and coronary heart diseases is
high among Ma¯ ori women of childbearing age (Ministry of Health 1999b; 2001a; Scragg
et al 1991; Swinburn et al 1997), as are cancers of the breast and cervix, and sexually
transmissible infections (Smyth 2000). In addition, Ma¯ ori women are more likely than
New Zealand European women to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes following pregnancy
(Simmons 1996).
Binge or heavy alcohol drinking behaviour is of concern in Ma¯ ori women, both before
and during pregnancy – particularly in 19–24-year-olds (Counsell et al 1994; Watson and
McDonald 1999). Smoking is also of significant concern in pregnant and non-pregnant Ma¯ ori
women (Glover 2004). Glover found that consistent and repeated messages from multiple
sources that a smokefree pregnancy is best, backed up with effective education about the
risks and smoking cessation options, would likely enhance the motivation for Ma¯ ori to cease
or adjust smoking behaviours. Advice on being smokefree should target the whole expectant
wha¯ nau, instead of focusing on pregnant women in isolation.
Adolescent and young adult Ma¯ ori females may need additional support and education on
the potential ill effects of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking on their baby. Advice
should be given in a caring, non-judgemental manner and involve the whole expectant
wha¯ nau (see sections 4.1.2 and 4.1.3 on alcohol and cigarette smoking).
5.1.5 PotentiaI nutrition issues for pre¿nant or breastfeedin¿ Maori women
Ma¯ ori women, particularly adolescent and young adult women, are more likely than
non-Ma¯ ori to have nutrient inadequacies (Ministry of Health 2003c; Russell et al 1999;
Benny et al 1991; Watson and McDonald 1999). Pregnancy and breastfeeding will put
118 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
further stress on what may already be an inadequate nutrient status. The nutrition issues
that may be of most concern for Ma¯ori women during pregnancy and breastfeeding include
low calcium, iron and folate intakes, and high fat and sugar intakes. Other nutrients may be
inadequate in the diets of Ma¯ori pregnant, breastfeeding or non-pregnant women, but are
likely to be of less concern. These include inadequate intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin
B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium and zinc (Benny et al 1991; Watson and
McDonald 1999).
food security
Ma¯ori households are disproportionately represented in the two lowest income quintiles
(Statistics New Zealand 1999), and Ma¯ ori households were among those that experienced
the greatest income reductions between 1991 and 1993 (National Health Committee 1998).
The NNS97 and 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey (CNS02) (Ministry of Health
2003c) found that lower socioeconomic households are more likely to report being unable to
afford to eat properly, and that the variety of foods eaten was limited by money. Households
with the most children were likely to be most affected (Ministry of Health 2003c; Russell et
al 1999). Almost half of Ma¯ ori reported that the variety of foods they were able to eat was
limited by lack of money. Ma¯ ori were disproportionately more likely to access food banks
than others, and women accessed food banks more than men. Thirty-one percent of women
living in Ma¯ ori households were more likely to experience ‘stress because of not having
enough money for food’ than New Zealand European/Other women (12 percent) (Russell et
al 1999).
The NNS97 also found that there was a significant relationship between living in the most
deprived areas of New Zealand and inadequate intakes of zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin,
folate, dietary fibre, calcium, vegetables and fruit (Russell et al 1999). A study of pregnant
women showed that, in addition to these, iron and selenium were also significantly lower
in pregnant women from lower socioeconomic groups, and there were highly significant
negative impacts on growth to one year of children born to these women (Watson 1996) (see
section 4.2).
CaIcium intake
The NNS97 showed that Ma¯ ori females (34 percent) had a higher prevalence of inadequate
calcium intake compared with New Zealand European/Other women (22 percent). Females
aged 15–18 years (37 percent) are likely to have the highest prevalence of inadequate
calcium intakes (Russell et al 1999). Similar discrepancies in calcium adequacy between age
and ethnicity groups were found in regional studies of New Zealand pregnant women (Benny
et al 1991; Watson and McDonald 1999).
Iron intake
The NNS97 showed that New Zealand females have a low risk of inadequate iron intake
when consideration is given to both dietary intake and biochemical iron status. However,
iron deficiency may be more prevalent in Ma¯ ori females – particularly during the adolescent
and young adult years. The CNS02 showed that iron intakes are more likely to be a concern
in menstruating females (Ministry of Health 2003c), and a study of senior high school
students in South Auckland found that 27 percent of Ma¯ ori females were iron deficient,
and were more likely to be anaemic (Schaaf et al 2000b). Regional studies of New Zealand
119 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
pregnant women also found that iron deficiencies were more likely in Ma¯ ori women and in
women aged 15–24 years (Benny et al 1991; Watson and McDonald 1999).
foIate intake
The NNS97 showed that the highest prevalences of inadequate intake of folate were
among females living in the most deprived neighbourhoods (NZDep96 quartile IV areas)
(18.6 percent); among females 15–24 years (21.2–22.2 percent); and among Ma¯ ori females
(23 percent), compared with New Zealand European/Other women (11.5 percent). The
CNS02 showed that folate intakes may also be an issue for Ma¯ ori females aged 11–14 years
(Ministry of Health 2003c). This likelihood of inadequate folate intake in adolescents and
young adult women, women from lower socioeconomic areas and Ma¯ ori women was also
confirmed in regional studies of pregnant women (Benny et al 1991; Watson 1996; Watson
and McDonald 1999). Ma¯ ori pregnant women are more likely to fall within all three of the
groups, showing a higher prevalence of inadequate folate intake and highlighting a concern
for potential neural tube and brain development defects in Ma¯ ori infants born to these
women.
Ri¿h fat and su¿ar intakes
The NNS97 showed that compared with New Zealand European/Other women, Ma¯ ori women
aged 25–44 years are more likely to have a higher consumption of takeaway foods, such as
fish and chips, burgers, meat pies/sausage rolls and pizza; and higher cholesterol intakes
(in Ma¯ ori females 25–44 years) and dietary energy intakes from fat (particularly saturated
and monounsaturated fat) (Russell et al 1999). Total sugar and sucrose intakes are also likely
to be higher in Ma¯ ori women aged 25–44 years (Russell et al 1999) and during pregnancy
(Benny et al 1991). This high fat and sugar intake could be displacing other important
nutrients required during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and is likely to be a contributing
factor in gestational and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity and coronary heart diseases
in Ma¯ ori women.
food safety
Pregnant Ma¯ ori women should be cautioned about listeria , which can cause miscarriage
and stillbirths in pregnant women and may be found in uncooked and pre-cooked foods.
All foods, including traditional foods and dishes like hangi, pu¯ ha¯ , watercress, terotero (pig
intestines), kaimoana and ka¯nga wai or ka¯ nga kopiro (steeped corn) should be well cleaned
and well cooked before eating (Te Runaka ki Otautahi o Kai Tahu et al 1996) (see section
4.3.2 about listeria). Only kaimoana that has been freshly cooked or thoroughly reheated
should be consumed.
5.1.6 PracticaI advice
• Ma¯ ori pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods,
including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see
Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. It is especially
important to pay attention to calcium- and iron-rich foods.
• Traditional Ma¯ ori foods are nutritious choices for food during pregnancy, but care should
be taken to reduce the use of fatty cuts of meat, salt, saturated fat products, cream and
sugar in the preparation and eating of these foods.
120 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• All Ma¯ ori women planning pregnancy should take an 800 µg folic acid tablet daily for at
least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception to reduce the risk of NTDs.
• Pregnant Ma¯ ori women should follow food safety advice to reduce the risk of food-borne
illness, including listeriosis (see section 4.3.2).
• Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol.
• Mothers should continue avoiding alcohol when breastfeeding, especially during the
first month.
• Where the mother is alcohol or drug dependent, health practitioners need to offer
support and referral to appropriate agencies.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not smoke (see section 4.1.3).
• Ma¯ ori women should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families should be referred to the
appropriate agencies to ensure the family is receiving all the financial assistance it is
entitled to.
121 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Part 6: hutrition Issues for Pacific and 0ther
PopuIations
6.1 8ack¿round
Certain differences in the intake of various nutrients have been found between ethnic groups
of New Zealand women (other than Ma¯ ori) who are of childbearing age, breastfeeding or
pregnant. Of particular concern is the increased prevalence of ill-health and inadequate
nutrition likely in some population groups, including Pacific peoples, refugees and new
immigrants, and populations where English is not the first language.
Inadequate nutrition during childbearing years may be related to a number of factors.
These include food insecurity, lack of income, socioeconomic status, cultural or religious
food practices, language barriers, cultural barriers, lack of awareness of appropriate food
substitutes, unavailability of traditionally eaten foods, and adoption of a westernised diet.
A woman’s dietary pattern may change little from the pre-pregnant or pre-breastfeeding
diet (Clissold et al 1991; McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993; Todd and Parnell 1995; Watson and
McDonald 1999), apart from an overall increase in intake, especially earlier in pregnancy,
and an avoidance of some foods aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of the mother or baby.
Thus, inadequate diets before pregnancy are likely to have consequences on the health of
the mother and baby if these practices are continued during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Cultural or religious practices around conception, and during pregnancy, childbirth or
breastfeeding, vary considerably between and within cultures. While most cultural or
religious practices are not likely to affect the nutrition or health of the woman or child, health
practitioners should be sensitive, supportive and seek advice from their clients and their
families as to their current religious or cultural practices before diet or lifestyle is discussed.
Cultural or language barriers should be minimised by providing appropriate health education
resources, translation services, links to health providers or organisations of the same
ethnicity, and education on the New Zealand health system and services.
Involving the women, their family members and communities in decisions relating to
preventive or corrective measures relating to health, lifestyle or dietary practices is likely to
improve nutrition and health outcomes.
6.2 Pacific pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women
6.2.1 8ack¿round
Pacific peoples living in New Zealand comprise a number of distinct groups, each having
their own language, customs and traditions. Samoan, Cook Island Ma¯ ori, Tongan, Niuean,
Fijian and Tokelauan make up the largest populations of Pacific peoples in New Zealand,
and include those born in New Zealand as well as those born in the Pacific Islands. The
‘broader’ Pacific community also includes people from Tuvalu, Tahiti, Melanesian countries
122 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
such as Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, as well as I-Kiribati and other
Micronesian countries.
In the 2001 census it was found that the Pacific populations make up about 6.5 percent of
the New Zealand population. They are a relatively young group because Pacific children make
up about 40 percent of the entire Pacific population. Pacific peoples are concentrated mainly
within the Auckland and Waitemata regions (67 percent) and the Wellington and Hutt areas
(~13.6 percent) (Statistics New Zealand 2003).
Pacific peoples in New Zealand may be affected by:
• the impacts of migration, which include the sudden abundance, ready availability and
wider variety of foods, as well as changes in climate, language, housing and living
arrangements
• socioeconomic and income factors – Pacific peoples are over-represented at the lower
end of the socioeconomic spectrum and within low-income groups, and the NNS97
highlighted food security as an issue for Pacific peoples (Russell et al 1999)
• high rates of labour market participation following the birth of a child (Galtry 1995)
• cultural factors, because these form the basis of how Pacific peoples perceive health and
the role of food, particularly traditional foods (eg, traditionally, obesity was regarded as a
symbol of high status and prosperity – see also ‘Traditional foods and cultural practices’
below)
• a decrease in physical activity post-migration (Prior 1976)
• lower levels of regular physical activity – results from the 1997–2001 New Zealand Sport
and Physical Activity Surveys showed that while 63 percent of Pacific adults are active
for more than 2.5 hours per week, only around one-third (36 percent) are regularly active
(engage in 30 minutes or more of activity on at least five days per week) compared with
52 percent of the total New Zealand population; and Pacific women are significantly
less likely to be physically active than women overall (Ministry of Health and Ministry of
Pacific Island Affairs 2004)
• genetic factors, which may predispose Pacific people to developing diabetes and
coronary heart disease
• a higher prevalence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease (Hodge
et al 1996; Schaaf et al 2000a).
The Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan (Minister of Health 2002) is the foundation for
supporting Pacific peoples to achieve their maximum health and wellbeing, and reverse the
effects of the trends listed above on health.
Pacific women are more likely to have more children, have high adolescent pregnancy
and birth rates, and higher than the national youth average of some sexually transmitted
infections (Ministry of Health and Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs 2004). Pacific women are
also more likely to attend later at antenatal classes. Pacific women have lower rates for full
breastfeeding than New Zealand European/Other women, but slightly higher rates than those
for Ma¯ ori (Ministry of Health 2002).
123 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
One study of Wellington women found that the incidence of hyperemesis gravidarum (severe
vomiting during pregnancy) was significantly increased in Pacific women compared with the
control group and was often associated with abnormalities of thyroid function (Jordan et al
1995).
Recent nutritional surveys show that Pacific women are more likely than New Zealand
European/Other women to experience inadequate nutrient intakes (Ministry of Health
2003c; Russell et al 1999; Benny et al 1991; Watson and McDonald 1999). Adolescent and
young adult women and women from a low socioeconomic background are also more likely
to experience inadequate nutrition (Ministry of Health 2003a; Russell et al 1999). Pacific
women are likely to be included in all three of the groups experiencing inadequate nutritional
intake.
Adolescent Pacific women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be at particular risk
because their limited life experience, own continued growth, interrupted education
or socioeconomic status may place them at what is already a nutritional, educational,
emotional or social disadvantage (Woodward et al 2001; Ministry of Health 2004c).
Health practitioners should be aware of and sensitive to the diverse cultures and values
of Pacific peoples and incorporate, whenever possible, a holistic approach and the Pacific
models of health. The family and its extended community is a central part of Polynesian
cultures and should be the basic unit for nutrition education. Involving Pacific models
of health and cultural beliefs within health promotion programmes has been found to
improve the acceptability and positive involvement of Pacific peoples in health intervention
programmes (Moata’ane and Guthrie 2000; Simmons et al 1996; Swinburn 1993).
6.2.2 Pacific modeIs of heaIth
The Fonofale Health Model was developed by Fuimaono Karl Puluto-Endemann as a Pacific
model of health for use in the New Zealand context (Ministry of Health 1997c). The concept
of the Samoan fale, or house, not only reflects what is most important for Pacific peoples
– family, culture and spirituality – but also identifies the important components of health of
Pacific peoples. The fale does not exist in isolation but is influenced by other dimensions,
especially the environment, time and social context in which people live.
The Fonofale Health Model is based on a metaphor for a house, with a roof and foundations.
The roof represents the cultural values and beliefs that shelter life, including traditional
methods of healing, The foundation represents the family, the foundation of the Pacific
culture. The pou, or posts, connect the roof to the foundations, representing the connection
between the family and culture and dimensions of spiritual wellbeing, physical wellbeing,
mental and emotional wellbeing and other variables, such as gender, sexual orientation, age
and social class (Ministry of Health 1997c).
Other important areas to consider include the diversity of cultures, languages, beliefs
and ways of doing things among the different groups that make up the Pacific population,
because each Pacific ethnic group interprets health from its own cultural perspective.
6.2.3 1raditionaI foods and cuIturaI practices
The traditional diet of many Pacific peoples was composed of mainly coconuts, starchy root
vegetables and other staples (yams, taro, cassava, ku¯ mara/sweet potato, pandanus and
124 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
sago); fruit when in season (mangoes, pawpaw, breadfruit, bananas, plantain); fresh fish
or seafood; and occasionally pork and chicken. These were supplemented with leaves and
other green vegetables, such as taro leaves, pele (edible hibiscus leaves), ku¯ mara leaves and
fern shoots, and often cooked with coconut cream in an umu (earth oven) (Hughes 2003).
Pacific cultures emphasised the starchy foods, but a meal without animal protein was seen
as less desirable, or kai kovi (Tongan for unhealthy and lacking substance).
Migration, urbanisation and adaptation to Western diets prevalent in New Zealand have
come at the expense of an often nutritionally superior traditional diet for Pacific peoples.
These factors have led to the introduction and greater abundance of meat, processed foods,
foods high in fat, sugar and salt in the diet, and a decrease in the variety and consumption of
traditional fruit and vegetables. While many Pacific peoples may prefer their traditional diets,
unfamiliarity with New Zealand foods and the accessibility, cost and availability of traditional
foods may affect their food choices.
Food has a central role in the life of Pacific peoples. As a migrant, food may be seen as a
symbol for helping Pacific peoples maintain their identity (Pollock 1992). In the NNS97,
Pacific people were more than twice as likely as other respondents to be stressed because
they could not provide the foods they wanted for social occasions (Russell et al 1999). Pacific
people tend to see food as something to enjoy rather than as a source of nutrients needed to
keep them healthy.
Food is also a vehicle to show love and respect, to express hospitality and to bring people
together. Some foods are associated with wealth and prestige, such as taro, yams, pork, fish
and povi or pulu masima (salted brisket). Feasting is an important cultural ritual in Pacific
communities, serving as a focus and a venue for family, community and social exchange.
The concept of foods being associated with increased risk of developing adverse health
outcomes is a foreign concept to most Pacific peoples.
Cultural practices relating to food vary greatly between cultures and individuals and are
sometimes dependent on whether the mothers were New Zealand- or Pacific-born, so health
practitioners should be aware of and sensitive to the cultural practices of the women and
their families before giving dietary or health advice.
Various cultural beliefs, tapu or prohibitions may also affect practices, food choices and
nutrition of Pacific women and their infants during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Within
many Pacific groups, cultural practices may include abdominal rubbing during pregnancy
and childbirth; female relatives and family being central in providing support and advice;
ceremonies or rituals surrounding the birth, especially with regard to the placenta, umbilical
cord and afterbirth; infant bed-sharing; non-separation from the infant; baby massage; and
a high regard for breastfeeding (Abel et al 2001). Before initiating breastfeeding, Papua New
Guinean women may express and discard the colostrum, as it is believed to be harmful for
the baby.
During pregnancy, Tongan women may avoid cutting meat or cloth and not eat octopus so
that the baby will be whole and not have spots or marks on its limbs (Morton 2002). They
may also be discouraged from ingesting cold drinks or foods to prevent the foetus from
becoming cold, or discouraged from sleeping during the day so the baby will not be affected
with ila fale (a Tongan word for a serious disease where the baby is very sleepy) (Abel et al
2001).
125 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
In some islands of Papua New Guinea, women may avoid eating too much fish to avoid a
potentially difficult delivery or be discouraged from eating store-bought foods, and first-time
mothers eat no fatty foods or animal protein foods except for small clams or freshwater crabs
(Katz 1985). In some Fijian and Papua New Guinean Islands, it is customary for the men of
the household to be given the first and the best choice of food, such as any meat, followed
by the women and children (Mallet 2002).
Pacific women may prefer special warmed foods following birth, such as banana, sago, yams,
ku¯ mara or fish that has been cooked with the green flesh of the coconut in the belief that
it will aid regeneration of the mother and promote milk flow (Dawson 1983). Infant feeding
cultural practices may also include the introduction of certain foods for weaning, such as
sua alaisa (special rice soup), which is used by Samoan women; pia (arrowroot starch); and
mokomoko (coconut milk), used by Cook Island women (Abel et al 2001).
Health practitioners should avoid banning foods, particularly foods of high cultural
significance, as this may cause cultural or social isolation, and should support the use of
cultural foods that are superior food choices. They should focus on reducing the frequency
of intake of certain foods (such as those high in fat, sugar or salt). Women may be avoiding
certain foods because of cultural practices. Any food avoidance should be assessed to
ensure that their nutritional status is not compromised.
An adequate nutritional intake during pregnancy and while breastfeeding should be able to
be maintained within most Pacific cultural food practices. The risk of listeria infection may
need to be explained to those women who eat uncooked seafood (see section on 4.3.2 on
listeria).
6.2.4 LifestyIe behaviours
In a New Zealand study of women living between Taupo and Wellsford, Pacific women were
much less likely to drink alcohol than Ma¯ ori and New Zealand European women, but those
who do may be more likely to show binge-drinking-type behaviours before and during
pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999).
Pacific women are less likely than Ma¯ ori or New Zealand European/Other women to be
comfortable seeking help or information from medical services in general, or in relation to
pregnancy or breastfeeding issues (Abel et al 2001).
6.2.5 PotentiaI nutrition issues for pre¿nant or breastfeedin¿ Pacific women
Pacific women, especially adolescent and young adult women, are more likely than New
Zealand European/Other women to have limited access to and variety of food, which may
lead to nutrient deficiencies (Ministry of Health 2003a; 2003c). Pregnancy and breastfeeding
will add further stress to an already inadequate nutritional status, and this is a concern
for the Pacific mother and her infant. Inadequate iron intakes (particularly in adolescent
mothers) and low vegetable and high fat intakes may be of most concern for Pacific mothers.
In addition, Pacific mothers who are adolescent or young adults, or who are from a low
socioeconomic background, may also have inadequate nutrient intakes in calcium, folate,
thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B
6
, vitamin B
12
, vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium and zinc, but
these are likely to be of less concern (Benny et al 1991; Watson and McDonald 1999).
126 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
food security
The NNS97 and CNS02 found that lower socioeconomic households are more likely to
report being unable to afford to eat properly and that the variety of foods eaten is limited
by money. Households with the most children were likely to be most affected (Ministry of
Health 2003c; Russell et al 1999). Pacific peoples are over-represented at the lower end
of the socioeconomic and lowest income spectrums compared with other peoples in New
Zealand. They are also likely to come from larger households with more children, so they are
more likely to have a poorer health status and experience nutritional inadequacies (Finau et
al 2000).
Iron intake
A study of senior high school students in South Auckland found that a significant percentage
(20.9 percent) of Pacific females were iron deficient, and were more likely to be anaemic than
New Zealand European/Other (Schaaf et al 2000b). A study of pregnant women in Wellington
found that 51 percent of Pacific women had an estimated iron intake below the minimum
safe intake for pregnancy (Benny et al 1991).
ve¿etabIe and fat intakes
The 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey found that fewer adult (over 15 years of age) Pacific
women (39 percent) consumed the recommended three or more servings of vegetables
per day than the corresponding national averages for adult females (71 percent) (Ministry
of Health 2004b). In a regional study of pregnant women, compared with New Zealand/
European women, Pacific women ate breads and cereals, vegetables and fruit less frequently
and were more likely to have low intakes of folate, calcium and, to a lesser extent, iron,
riboflavin and vitamin A. They also ate takeaway foods more frequently than New Zealand
European/Other women and had the highest energy and cholesterol intakes of all the women
(Watson and McDonald 1999).
0besity
Obesity is a common concern among Pacific peoples (Hodge et al 1996) and is more
prevalent among Pacific peoples in New Zealand than those living in their island of origin
(Tukuitonga and Finau 1997). The New Zealand Health Survey 2002/03 found that 47.2
percent of Pacific women were classified as obese compared with 26.8 percent of Ma¯ ori
women and 21.0 percent of New Zealand European/Other women (Ministry of Health 2004b).
The CNS02 found that one-third of Pacific girls aged 11–14 years were classified as obese
(Ministry of Health 2003c). Pacific women are over-represented in non-communicable
disease mortality data, and are more likely than New Zealand European women to have
type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular diseases and
hypertension (Ministry of Health 1997b). One study found that a number of Pacific women
were not diagnosed with type 2 diabetes until pregnancy (Simmons 1996). Gestational
weight gain recommendations for Pacific women should be based on their pre-pregnancy
BMI (see section 2.2).
6.2.6 PracticaI advice
• Pacific pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods,
including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see
127 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. It is especially
important to include iron-rich foods, and to reduce fat intake.
• It may not be necessary to increase energy intake, but rather focus on eating more lean red
meats and low-fat milk and milk products, more vegetables, fruit, and wholegrain breads
and cereals.
• Foods high in vitamin C help iron absorption (eg, oranges, kiwifruit, mangoes, pineapple,
broccoli, cabbage, cassava, ku¯ mara, taro leaves, tomatoes).
• Traditional Pacific foods are nutritious choices for food during pregnancy, but care should
be taken to reduce the use of fatty cuts of meat, salt, saturated fat products, cream and
sugar in the preparation and eating of these foods.
• An 800 µg folic acid tablet should be taken daily for at least four weeks before and
12 weeks after conception to reduce the risk of NTDs.
• Food safety advice should be followed to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, including
listeriosis (see section 4.3.2).
• It is important to keep physically active during pregnancy and breastfeeding to help
manage weight gain.
• Pre-pregnancy BMI should be measured and recorded. See section 2.2.1 for recommended
weight gain based on BMI.
• Pacific women should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed. Colostrum is beneficial
for the baby and should not be expressed and discarded.
• Breast milk is the only food the baby needs for the first four months and up to six months of
age.
• Pacific pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families should be referred to the
appropriate agencies to ensure the family is receiving all the financial assistance it is
entitled to.
6.3 Pre¿nant and breastfeedin¿ women of other ethnic ¿roups
6.3.1 8ack¿round
Other ethnic groups are increasingly contributing to the diversity of the New Zealand
population. The broadly defined Asian population in New Zealand (major groupings include
Chinese, Korean and Indian ethnic groups) has increased from 3 percent in 1991 to 6.6 percent
in 2001, mainly because of immigration. The 2001 Census counted more people of Asian
ethnicity than Pacific people. Almost two-thirds of the Asian population live in the Auckland
urban area (Statistics New Zealand 2003). From 1991 to 2001 the number of people born
overseas and now living in New Zealand rose by 33 percent, from around 530,000 in 1991 to
700,000 in 2001, and the biggest increases were from people from northeast sub-Saharan
countries and North Africa, the Middle East, and southern and central Asia (Statistics New
Zealand 2003).
Barriers to receiving information or engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviours and nutrition in
New Zealand may include inadequate income, language difficulties, embarrassment, cultural
factors, and lack of awareness of suitable replacement options to foods traditionally eaten
in their home of origin. Origin of birth, length of time in New Zealand, age, food availability,
128 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
personal preference, cultural adherence and location are other factors that may determine
ethnic food choices (Smith 1995). Among Asian groups, the length of time since having
migrated to New Zealand and being New Zealand-born and raised influence the likelihood
that the mothers have adopted a more Westernised diet (Soh et al 2000).
6.3.2 CuIturaI beIiefs and food practices
A survey of 1137 immigrant Asians in the Auckland region assessed the views of this
population group on health and health services and found that about 20 percent of the
respondents used traditional medicine, many of them because they believed it worked better
than Western medicine (Walker et al 1998).
Other studies showed that a high percentage of Chinese families might follow the yin and
yang philosophy in eating habits (Soh et al 2000; Chan et al 2000). The traditional Chinese
diet is designed to achieve an optimal balance between the two energies, yin and yang.
Food is classified as ‘hot’ or ‘heaty’ (yang) or neutral, ‘cold’ or ‘cooling’ (yin) depending on
the energy that is released when the food is metabolised (Lodge 1991). During pregnancy,
Chinese women may avoid shellfish, refuse iron supplementation in the belief that the
iron will harden bones and contribute to a difficult labour, and take ginseng (Chang 1974).
Following birth, the ‘cold’ or yin energy is decreased, hence the women may consume herbal
teas, steamed foods, rice, eggs, and soup made from chicken or pork pieces, and avoid fresh
vegetables and fruit, cold foods and drinks (Chan et al 2000).
In some cultures, mothers may not feed colostrum to their infants, believing that it is
poisonous or old milk (Riordan 2005). Some Indonesian women living in the United States
believed that infant formula was superior to breast milk. A hot maternal diet was thought
to produce unhealthy breast milk, so the women preferred using formula because this was
perceived to be more stable and nourishing than breast milk (Fishman et al 1988).
Muslim women following the Islamic philosophy have very specific instructions on food
consumption and practices. Some of these include the Halal killing of meat and chicken;
avoidance of pork, beef, meat or alcohol; always accepting an invitation to eat; not finding
fault with food; and always expressing appreciation of food (Dennison 2000). Various
religious practices, such as within the Muslim and Hindu communities, may also include
fasting observances such as Ramadan for various periods of time or occasions. However,
women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be exempt. A study in Iran of 539 women
compared infant maturity, and the weight and height of infants born of fasting mothers with
infants of non-fasting mothers, and found no significant differences (Kavehmanesh and
Abolghasemi 2004).
A number of other ethnic groups, including Chinese, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese and
Indian, also have cultural practices surrounding pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
These may include some or all of the following: retaining special practices relating to the
afterbirth or umbilical cord; not breastfeeding until a day after the birth; special observances
surrounding pregnancy or childbirth, such as not praising the beauty or strengths of a
newborn for fear of misfortune from spirits or other influences; not preparing or purchasing
gifts for the expectant baby until after the birth; central involvement of the family –
particularly female relatives during and after the birth; non-separation from the baby; and
the mother’s preference for showers over baths following the birth.
129 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Food security is likely to be a significant barrier to the health and accessibility or variety of
foods able to be eaten by women and their infants (see section 4.2) for some migrants, and
especially for new refugees.
Health practitioners should be sensitive to the cultural practices relating to diet and nutrition
in women of different ethnic groups so that appropriate advice can be given. Women may be
avoiding certain foods because of cultural practices. Any food avoidance should be assessed
to ensure that their nutritional status is not compromised.
6.3.3 Areas of concern
There is limited information available about the lifestyle behaviours, diseases, physical
activity or nutritional adequacy of these groups living in New Zealand. However, according
to the results of the respondents from ‘Other’ ethnicities included in a number of health and
nutrition surveys, the health and nutrition of these groups are likely to be more favourable
compared with Ma¯ ori and Pacific peoples and similar to those of the New Zealand European
population (Statistics New Zealand 2003; Walker et al 1998).
However, there may be at-risk sub-groups within these populations because newly
immigrated, non-English-speaking peoples are more likely to be unemployed and have low
incomes, and are less likely to receive income support, and thus are more likely to have food
security concerns that will affect their health and nutritional status (see section 4.2).
Concerns in these situations include insufficient energy, iron and calcium; a low intake of
vegetables, fruit, lean red meat and milk and milk products; and high intakes of fat, salt
and sugar (Parnell 1997). Inadequate intakes of zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, dietary
fibre, calcium, vegetables (especially for women) and fruit were identified as concerns in
the NNS97 (Russell et al 1999). A significantly lower nutrient intake of calcium, zinc, iron,
selenium and folate were found in pregnant women in low socioeconomic groups (Watson
1996).
Asian females aged 14–21 years are also more likely to have iron deficiency than New
Zealand European adolescent females (Schaaf et al 2000b). This may be a concern for
adolescent Asian women and their infants if they become pregnant and choose to follow the
cultural practice of refusing iron supplementation.
Cultural practices that require women to be fully covered and veiled may place the women at
particular risk of vitamin D deficiency, particularly if dark-skinned. This is of concern during
pregnancy because a low maternal vitamin D status may affect the growth and development
of the unborn child (see section 3.5.2).
Data from the 1998/99 Hillary Commission, Sports and Recreational Survey show that men
and women from these ‘Other’ ethnic groups are less likely to be active compared with
Ma¯ ori, New Zealand European or Pacific peoples (Hillary Commission 2001).
6.3.4 Recommendations and practicaI advice
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women from ‘Other’ ethnic groups should eat a variety
of nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings from the four
major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline
Statements.
130 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
• All women planning pregnancy should take an 800 µg folic acid tablet daily for at least
four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception to reduce the risk of NTDs.
• Food safety advice should be followed to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, including
listeriosis (see section 4.3.2).
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families should be referred to the
appropriate agencies to ensure the family is receiving all the financial assistance it is
entitled to.
• Women should be encouraged and supported to breastfeed, especially those women
who may have a view that infant formula is superior. Colostrum is beneficial for the baby
and should not be expressed and discarded.
• Breast milk is the only food the baby needs for the first four months and up to six months
of age.
• Women and children who have dark skin, who are housebound or who do not expose
themselves to sunlight for cultural or religious reasons should include oily fish, eggs and
vitamin D-fortified margarine in their diet and their children’s diet. Women may need a
10 µg vitamin D tablet per day under supervision of the LMC.
• Women should be encouraged to consume adequate intakes of iron (see section 3.4.1).
• Chinese women may refuse iron tablets, so this should be considered when dealing with
iron deficiency anaemia.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious in using traditional medicine,
including herbal supplements and preparations (see section 4.1.6).
131 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
CIossary
Adequate intake (AI) Where an estimated average requirement (and therefore
a recommended dietary intake) for the nutrient cannot be
determined because of limited or inconsistent data, an AI
is determined. The AI can be used as a goal for individual
intake, but is based on experimentally derived intake levels or
approximations of observed mean nutrient intakes by a group
of apparently healthy people maintaining a defined nutritional
state.
AdoIescent A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not
reached full maturity.
AduIt A person aged 18 to 65 years.
AIpha-IinoIenic acid An omega-3 fatty acid with 18 carbon atoms; found in soybean,
canola, flaxseed, walnut oils, nuts and seeds
Anaemia A reduction of the haemoglobin concentration below normal for
age and sex. A diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia is made
when anaemia is accompanied by laboratory evidence of iron
deficiency, such as low serum ferritin.
AnencephaIy A neural tube defect where infants have under-developed brains
and incomplete skulls. Most infants born with anencephaly do
not survive more than a few hours after birth.
Antioxidant A compound that protects others from oxidation by being
oxidised itself (eg, vitamin C, vitamin E).
Arachadonic acid An omega-6 fatty acid with 20 carbon atoms; found in egg yolk,
and meats (particularly organ meats).
Attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder
(AûRû)
One of the most commonly diagnosed and controversial mental
disorders among children, and increasingly recognised as
afflicting adults as well. Its symptoms include inattention,
hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
8asaI metaboIic rate
(8MR)
The amount of energy required to sustain basic essential
processes for keeping the body alive, healthy and growing, such
as heart, lungs, nervous system and kidneys. It is measured
when an individual is at rest in a warm environment, is in the
post-absorptive state (ie, they have not eaten for at least
12 hours), and is disease-free.
8ioavaiIabiIity The degree to which a drug, medication or another substance
(eg, iron) becomes available for use by the body after
administering.
8ody mass index (8MI) An indicator of body fatness, calculated from the formula:
weight divided by height squared, where weight is in kilograms
and height is in metres.
132 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Cardiomyopathy A general term meaning diseases that affect the heart muscle
itself and are not the result of hypertension or congenital or
acquired valvular, coronary, or pericardial abnormalities.
ChiIdren’s hutrition
5urvey (Ch5
02
)
A cross-sectional population survey of New Zealand children
aged 5–14 years.
Constipation Infrequent or difficult bowel motions.
Coronary heart disease
(CRû)
Also called coronary artery disease and atherosclerotic heart
disease, CHD results from the growth of atheromatous plaques
(associated with progressive accumulation of macrophages)
within the blood vessel wall. After decades of progression, some
of these atheromatous plaques often rupture and (along with
the activation of the blood clotting system) start limiting blood
flow to the heart muscle.
ûiabetes Diagnosed when levels of glucose are abnormally elevated in
blood. It is usually caused either by a lack of insulin or by the
body’s inability to use insulin efficiently. The two most common
types of diabetes mellitus are type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 (T2DM).
ûichIorodiphenyItri-
chIoroethane (ûû1)
DDT was developed as the first of the modern early pesticides
in World War. It was initially used with great effect to combat
malaria, typhus and the other insect-borne human diseases
among both military and civilian populations, and later
recognised as harmful.
ûiet-induced
thermo¿enesis
The stimulation of metabolism that occurs for three to six hours
after a meal as a result of the processing of food in the stomach
and intestine, and of nutrients in the blood and body cells. It is
about 10 percent of the total daily energy expenditure.
ûietary foIate
equivaIents (ûf£s)
Recommended folate intake is expressed as dietary folate
equivalents to account for differences in the bioavailability of
food folate and synthetic folic acid. 1 µg of DFEs equals:
• 1 µg of folate from food
• 0.5 µg of a folic acid tablet taken on an empty stomach
• 0.6 µg of folic acid from fortified food/as a tablet taken with
meals (NHMRC 2006).
ûietary reference
intake (ûRI)
A term used in the United States and Canada to cover varying
levels of recommended intakes of nutrients.
ûietary reference vaIue
(ûRv)
A term used in the United Kingdom to cover varying levels of
recommended intakes of nutrients.
ûocosahexaenoic acid
(ûRA)
An omega-3 fatty acid with 22 carbon atoms; found in oily fish.
ûocosapentaenoic acid
(ûPA)
An omega-3 fatty acid with 22 carbon atoms; found in oily fish.
133 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
ûystocia Abnormal or difficult childbirth. Shoulder dystocia is a specific
case of this complication where the anterior shoulder of the
infant cannot pass below, or requires significant manipulation
to pass below, the pubic symphysis. It is diagnosed when the
shoulders fail to deliver shortly after the foetal head.
£icosapentanoic acid
(£PA)
An omega-3 fatty acid with 20 carbon atoms; found in oily fish.
£rythropoiesis The process of making red blood cells (erythro = red blood cell;
poiesis = creating).
£ssentiaI amino acids See Indispensable amino acids.
£ssentiaI nutrient A nutrient required for normal body functioning that can not
be synthesised by the body. Categories of essential nutrients
include vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and
essential amino acids.
£stimated avera¿e
requirement (£AR)
The EAR is the median usual intake estimated to meet the
requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage/
gender group. This value is usually used for assessing adequacy
of intakes of certain populations.
£thnicity For the purpose of reporting ethnicity in the New Zealand
Nutrition Survey 1997 (NNS97), where participants identified
more than one ethnic group, the following hierarchical rules
were applied.
• If New Zealand Ma¯ ori was one of the groups reported, the
participant was assigned to New Zealand Ma¯ ori.
• If any of the Pacific groups was one of the groups reported,
the participant was assigned to Pacific peoples.
• All remaining participants were assigned to New Zealand
European/Other (NZEO).
fatty acids A component of fat which is an even-numbered chain of carbon
atoms with hydrogens attached, a methyl group at the end and
a carboxylic acid group at the other. Fatty acids are classified as
short (less than eight carbons), medium (8–12 carbons) or long
(14 or more carbons) chain. Some fatty acids are essential.
foetaI aIcohoI spectrum
disorder (fA5û)
FASD is a non-diagnostic term that covers a range of related
birth defects resulting from pre-natal alcohol exposure. Under
this umbrella term are several diagnostic terms such as foetal
alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial foetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS),
alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and
alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
134 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
foetaI aIcohoI
syndrome (fA5)
A lifelong, physically and mentally disabling condition. Foetal
alcohol syndrome is characterised by (1) abnormal facial
features, (2) growth deficiencies, and (3) central nervous system
problems. FAS is one of the most severe effects of drinking
alcohol during pregnancy.
food security Access to adequate, safe, affordable and acceptable food.
foIate Generic term for the various forms of folate found in food.
Involved in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids, and
hence the synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins.
foIic acid Synthetic form of folate, found in supplements and fortified
foods and beverages. It is more bioavailable and more stable
than folate from food.
fruit Generally includes the sweet, fleshy edible portion of a plant
that arises from the base and flower and surrounds the seed.
CaIacto¿o¿ue Medication or substance that aids in initiating and maintaining
adequate breast milk production.
Camma IinoIenic acid
(CLA)
An omega-6 fatty acid with 18 carbon atoms; found in evening
primrose, blackcurrant oils.
CestationaI diabetes
meIIitus (CûM)
A form of diabetes found in pregnant women. It occurs when
the pregnant woman’s body cannot produce enough insulin,
resulting in high blood sugar.
CestationaI wei¿ht ¿ain
(CwC)
The average weight gain in pregnancy.
CIycaemic index (CI) The rise in blood glucose after a portion of carbohydrate-
containing food is eaten compared with the rise in blood
glucose after a standard food (usually white bread or glucose) is
eaten. The GI is normally expressed as a percentage.
Raem The iron-holding part of the haemoglobin protein. About
40 percent of the iron in meat, fish and poultry is haem iron;
the other 60 percent is non-haem iron.
Raemo¿Iobin The protein carrying oxygen in the red blood cells.
Raemorrha¿ic disease
of the newborn (Rûh)
A rare disease in infants, which can cause bleeding in the first
few days of life. HDN refers to a coagulation disturbance that
results from vitamin K deficiency and the consequent impaired
hepatic production of factors II, VII, IX and X.
Romocysteine A by-product of the amino acid methionine and an intermediate
in the synthesis of the amino acid cysteine. Elevated levels
of homocysteine in blood are associated with coronary heart
disease.
135 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Ruman
immunodeficiency virus
(RIv)
A frequently mutating retrovirus that attacks the human immune
system and causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome
(AIDS).
Ryperemesis
¿ravidarum (RC)
Intractable nausea and vomiting during pregnancy of such
severity as to necessitate hospitalisation.
Ryperpha¿ia Increased appetite for food.
Rypospadias An abnormal condition in males in which the urethra opens on
the under-surface of the penis.
IndispensabIe amino
acids
(Formerly known as essential amino acids) nine amino acids
required for protein synthesis that cannot be synthesised by
the body and must be obtained through the diet. These amino
acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine,
phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
InsuIin A polypeptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate
metabolism. Apart from being the primary effector in
carbohydrate homeostasis, it also takes part in the metabolism
of fat, triglycerides and proteins. It has anabolic properties.
InsuIin resistance Decreased sensitivity of target cells (muscle and fat cells) to
insulin.
Intrauterine ¿rowth
retardation (I0CR)
The condition in which a foetus is unable to grow to its
genetically determined potential size to a degree that may affect
the health of the foetus. This can be contrasted to small for
gestational age (SGA). Not all foetuses that are SGA have IUGR.
In utero Latin phrase meaning ‘before birth’, literally ‘in the uterus’.
LinoIeic acid An omega-6 fatty acid with 18 carbon atoms; found in soybean,
safflower, sunflower, corn oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts,
seeds. Used to make the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
(LCPUFAs) arachidonic acid (AA) and gamma-linolenic acid
(GLA).
Listeriosis A serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the
bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
Lon¿-chain
poIyunsaturated fatty
acids (LCP0fAs)
Longer chain fatty acids that are derived from the essential
fatty acids and are precursors to hormone-like eicosanoid
compounds, prostagladins and leukotrienes. These fatty acids
occur in foods and can be made from the essential fatty acids.
Low-density Iipoprotein
(LûL)
A class and range of lipoprotein particles, varying somewhat
in their size and contents, which carry cholesterol in the blood
and around the body, for use by various cells. LDL is commonly
referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol because of the link between high
LDL levels and cardiovascular disease.
Macrosomia More than 4000 g at birth.
136 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
MetaboIism The uptake and digestion of food, and the disposal of waste
products in living organisms.
Moderate activity As defined by the New Zealand Guidelines for Promoting
Physical Activity (Movement = Health), activity that will cause a
slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate. This
level of activity is equivalent to brisk walking.
hausea and vomitin¿ in
pre¿nancy (hvP)
Also called morning sickness, NVP affects between 50 and
85 percent of all pregnant women. It is also sometimes
experienced by women who take birth control pills or hormone
replacement. It is not confined to the morning: nausea can occur
at any time of the day, though it most commonly occurs soon
after waking.
heuraI tube defect
(h1û)
A major group of birth defects where the brain or spinal cord, or
the covering of these organs, may not have developed properly.
Spina bifida and anencephaly are the most common types of
NTD.
hew ZeaIand hationaI
hutrition 5urvey 1997
(hh5
97
)
A cross-sectional survey of adult New Zealanders aged 15 years
and older.
hew ZeaIand 1otaI ûiet
5urvey (hZ1û5)
A survey examining contaminants and nutrients in a number of
commonly eaten New Zealand foods.
hiacin equivaIents
(h£s)
Nicotinic acid, nicotinamide and the contribution to niacin
obtained by conversion from dietary L-tryptophan. The relative
contribution of tryptophan is estimated as follows: 60 mg of L-
tryptophan = 1 mg of niacin = 1 mg of niacin equivalents.
hon-communicabIe
diseases
Diseases that cannot be transmitted from one person to
another, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular
disease and gout.
hon-starch
poIysaccharide (h5P)
Non-starch polysaccharides are included in the definition
of dietary fibre. There are two kinds of NSP – insoluble and
soluble. Most plant foods contain both types, although
proportions vary. Good sources of insoluble NSP include wheat,
corn, rice, vegetables and pulses. Good sources of soluble NSP
include peas, oats, dried beans, lentils, barley, pasta and fruit.
hutriceuticaI A foodstuff (as a fortified food or a dietary supplement) that
is held to provide health or medical benefits in addition to its
basic nutritional value.
hutrient reference
vaIues (hRvs)
A set of recommendations, including recommended dietary
intakes, for intakes of nutrients.
137 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
hZûep96 An index of deprivation based on the individual’s residential
address. The index is based on eight dimensions of deprivation:
income, access to a car, living space, home ownership,
employment, qualifications, support and access to a telephone
(Salmond et al 1998).
• In the New Zealand National Nutritional Survey 1997
(NNS97), quartile I is defined as individuals living in the least
deprived areas and quartile IV as individuals living in the
most deprived areas.
• When reported by Statistics New Zealand, quintiles rather
than quartiles are used.
0bese Having a BMI of > 32 for Polynesian populations, > 30 for
Caucasian populations, and > 27.5 for Asian populations. These
levels of body fat are associated with increased risk of chronic
disease.
0me¿a-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish, and in vegetable
oils, nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are classed as
essential fatty acids. Common omega-3 fatty acids in the body
are linolenic, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.
0me¿a-6 Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils, green leafy
vegetables and nuts and seeds. Omega-6 fatty acids are classed
as essential fatty acids. Common omega-6 fatty acids in the
body are linoleic acid, the shortest chain omega-6 fatty acid,
and arachidonic acid.
0r¿anochIorines (0Cs) Organic chemicals containing carbon and chlorine atoms joined
together. They come from a variety of sources, but particularly
from industrial processes and by-products, and insecticide
residues.
0verwei¿ht Having a BMI ≥ 26 and < 32 for Polynesian populations, ≥ 25 and
< 30 for Caucasian populations, and ≥ 23 and < 27.4 for Asian
populations.
PhyIIoquinone The dietary form of vitamin K.
PhysicaI activity The entire spectrum of ‘bodily movements’ that a person
can undertake in daily life, ranging from normal active living
conditions to ‘intentional’ moderate physical activities, to
structured and repetitive physical exercises, to physical fitness
and training sessions, to collective sport activities, especially
leisure and recreational sports.
Pica Craving for non-food items such as ice, soil, pencil leads and
washing powder.
PIacentaI abruption Premature separation of the placenta from its attachment to the
uterine wall, which may cause stillbirth.
138 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
PoIychIorinated
biphenyIs (PC8s)
A class of organic compounds with 1 to 10 chlorine atoms,
which are attached to biphenyl and with the general structure of
C12H10-xClx.
PoIycythaemia An increase in circulating red blood cells above normal.
PoIyunsaturated fatty
acids (P0fAs)
Unsaturated fatty acids whose carbon chain has more than
one double or triple bond per molecule; found mainly in fish,
vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.
PotabIe water Water that contains no contaminants in concentrations that
exceed their maximum acceptable values, as specified in the
Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.
Pre-ecIampsia The new onset of hypertension, proteinuria and pathologic
oedema during gestation. Although the precise placental
factors that cause pre-eclampsia are unknown, the end result is
vasospasm and endothelial injury in multiple organs.
Primiparity Bearing a child for the first time.
Puerperium The time period of approximately six weeks following childbirth
when the mother’s uterus shrinks and the other functional and
anatomic changes of pregnancy are resolved.
Recommended dietary
aIIowance (RûA)
The amount of a nutrient recommended daily that is enough
or more than enough for about 97 percent of people in a
population. RDA is a term used in the United States, and is
usually based on age and sex.
Recommended dietary
intake (RûI)
The average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the
nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals
(97–98 percent) in a given life stage/gender group. RDI is a
term used in New Zealand and Australia.
Reference nutrient
intake (RhI)
The amount of a nutrient that is enough or more than enough for
about 97 percent of people in a population. This term is used in
the United Kingdom.
RetinoI equivaIents (R£) The recommendation for vitamin A intake is expressed as
micrograms (µg) of retinol equivalents (RE). Retinol activity
equivalents account for the fact that the body converts only a
portion of beta-carotene to retinol. One µg RE equals 1 µg of
retinol or 6 µg of beta-carotene.
5aturated fat A fatty acid in which there are no double bonds between the
carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. Saturated fats tend to be
solid at room temperature. Diets high in saturated fat correlate
in some studies with an increased incidence of atherosclerosis
and coronary heart disease. Hydrogenation converts
unsaturated fats to saturated fats, while dehydrogenation
accomplishes the reverse.
139 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
5maII for ¿estationaI
a¿e (5CA)
A term used to describe a baby who is smaller than the usual
size for the number of weeks of pregnancy. These infants usually
have birthweights below the tenth percentile for infants of the
same gestational age.
5ocioeconomic status Social position, measured by an ordinal scale, indicating an
individual’s (or a family’s or household’s) relative position in
the social hierarchy, based on criteria such as income level,
occupational class or educational attainment.
5pina bifida The most common neural tube defect. It results from the
failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of
pregnancy. Children with spina bifida can have varying degrees
of paralysis of their lower limbs; some children have to use a
wheelchair, whereas others have almost no symptoms at all. The
condition can also cause bowel and bladder problems.
1erato¿en An agent or factor causing malformation of an embryo and
foetus.
1hyroxine (14) Iodine-containing hormone produced by the thyroid glands to
regulate metabolism by controlling the rate of oxidation in cells.
1otaI ener¿y
expenditure (1££)
Encompasses basal metabolic rate, thermoregulation, synthetic
cost of growth and physical activity.
1ri¿Iycerides (1C) Or triglycerols, are fat molecules composed of one glycerol and
three fatty acids.
1riiodothyronine (13) Iodine-containing thyroid hormone similar to thyroxine but with
one less iodine atom per molecule and produced in smaller
quantity; exerts the same biological effects as thyroxine but is
more potent and briefer.
1ype 1 diabetes
meIIitus (11ûM)
Previously known as IDDM (insulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus), it is caused by the destruction of insulin-producing
cells, resulting in insulin deficiency.
1ype 2 diabetes
meIIitus (12ûM)
Previously known as NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus), it is of unknown cause but associated with a
combination of insulin resistance and a relative insulin deficit.
The major risk factors for type 2 diabetes are obesity, increasing
age, physical inactivity, and nutritional factors such as a high
intake of saturated fatty acids. It can usually be controlled by
diet and physical activity, along with oral hypoglycaemic agents
and (increasingly) insulin to control blood glucose levels.
0nsaturated fat A fat or fatty acid in which there is one or more double bonds
between carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. Such fat
molecules are monounsaturated if each contains one double
bond, and polyunsaturated if each contains more than one.
140 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
0pper IeveI of intake
(0L)
The highest level of continuing daily nutrient intake likely to
pose no adverse health effects in almost all individuals.
ve¿etabIe All leafy greens, members of the crucifer family, all root
(including potatoes) and tuber vegetables, edible plant stems,
gourd vegetables, allium vegetables and corn.
vi¿orous activity As defined by the New Zealand Guidelines for Physical Activity
(Movement = Health), activity that makes people ‘huff and puff’.
vitamin K deficiency
bIeedin¿ (vKû8)
A rare disease occurring in infants up to around six months of
age resulting from vitamin K deficiency. Traditionally known
as haemorrhagic disease of the newborn but renamed more
recently to give a better definition of the cause.
141 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Abbreviations
a-1£ a-tocopherol equivalents
µ¿ microgram
AA arachidonic acid
AC0C Australasian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
AûI Acceptable Daily Intake (for intense sweeteners)
AI adequate intake
AIû5 acquired immune deficiency syndrome
AIh American Institute of Nutrition
ALAC Alcohol Advisory Council
A5Ch American Society for Clinical Nutrition
88v blood-borne virus
8MI body mass index
8MR basal metabolic rate
CûC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
C£MACR Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health
Ch5
02
New Zealand Children’s Nutrition Survey 2002
C01 College of Toxicology
ûû1 dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
ûf£ dietary folate equivalent
ûRA docosahexaenoic acid
ûhA deoxyribonucleic acid
ûPA docosapentaenoic acid
£AR estimated average requirement
££R estimated energy requirement
£PA eicosapentaenoic acid
£5R Institute of Environmental Science and Research
fA0 Food and Agriculture Organization
fA5 foetal alcohol syndrome
fA5û foetal alcohol spectrum disorder
f05 fructo-oligosaccharides
f5AhZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand
f5C Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
¿ gram
142 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
CI glycaemic index
CLA gamma linolenic acid
CwC gestational weight gain
R8v hepatitis B virus
RCv hepatitis C virus
Rûh haemorrhagic disease of the newborn
RC hyperemesis gravidarum
RIv human immunodeficiency virus
IARC International Agency for Research of Cancer
Iûû iodine deficiency disorders
I0M Institute of Medicine (US)
I0CR intrauterine growth restriction/retardation
Iv intravenous
kcaI kilocalories
k¿ kilogram
k| kilojoules
LCP0fA long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid
LIhZ Life in New Zealand Activity and Health Research Unit
LMC lead maternity carer
L5û D-lysergic acid diethylamide
m metre
m¿ milligram
h£ niacin equivalents
hRC National Health Committee
hRf National Heart Foundation
hRL8I National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (US)
hRMRC National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
hIP nutrition information panel
hh5
97
New Zealand National Nutrition Survey 1997
hRC National Research Council
hRv nutrient reference value
h5P non-starch polysaccharide
h1û neural tube defect
hvP nausea and vomiting of pregnancy
143 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
hZf5A New Zealand Food Safety Authority
hZRI5 New Zealand Health Information Service
0C organochlorine
PC8 polychlorinated biphenyls
PCP phencyclidine
PRC Public Health Commission
PLP pyridoxal 5’-phosphate
P0fA polyunsaturated fatty acid
RûA recommended dietary allowance
RûI recommended dietary intake
R£ retinol equivalents
RhA ribonucleic acid
5CA small for gestational age
5PARC Sport and Recreation New Zealand
5Pf sun protection factor
13 triiodothyronine
14 thyroxine
1£ total energy
11P time to pregnancy
0K United Kingdom
0L upper level of intake
0hAIû5 United Nations Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (Joint United Nations
Programme on HIV/AIDS)
0hIC£f United Nations Children’s Fund
0v ultraviolet
0vI ultraviolet index
0vR ultraviolet radiation
vKû8 vitamin k deficiency bleeding
wR0 World Health Organization
144 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 1: Ministry of ReaIth PoIicy Context
for the food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy
Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women
He Korowai Oranga:
Ma¯ori Health Strategy
The Pacific
Health and
Disability
Action Plan
Primary
Health
Care
Strategy
Reducing Inequalities:
intervention framework
and HEAT tool
Healthy Eating –
Healthy Action
Strategy
Food and Nutrition Guidelines:
• Healthy pregnant and
breastfeeding women
• Healthy infants and toddlers
DHB toolkits
supporting New
Zealand Health
Strategy
Well Child
Tamariki Ora
National
Schedule
Handbook
Breastfeeding:
A guide to
action
The New Zealand
Interpretation of the
WHO Code
Baby
Friendly
Hospital and
Baby
Friendly
Community
Initiatives
Section 88
Maternity
Notice
Breastfeeding
advocacy and
support
Programmes
Healthy Pregnant
and Breastfeeding
Women, and Infants
The New Zealand
Health Strategy
145 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
All these documents are available on the Ministry of Health website, www.moh.govt.nz, or
from Wickliffe Ltd, telephone (04) 496 2277, email: moh@wickliffe.co.nz. (Note toolkits are
only available on the website).
Minister of Health. 2000. New Zealand Health Strategy. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2001. DHB Toolkit Improve Nutrition. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2001. Primary Health Care Strategy. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2002. Well Child – Tamariki Ora National Services Handbook. Wellington:
Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2002. Breastfeeding: A guide to action. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2002. He Korowai Oranga: Ma¯ ori Health Strategy. Wellington: Ministry of
Health.
Ministry of Health. 2002. Reducing Inequalities in Health. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2002. The Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan. Wellington: Ministry of
Health.
Ministry of Health. 2003. Healthy Eating – Healthy Action: Oranga Kai – Oranga Pumau: A
strategic framework. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2004. Healthy Eating – Healthy Action: Oranga Kai – Oranga Pumau:
Implementation plan: 2004–2010. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2004. Tackling Inequalities: Moving theory to action. Wellington: Ministry
of Health.
Ministry of Health. 2008. Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers
Aged 0–2 years): A background paper. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
146 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 2: Reducin¿ InequaIities 1ooIs
Intervention framework to improve heaIth and reduce inequaIities
1. Structural
Social, economic, cultural and historical factors fundamentally
determine health.
These include:
• economic and social policies in other sectors
– macroeconomic policies (eg, taxation)
– education
– labour market (eg, occupation, income)
– housing.
• power relationships (eg, stratification, discrimination, racism)
Treaty of Waitangi – governance, Ma¯ori as a Crown partner.
3. Health and disability services
Specifically, health and disability services can:
• improve access – distribution, availability, acceptability,
affordability
• improve pathways through care for all groups
• take a population health approach by:
– identifying population health needs
– matching services to identified population health needs
– health education.
2. Intermediary pathways
The impact of social, economic,
cultural and historical factors on
health status is mediated by various
factors including:
• behaviour/lifestyle
• environmental – physical and
psychosocial
• access to material resources
• control – internal, empowerment.
4. Impact
The impact of disability and illness
on socioeconomic position can be
minimised through:
• income support, eg, sickness
benefit, invalids benefit, ACC
• antidiscrimination legislation
• deinstitutionalisation/community
support
• respite care/carer support.
Interventions at each level may apply:
• nationally, regionally and locally
• taking population and individual approaches.
Source: Ministry of Health. 2002. Reducing Inequalities in Health. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
147 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
1he R£A1 1ooI: a ReaIth £quity Assessment 1ooI (£quity Lens) for 1ackIin¿
InequaIities in ReaIth (May 2004)
The following set of questions have been developed to assist you to consider how particular
inequalities in health have come about, and where the effective intervention points are to
tackle them. They should be used in conjunction with the Ministry of Health’s Intervention
Framework.
1. What health issue is the policy/programme trying to address?
2. What inequalities exist in this health area?
3. Who is most advantaged and how?
4. How did the inequality occur? (What are the mechanisms by which this inequality was
created, is maintained or increased?)
5. What are the determinants of this inequality?
6. How will you address the Treaty of Waitangi in the context of the New Zealand Public
Health and Disability Act 2000?
7. Where/how will you intervene to tackle this issue? Use the Ministry of Health Intervention
Framework to guide your thinking.
8. How could this intervention affect health inequalities?
9. Who will benefit most?
10. What might the unintended consequences be?
11. What will you do to make sure it does reduce/eliminate inequalities?
12. How will you know if inequalities have been reduced/eliminated?
Based on Bro Taf Authority. 2000. Planning for Positive Impact: Health Inequalities Impact
Assessment Tool.
Source: Public Health Consultancy and Te Ro¯ pu Rangahau Hauora a Eru Po¯ mare Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. 2004.
148 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 3: PopuIation ReaIth 0b|ectives in the
hew ZeaIand ReaIth 5trate¿y (2000)
The 13 population health objectives are to:
1. reduce smoking
2. improve nutrition
3. reduce obesity
4. increase the level of physical activity
5. reduce the rate of suicides attempts
6. minimise harm caused by alcohol and illicit and other drug use to both individuals and
the community
7. reduce the incidence and impact of cancer
8. reduce the incidence and impact of cardiovascular disease
9. reduce the incidence and impact of diabetes
10. improve oral health
11. reduce violence in interpersonal relationships, families, schools, and communities
12. improve the health status of people with severe mental illness
13. ensure access to appropriate child health care services including well child and family
health care and immunisation.
Source: Minister of Health. 2000. New Zealand Health Strategy. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
149 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 4: Key PopuIation ReaIth Messa¿es
0nderpinnin¿ the ReaIthy £atin¿ – ReaIthy £atin¿
5trate¿y and ImpIementation PIan
1. Eat a variety of nutritional foods.
2. Eat less fatty, salty, sugary foods.
3. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
4. Fully breastfeed infants for at least six months.
5. Be active every day for at least 30 minutes in as many ways as possible.
6. Add some vigorous exercise for extra benefit and fitness.
7. Aim to maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
8. Promote and foster the development of environments that support a healthy lifestyle.
Source: Ministry of Health. 2003. Healthy Eating – Healthy Action: Oranga Kai – Oranga Pumau: A strategic framework. Wellington: Ministry
of Health.
150 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 5: 5ummary of the worId ReaIth
0r¿anization InternationaI Code of Marketin¿ of
8reast MiIk 5ubstitutes (1981)
The Aim of the Code (Article 1) is to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition
for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use
of breast milk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information
and through appropriate marketing and distribution. A summary of the Code is as follows.
1. No advertising of these products to the public.
2. No free samples of these products are to be supplied to the public.
3. No promotion of these products in health care facilities, including no free or subsidised
supplies to these facilities.
4. No infant formula or equipment manufacturing companies to directly advise mothers.
5. No gifts or personal samples are to be provided to health care workers.
6. No words or pictures idealising artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the
labels of the products.
7. Information to health care workers from manufacturers should be scientific and factual.
8. All information on artificial feeding, including labels, should explain the benefits of
breastfeeding and the costs.
9. Unsuitable products (such as sweetened condensed milk or ordinary milk powder)
should not be promoted for infants.
10. All products should be of a high quality and take account of the climatic and storage
conditions of the countries where they are used.
Source: World Health Organization. 1981. International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Geneva: World Health Organization.
151 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 6: worId ReaIth 0r¿anization and
0hIC£f 5tatement on the 1en 5teps to 5uccessfuI
8reastfeedin¿ (1989)
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is an initiative designed by the World Health
Organization and UNICEF in 1991 to encourage hospital facilities to follow the Ten Steps
to Successful Breastfeeding. BFHI is implemented in New Zealand by the New Zealand
Breastfeeding Authority (NZBA).
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants should:
1. have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff
2. train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy
3. inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
4. help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth
5. show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be
separated from their infants
6. give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated
7. practise rooming-in – that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together – 24 hours a
day
8. encourage breastfeeding on demand
9. give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding
infants
10. foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on
discharge from the hospital or clinic.
Source: World Health Organization. 1989. Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: The special role of maternity services, a
joint WHO/UNICEF statement. Geneva: World Health Organization.
152 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 7: Pre¿nancy: 1hree-ûay MeaI PIan
This three-day meal plan has been analysed for major nutrients and meets the needs of a
healthy pregnant female doing light to moderate exercise. The meal plans were analysed
using Foodworks 2002 with the 2002 version of FoodFiles. The purpose of the meal plan is to
determine food group serving recommendations for the guidelines and is not intended to be
used as a dietary regimen for individuals.
ûay 1 ûay 2 ûay 3
8reakfast
Apricots, dried (1/4 cup)
Weet-Bix (2)
Trim milk (125 ml)
Fruit yoghurt (1 pottle)
Currant toast (2 slices)
Margarine – low salt (2
teaspoons)
Marmalade (2 teaspoons)
Boiled egg (1)
Wholegrain toast (2 slices)
Margarine – low salt
(2 teaspoons)
Yeast spread (1 teaspoon)
Orange
Hot milk drink (200 ml)
Weet-Bix (2)
Trim milk (125 ml)
Banana
Wholegrain toast (2 slices)
Margarine – low salt
(2 teaspoons)
Marmalade (2 teaspoons)
Orange juice (200 ml)
Mid-mornin¿
Cheese, cheddar (1 slice)
Water crackers (3)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Fruitcake (1 slice) (45 g)
Coffee (1 teaspoon)
Trim milk (30 ml)
Water crackers (3)
Cottage cheese (1 tablespoon)
Glass of water
Lunch
Wholegrain bread roll (1)
Margarine – low salt
(1 teaspoon)
Roast beef* (2 slices) (100 g)
Tomato (4 slices)
Lettuce (2 leaves)
Homemade pumpkin soup
(1 cup)
Orange
Glass of water
Wholegrain bread (4 slices)
Lettuce (2 leaves)
Tomato (4 slices)
Avocado (½)
Tuna (100 g)
Fruit yoghurt (1 pottle)
Apple juice (200 ml)
Wholegrain pita bread
(2 pockets)
Lamb* (2 slices) (100 g)
Lettuce (4 leaves)
Tomato (1)
Apple
Strawberry-flavoured milk
(200 ml)
Mid-afternoon
English muffin
Margarine – low salt
(1 teaspoon)
Nuts – raw, unsalted (30 g)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Smoothie (200 ml trim milk)
½ cup berries, 1 banana
Glass of water
Orange (1)
Fruit bun
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
ûinner
Chicken* (no skin) (150 g)
Potato, baked (1 large)
Broccoli (½ cup)
Carrots (½ cup)
Silver beet (½ cup)
Spaghetti (1 cup) (150 g)
Tomato and meat sauce* (1 cup)
Spinach salad (1 cup
– spinach, tomato, carrots,
vinaigrette)
Steak and kidney stew* (1 cup)
Baked ku¯ mara (1)
Peas (½ cup)
Green beans (½ cup)
Pumpkin (1 piece)
* Safe to eat if cooked thoroughly, and heated to steaming hot, that is, above 70˚ just prior to serving.
153 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
ûinner – continued
Banana
Ice cream (1 scoop)
Glass of juice (200 ml)
Cauliflower (½ cup)
Custard pudding (¾ cup)
Canned peaches (½ cup)
Glass of water
Kiwifruit (1)
Glass of water
5upper
Wholegrain bread (1 slice)
Peanut butter (1 teaspoon)
Hot milk drink (200 ml)
Raisin and bran loaf (1 slice)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Fruit yoghurt (1 pottle)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
5ummary of the nutritionaI anaIysis of the three-day meaI pIan for pre¿nancy:
avera¿e per day
£ner¿y
Carbohydrate
Added sugars
Protein
Total fat
Saturated fat
Dietary fibre
Calcium
Iron
Sodium
Total folate
9971 kiIo|ouIes
2382 kiIocaIories
319.67 g (54% of total energy)
51.7 g (8.7% of total energy)
122.87 g (21% of total energy)
69.46 g (26% of total energy)
21.63 g (8% of total energy)
39.76 g
1303 mg
16.15 mg
2269 mg
483.41 µg
5ummary of the number of servin¿s provided by the three-day meaI pIan for
pre¿nancy: avera¿e number of servin¿s per day
Table 19 provides a summary of the average number of servings per day provided by the
meal plans. See Table 1 for serving size examples of culturally appropriate and affordable
options that can be chosen to meet the required number of servings.
1abIe 19: 5ummary of the avera¿e number of servin¿s per day provided by the meaI pIans
and recommended number of servin¿s for pre¿nant women
food ¿roup Avera¿e number of
servin¿s per day in
three-day meaI pIan
Recommended number
of servin¿s
Vegetables and fruit 10–11 At least 6
Breads and cereals 6–9 At least 6
Milk and milk products 3–4 At least 3
Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts
and seeds and legumes
2–3 At least 2
154 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 8: 8reastfeedin¿: 1hree-ûay MeaI PIan
This three-day meal plan has been analysed for major nutrients and meets the needs of a
healthy breastfeeding female doing light to moderate exercise. The meal plans were analysed
using Foodworks 2002 with the 2002 version of FoodFiles. The purpose of the meal plan is to
determine serving recommendations for the guidelines and is not intended to be used as a
dietary regimen for individuals.
ûay 1 ûay 2 ûay 3
8reakfast
Muesli, non-toasted (½ cup)
Trim milk (125 ml)
Stewed apple (½ cup)
Wholegrain toast (2 slices)
Margarine – low salt
(2 teaspoons)
Yeast spread (1 teaspoon)
Apple and orange juice
(250 ml)
Wholegrain toast (2 slices)
Margarine – low salt
(2 teaspoons)
Poached egg (1)
Jam (1 teaspoon)
Muesli, non-toasted (1 cup)
Trim milk (100 ml)
Glass of water
Sultanas (2 Tablespoons)
Weet-Bix (2)
Trim milk (125 ml)
Wholegrain toast (1 slice)
Margarine – low salt
(1 teaspoon)
Marmalade (1 teaspoon)
Apple and orange juice
(250 ml)
Mid-mornin¿
Fruitcake (1 slice) (40 g)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
High-fibre biscuits (2)
Banana
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Fruit bun (1)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Lunch
Pumpkin soup (1 cup)
Cheese toastie
Edam cheese (2 slices) (40 g)
Wholegrain toast (2 slices)
Fruit yoghurt (1 pottle)
Orange
Wholegrain bread (4 slices)
Margarine – low salt
(2 teaspoons)
Roast beef (2 slices) (100 g)
Lettuce (2 leaves), tomato,
carrot, ½ avocado
Fruit yoghurt (1 pottle)
Glass of water
Lasagne (300 g)
Lettuce (2 leaves)
Tomato (1)
Spring onion (1)
Beetroot (½ cup)
Dressing
Glass of water
Mid-afternoon
Water crackers (4)
Cottage cheese (15 g)
Tomato (4 slices)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Water crackers (3)
Cheese (1 slice) (20 g)
Apple (1)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
Plain biscuits (2)
Orange (1)
Hot drink
Trim milk (30 ml)
ûinner
Chicken and vegetable stir fry
(1 cup)
White rice (1 cup)
Broccoli (½ cup)
Carrots (½ cup)
Fresh fruit salad (1 bowl)
Fish, crumbed (150 g)
Peas (½ cup)
Pumpkin (½ cup)
Baked potato (1 large)
Broccoli (½ cup)
Pears, canned (½ cup drained)
Beef – grilled (120 g)
Ku¯ mara, baked (1 piece)
Green beans (½ cup)
Carrots (½ cup)
Apple crumble (½ cup) (115 g)
155 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
ûinner – continued
Ice cream (1 scoop) (70 g)
Glass of water
Orange juice (250 ml) Custard (100 ml)
Glass of water
5upper
Wholegrain bread (1 slice)
Margarine – low salt
(1 teaspoon)
Peanut butter (1 teaspoon)
Trim milk (250 ml)
Banana
Wholegrain bread (1 slice)
Margarine (1 teaspoon)
Tomato (1)
Glass of water
Banana
Hot milk drink (250 ml)
5ummary of the nutritionaI anaIysis of the three-day meaI pIan for
breastfeedin¿: avera¿e per day
£ner¿y
Carbohydrate
Added sugars
Protein
Total fat
Saturated fat
Dietary fibre
Calcium
Iron
Sodium
Total folate
10,817 kiIo|ouIes
2584 kiIocaIories
348 g (54% of total energy)
39 g (6% of total energy)
116 g (18% of total energy)
83 g (29% of total energy)
29 g (10% of total energy)
41 g
1309 mg
16.60 mg
2127 mg
389.36 µg
5ummary of the number of servin¿s provided by the three-day meaI pIan for
breastfeedin¿: avera¿e number of servin¿s per day
Table 20 provides a summary of the average number of servings per day provided by the
meal plans. See Table 1 for serving size examples of culturally appropriate and affordable
options that can be chosen to meet the required number of servings.
1abIe 20: 5ummary of the avera¿e number of servin¿s per day provided by the meaI pIans
and recommended number of servin¿s for breastfeedin¿ women
food ¿roup Avera¿e number of
servin¿s per day in
three-day meaI pIan
Recommended number
of servin¿s
Vegetables and fruit 9–10 At least 6
Breads and cereals 7–11 At least 7
Milk and milk products 2–4 At least 3
Lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts
and seeds and legumes
2–3 At least 2
156 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 9: AustraIia and hew ZeaIand
Recommended ûietary Intakes for women A¿ed
14–18 years
hutrient hon-pre¿nant,
non-breastfeedin¿
women
Pre¿nant women 8reastfeedin¿
women
£ner¿y, macronutrients and dietary
fibre
Energy (kJ)
Protein (g)
Carbohydrate
Dietary fibre (g)
Fat
Linoleic acid(g)
Alpha-linolenic acid (g)
LC omega-3 fatty acids (DHA,EPA,DPA)
9200–9700
(2190–2309 kcal)
(15–25% TE) 45g
45–65% TE
22 (AI)
20–35% TE
8 (AI)
0.8 (AI)
85 (AI)
1st trimester: no
additional
2nd trimester:
additional 1400
(333 kcal)
3rd trimester:
1900 (452 kcal)
(15–25% TE) 58 g
45–65% TE
25 (AI)
20–35% TE
10 (AI)
1.0 (AI)
110 (AI)
Additional 2000–
2100 (476–500
kcal)
(15–25% TE) 63 g
45–65% TE
27(AI)
20–35% TE
12 (AI)
1.2 (AI)
140 (AI)
MineraIs
Iron (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Zinc (mg)
Selenium (µg)
Magnesium (mg)
Iodine (µg)
Copper (mg)
15
1300
7
60
360
150
1.1 (AI)
27
1300
10
65
400
220
8
10
1300
11
75
360
270
8
fat-soIubIe vitamins
Vitamin A (µg RE)
Vitamin E (mg a-TE)
Vitamin D (µg)
Vitamin K (µg)
700
8
5 (AI)
a

55 (AI)
700
8(AI)
5 (AI)
a
60 (AI)
1100
12(AI)
5(AI)
a

60(AI)
157 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
water-soIubIe vitamins
Thiamin (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg NE)
Pantothenic acid (mg)
Biotin (µg)
Vitamin B
6
(mg)
Folate (µg DFEs)
Vitamin B
12
(µg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Choline (mg)
1.1
1.1
14
4 (AI)
25 (AI)
1.2
400
2.4
45
400 (AI)
1.4
1.4
18
5 (AI)
30 (AI)
1.9
600
b

2.6
55
415 (AI)
1.4
1.6
17
6 (AI)
35 (AI)
2
500
2.8
80
525 (AI)
Notes:
a
Assumes minimal sun exposure.
b
Does not include additional supplemental folic acid required to prevent neural tube defects; see text.
TE = total energy; AI = adequate intake; LC = long chain; RE = retinol equivalent;
a-TE = alpha tocopherol equivalent; NE = niacin equivalent; DFE = dietary folate equivalent.
158 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 10: AustraIia and hew ZeaIand
Recommended ûietary Intakes for women A¿ed
19–50 years
hutrient hon-pre¿nant,
non-
breastfeedin¿
women
Pre¿nant women 8reastfeedin¿
women
£ner¿y, macronutrients, and dietary
fibre
Energy (kJ)
Energy (kcal)
Protein (g)
Carbohydrate
Dietary fibre (g)
Fat
Linoleic acid(g)
Alpha-linolenic acid (g)
LC omega-3 fatty acids
(DHA,EPA,DPA)
8,200–11,100
1932–2643
(15–25% TE) 46g
(0.84g/kg)
45–65% TE
25 (AI)
20–35% TE
8 (AI)
0.8 (AI)
90 (AI)
1st trimester None
2nd trimester:
1400 (333 kcal)
3rd trimester: 1900
(452 kcal)
(15–25 % TE) 60g
(1.00 g/kg)
45–65% TE
28 (AI)
20–35% TE
10 (AI)
1.0 (AI)
115 (AI)
2000–2100
(476–500 kcal)
(15–25% TE) 67g
(1.1 g/kg)
45–65% TE
30 (AI)
20–35% TE
12 (AI)
1.2 (AI)
145 (AI)
MineraIs
Iron (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Zinc (mg)
Selenium (µg)
Magnesium (mg)
Iodine (µg)
Copper (mg)
18
1000
8
60
320
150
1.2 (AI)
27
1000
11
57
350
220
1.3 (AI)
9
1000
12
75
310
270
1.5 (AI)
fat-soIubIe vitamins
Vitamin A (µg RE)
Vitamin E (mg a-TE)
Vitamin D (µg)
Vitamin K (µg)
700
7 (AI)
5 (AI)
a

60 (AI)
800
7 (AI)
5 (AI)
a

60 (AI)
1100
11
5 (AI)
a

60 (AI)
159 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
water-soIubIe vitamins
Thiamin (mg)
Riboflavin (mg)
Niacin (mg NE)
Pantothenic acid (mg)
Biotin (µg)
Vitamin B
6
(mg)
Folate (µg DFEs)
Vitamin B
12
(µg)
Vitamin C (mg)
Choline (mg)
1.1
1.1
14
4 (AI)
25 (AI)
1.3
400
2.4
45
425 (AI)
1.4
1.4
18
5 (AI)
30 (AI)
1.9
600
b

2.6
60
440
1.4
1.6
17
6 (AI)
35 (AI)
2
500
2.8
85
550
Notes:
a
Assumes minimal sun exposure
b
Does not include additional supplemental folic acid required to prevent neural tube defects; see text.
TE = total energy; AI = adequate intake; LC = long chain; RE = retinol equivalent;
a-TE = alpha tocopherol equivalent; NE = niacin equivalent; DFE = dietary folate equivalent.
160 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
Appendix 11: RerbaI Preparations 1hat May
hot 8e 5afe for 0se ûurin¿ Pre¿nancy and
8reastfeedin¿
Agnus castus
Aloes
Angelica
Apricot kernel
Aristolchia
Asafoetida
Avens
Barberry
Blue flag
Bogbean
Boldo#
Boneset
Borage#
Broom
Buchu
Buckthorn
Burdock
Calamus
Calendula
Carraway*
Cascara
Chamomile (German)
Chamomile (Roman)
Chaparral
Chaste berry
Black cohosh
Blue cohosh
Cola
Coltsfoot
Comfrey#
Cottonroot
Cornsilk
Crotalaria
Damiana
Devil’s claw
Dogbane#
Dong quai
Ephreda
Eucalyptus
Eupatorium
Euphorbia
Evening primrose
Fenugreek
Feverfew
Fo-Ti
Foxglove
Frangula
Fucus
Garlic*
Ginger*
Gentian
Germander
Ginkgo biloba
Ginseng
Golden seal#
Ground ivy
Grounsel
Guarana
Hawthorne
Heliotropium
Hops
Horehound
Horseradish
Horsetail
Hydorcotyle
Jamaica dogwood
Juniper
Kava
Kelp
Licorice
Liferoot
Lobelia#
Mandrake
Male fern#
Mate
Meadowsweet
Melliot
Milk thistle
Mistletoe
Motherwort
Myrrh
Nettle
Osha
Passionflower
Pennyroyal
Petasites
Plantain
Pleurisy root
Podophyllium
Pokeroot
Poplar
Prickly ash
Pulsatilla
Queen’s delight
Ragwort#
Raspberry leaf (in
second and third
trimesters)
Red clover
Rhubarb
Rue#
Sassafras
Saw palmetto
Senna
Shepherd’s purse
Skullcap
Skunk cabbage
Squill
St John’s wort
Stephania
Tansy
Tonka bean
Uva-ursi
Valerian
Vervain
Wild carrot
Wild yam
Willow
Wormwood
Yarrow
Yellow dock
Yohimbe#
Sources: American Dietetic Association 2002, Kostka-Rokosz et al 2005, Peirce 1999, FSANZ 2002
* Avoid high doses.
# Prohibited plant that must not be intentionally added to food or offered for sale as food.
161 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
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Index
A
adequate intake (AI), 8
adolescent women
birthweight and, 22, 104
breastfeeding, 104
eating disorders, 103
iron deficiency and, 38
Ma¯ ori, 116
Pacific peoples, 123, 125
practical advice, 105
pregnancy, 104
weight gain and dietary advice in
pregnancy, 15
age of mother, relationship to birthweight, 22
AI (adequate intake), 8
AIDS, 100
see also HIV (human immunodeficiency
virus)
alcohol, 23, 41, 74–77, 117, 125
foetal alcohol syndrome, 23, 52, 74
planning a pregnancy, 108–109
allergies to food, 110–111
anaemia
adolescent women, 104
iron-deficiency, 37–39
physical activity and, 72
vitamin B
12
, 60
antenatal care, 15, 22, 38–39, 106, 108
Asian and ‘Other’ ethnic groups, 127–130
aspartame, 96–97
atherosclerosis, 59
aversions in pregnancy, 99
B
Barker hypothesis (foetal origins of disease
hypothesis), 20–21
basal metabolic rate (BMR) variations, 10, 11
beverages see drinks
biotin, 67
birth defects see congenital abnormalities
birth length, protein intake and, 26
birth order, 22
birthweight, 18–25
as measure of pregnancy success, 19–20
as diet and, 14–15
energy restriction in pregnancy and, 17
factors affecting, 19, 21–24
gestational weight gain and, 14, 23
high birthweight (macronsomia) 14, 21
illicit drug use and, 23, 79
infant mortality and, 19
low birthweight, 18–22, 26, 33, 38, 43,
59, 84, 104
medical conditions and medications,
22, 24
BMI (body mass index)
BMR variations, 10
body fat, relationship with, 15
definition, 10
gestational weight gain, 14, 15–16
BMR (basal metabolic rate) variations,
10, 11
body fat
BMI, relationship with, 15
retention, correlation with gestational
weight, 17
stores, 11, 16, 17
193 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
body mass index see BMI (body mass index)
body weight see weight
bone density, 41
bottled water, 90
bowel function, 29
breads and cereals
as energy source, 13
fortified, 86, 105
nutrients, 6, 27, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40–48,
50, 61–62, 64–65, 105–106
breast implants, 82
breast milk
adolescent women, 104
alcohol use and, 75–76, 77
caffeine, 84
cigarette smokers, 78–79
energy density, 11
expressed milk, safe handling of, 90
fat content, 33–34
high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets
and, 18
infant demand and milk production,
11, 12
medication use, 81–82
nutrient content, minerals and trace
elements, 37, 42, 43, 45, 46, 48, 50, 51
nutrient content, vitamins, 50, 52, 56, 57,
60, 62–69
physical activity, effect of, 73
phytoestrogens, 114
protein content, 26
vegetarians and vegans, 33–34
volume, effect of energy intake on, 11–12
breast milk substitutes
soy-based infant formula, 114
WHO International Code of Marketing, 150
breastfeeding
complementary foods, introduction of,
112–113
during pregnancy, 107–108
energy intake see dietary energy intake
energy requirements, 11
exclusive, 112–113
gestational weight gain, inpact of, 16
meal plan, 154–155
medications, 81–82
tandem feeding, 107–108
weight loss, 12, 17–18
butter, 35, 36, 53, 57
C
cadmium 92–94
caffeine, 24, 70, 84–85, 108–109
calcium, 41–43
cannabis smoking, 80
canned fish see oily fish
carbohydrates, 28–31, 18
carbonated drinks, 70
cereals see breads and cereals
choline, 69
cigarette smoking, 15, 23, 41, 68, 77–79,
108–109, 117
breastfeeding, 78–79
pregnancy outcomes and, 78
cobalamin see vitamin B
12
(cobalamin)
colic, 111–112
complementary foods, effect on
breastfeeding, 112–113
constipation
dietary fibre intake and, 29
iron medications and, 39
water requirements, 69
194 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
copper, 39, 44, 49–50
cow’s milk see milk and milk products
cravings in pregnancy, 99
cretinism, 47
D
dairy products see milk and milk products
diabetes, 20–21, 29–30, 39, 108
dietary energy intake
see also gestational weight gain (GWG)
weight loss
breastfeeding women, 11–13, 24–25
gestational weight gain and, 14–15
high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets, 18
pregnant women, 12, 13, 17, 24
dietary fibre, 29–31
dietary supplements see supplements
dried fruit, 41–43, 68
drinks
see alcohol
aversion to, 99
bottled water, 90
caffeinated, 24, 70, 84–85
carbonated, 70
energy or smart drinks, 70, 84
fruit juice, 61–62, 86, 99
herbal teas, 70, 83–84
practical advice, 70–71
recommended intake of fluids, 70
soy milk, 42, 43, 66, 67, 86, 105
milk, 31, 70
water, 31, 69–70, 90
E
EAR (estimated average requirement), 8
eating disorders, 15, 103
eclampsia, prevention of, 46, 51
EER (estimated energy requirement), 8
eggs
allergies, 110
aversion to, 99
nutrients, 7, 26, 27, 32, 40, 45, 46, 48,
49, 55, 66, 67, 69
raw eggs, 90
energy drinks, 70, 84
energy intake see dietary energy intake
energy requirements, 10, 11
environmental contaminants, 92–96
essential fatty acids (LCPUFAs) see fats
estimated average requirements (EAR), 8
estimated energy requirement (EER), 8
F
fat-soluble vitamins see vitamin A; vitamin D;
vitamin E; vitamin K
fat stores see body fat
fats, 32–36
aversion to, 99
breast milk, 33–34
butter, 35, 36, 53, 57
essential fatty acids, 32–35
glycaemic index and, 30
LCPUFAs, 32–35
margarine, 35, 36, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 86
omega-3 fatty acids, 32–34
omega-6 fatty acids, 32
omega-6/omega-3 ratio, 35
practical advice, 36
fibre see dietary fibre
fish and seafood
food safety, 49, 91
Ma¯ ori traditional foods, 116
195 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
mercury, 92–94
nutrients, 7, 26, 27, 32, 34, 35, 40, 41,
45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 64, 66
Pacific peoples’ traditional foods, 124
fish oils, 32–36, 53, 54, 56, 86, 105–106
fluid intake see drinks
fluoride, 51, 90
foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), 74
foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), 23, 52, 74
foetal growth
see also birthweight
energy restriction in pregnancy and, 17
gestational weight gain and, 16
maternal growth at expense of, 10
nutrients, 41, 32–33, 37, 43, 46, 54, 62
physical activity and, 72
restriction, 18, 19–20, 23
undernutrition, Barker hypothesis, 20–21
foetal origins of disease hypothesis (Barker
hypothesis), 20–21
folate, 58–62, 107–109
dietary folate equivalents (DFEs), 58
folic acid, 58
neural tube defects and, 59, 60
planning a pregnancy, 108–109
food allergies, 110–111
food choices and socioeconomic status, 89
food energy intake see dietary enery intake
food groups, 5–7
food safety
expressed milk, safe handling of, 90
food- and water-borne illnesses, 89–91
food-borne illness amongst pregnant
women, 89
intense sweeteners, 96–97
lead and mercury, 92–94
listeria, 89, 91
mercury, 36
organochlorines, 95–96
potable water, 90
practical advice, 90–91
raw eggs, 90
toxoplasmosis, 89, 92
food security, 88–89, 118, 126
fortified food, 47, 58, 86–87
fruit see dried fruit; vegetables and fruit
fruit juice, 61, 62, 86, 99
G
gestational weight gain (GWG) 14–17, 23
glucose levels, 28–29, 29–30
glycaemic index (GI), 29–30
goitre, 47
grains see bread and cereals
green leafy vegetables see vegetables and fruit
growth and development see foetal growth;
infant growth and development
gut function, 29
H
haemochromatosis, 39
haemorrhage, post-partum, 38
haemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN),
57
hep B, C, 101
‘herbal highs’ (party pills), 79, 80, 109
herbal preparations, 82–83, 160
herbal teas, 70, 83–84
high birthweight see birthweight
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), 80,
99–100, 101
196 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
homocysteine, 59
hyperhomocysteinaemia, 59
hypertension 20, 22, 46, 49, 102, 117
see also pre-eclampsia
hypothyroidism, 47
I
infant birthweight see birthweight
infant demand and milk production
levels, 11, 12
infant food-induced allergy, 110–111
infant growth and development, 23–34, 38,
47, 54, 64–66, 79
infant morbidity/mortality 19, 21, 47
infection risk
illicit drug use and, 23, 79
iron levels and, 38
vitamin C deficiency, 68
zinc intake and vitamin A deficiency, 43
insulin sensitivity in pregnancy, 28
intense sweeteners, 96–97
inter-pregnancy interval, 38, 113–114
intrauterine growth restriction/retardation
see foetal growth
iodine 47–49
iodised salt, 48–49, 51
iron, 36–41
breastmilk, 37
breastfeeding requirements, 37
deficiency, 37–40, 44, 118–119
dietary forms and sources, 36–37
practical advice, 40–41
pregnancy requirements, 37
recommended intake, 39
vegetarians and vegans, 37, 41
irritable bowel syndrome, 29
K
kelp, 47, 48, 49
ku¯ mara see vegetables and fruit
L
lead, 92–94
legumes 7, 27, 37, 40, 41, 43, 46, 47, 62
listeria, 89, 91
liver consumption, 53, 62, 69
long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
(LCPUFAs) see fats
low birthweight see birthweight
M
macrosomia see birthweight
magnesium, 46–47
Ma¯ ori women, nutrition issues 115–120
alchohol intake in pregnancy, 116, 117
cultural practices, 76, 117
food safety, 119
food security, 118
iron intake, 40, 118–119
lifestyle diseases and behaviours, 117
practical advice, 119–120
margarine, 35, 36, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 86
maternal activity see physical activity
maternal fat stores see body fat
maternal growth, foetal growth compromised
in relation to, 10
maternal weight see gestational weight gain
(GWG); weight gain; weight loss
meal plan
breastfeeding, 154–155
pregnancy, 152–153
meat
aversion to, 99
197 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
food insecurity, 88
food safety, 91, 92
liver consumption, 53, 62, 69
nutrients, 7, 26, 27, 32, 36, 40, 41, 44, 45,
46, 48, 50, 53, 64, 66, 69
organ meats, 32, 41, 45, 50, 53, 62, 69
medications, 24, 38, 54, 59, 65, 68, 81–82,
108
megaloblastic anaemia, 59, 65
mental development see infant growth and
development
mercury, 36, 92–94, 109–110
milk and milk products
allergies, 110
avoidance during breastfeeding, 42
colic and, 111, 112
food safety, 91
nutrients, 7, 26, 27, 31, 36, 42, 43, 44, 46,
48, 49, 64, 65, 66
milk volume see breast milk
mineral supplements see supplements
morning sickness, 98–99
multiple births, 106–108
birthweight and, 23
iron deficiency and, 38
low birthweight and, 20
N
nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP), 50, 64,
98–99
neural tube defects (NTDs), 17, 43, 59–60
folate levels and, 59–60
medications increasing risk of, 59
niacin, 62–64
non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs), 29
Nutrient Reference Values see RDI, AI, EAR
EER, UL, 8
nuts and seeds
allergies, 110–111
nutrients, 7, 27, 32, 34, 36, 40, 41, 42,
43, 45–46, 47, 50, 57, 105–108
O
obesity 16, 21, 78, 88, 101–103, 117, 126
breastfeeding and, 103
practical advice, 103
risk factors during pregnancy and
pregnancy outcomes, 101–103
oils, 32, 34, 36, 57, 58, 106
oily fish, 32, 33, 34, 36, 42, 43, 55, 56, 106
mercury and, 94
older women, birthweight and, 22
omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids see fats
organ meats see meat
organochlorides, 95–96
osteoporosis, 41, 46
P
Pacific women, nutrition issues, 121–127
alcohol intake in pregnancy, 76
cultural or religious practices 121,
124–125
food security, 126
gestational weight gain, 14
obesity, 101–102, 126
practical advice, 126–127
pantothenic acid 63, 64
party pills, 79, 80, 108, 109
passive smoking, 23, 79
pasta see breads and cereals
peanut allergy, 36, 46, 110–111
perinatal mortality, 21, 38, 47, 102
physical activity
198 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
breastfeeding women, 73
levels during breastfeeding, 11
levels during pregnancy, 10
post-partum weight loss and, 18
practical advice, 73
pregnant women, 72–73
phytoestrogens, 114
pica, 93–94, 99
placental abruption, 23, 59, 68, 72, 80
planning a pregnancy, 108–109
polycystic ovary syndrome, 109
post-natal growth see infant growth and
development
post-partum weight, 17–18
potassium, 50, 51
potatoes see vegetables and fruit
poultry
food safety, 91
nutrients, 7, 26, 27, 36,40, 41, 45, 46,
48, 65
pre-conception nutrition, 108–110
pre-eclampsia, 15, 17, 33, 41, 42, 46, 56,
59, 62, 68, 72, 104
adolescant women, 104
antenatal monitoring, 15
nutrients and energy, 17, 33, 41, 42, 46,
56, 59, 62, 68
physical activity and, 72
pre-term delivery, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 33, 38,
43, 46, 56, 59, 68, 72, 80
prescription medications see medications
protein, 18, 26–29
pyridoxine see vitamin B
6
(pyridoxine)
R
raw eggs, 90
raw fish or seasfood, 49, 91
RDI (recommended dietary intake)
definition, 8
women aged 14–18 years, 156–157
women aged 19–50 years, 158–159
religious practices, 121, 128
resistant starch, 29
riboflavin, 62–64
rice see breads and cereals
rice milk, fortified, 86
rickets, 54
S
salt, 50–51
seafood see fish and seafood
seaweed, 47, 48, 49, 66, 67
second-hand smoke see passive smoking
seeds see nuts and seeds
selenium, 44–46
smart drinks, 70, 84
smoking see cigarette smoking
socioeconomic status, 23, 38, 46, 88–89
sodium, 50–51
soy-based foods, 114
soy-based infant formula, 114
soy milk, 42, 43, 66, 67, 86, 105, 114
soybeans, 37
spirulina, 66, 67
spontaneous abortion, 22, 23, 47, 49, 59, 72,
80, 84
stillbirth, 38, 47
stressors, birthweight and, 23
sudden infant death syndrome, 23, 62, 80
sugars, 28, 31
sulphate, 51
199 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
sunlight
protection from, 55, 56
vitamin D synthesis and, 54, 56
supplements
incidence of use, 82–83, 86
practical advice, 87
recommendations, 85–86
sushi, 49
sweeteners, 96–97
T
tandem feeding, 107, 108
textured vegetable protein (TVP), 66, 67
thiamin (vitamin B
1
), 62–64
thyroid function, iodine deficiency and, 47
thyroid hormones, purposes of, 47
tobacco smoking see smoking
tofu, 43, 105
toxoplasmosis, 89, 92
twin births see multiple births
type 2 diabetes mellitus see diabetes
U
UL (upper level of intake), 8
V
vegetable oils, 32, 34, 36, 57, 105
vegetables and fruit
see also dried fruit
aversion to, 99
citrus fruit, 62
colic and, 111–112
cravings, 99
food insecurity, 88, 89
green leafy vegetables, 32, 34, 36, 42,
43, 47, 53, 58, 62, 106
Ma¯ ori traditional foods, 116
nutrients, 6, 29, 30, 31, 36, 40, 44, 50,
53, 57, 61, 62, 64, 65, 68
Pacific peoples’ traditional foods, 123
potatoes and ku¯ mara, 13, 31, 50, 61, 64,
65, 68
yellow, red and orange, 53
vegetarians and vegans
advantages of diet, 105
breast milk, fat content of, 33–34
iron, 37, 41
phytoestrogens, 114
practical advice, 105–106
pregnant and breastfeeding women, 105–106
protein intake, 28
types of diet, 105
vitamin B
12
, 60, 65, 66, 87
vitamin A, 52–54
vitamin B
1
, see thiamin (vitamin B
1
)
vitamin B
6
(pyridoxine), 64–65, 78
vitamin B
12
(cobalamin), 60, 65–67, 87
vitamin B
12
deficiency anaemia, 59–60
vitamin C, 67–68, 78
vitamin D, 54–56, 129
vitamin E, 56–57, 68
vitamin K, 56–57
vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), 57
vomiting in pregnancy, 64, 50, 97–98
W
water contamination, 92
water intake see drinks
200 food and hutrition CuideIines for ReaIthy Pre¿nant and 8reastfeedin¿ women: A back¿round paper
water-soluble vitamins see biotin; choline;
folate; niacin; pantothenic acid; riboflavin;
thiamin (vitamin B
1
); Vitamin B
6
(pyridoxine);
vitamin B
12
(cobalamin); vitamin C
Weight
birthweight, relationship to, 21, 102
obesity see obesity
post-partum weight, 17–18
weight gain
foetal weight as percentage of total weight
gain, 14
pregnant women see gestational weight
gain (GWG)
weight loss
breastfeeding women, 12, 17–18
pregnant women, 17
Wind, 111–112
Z
zinc, 39, 43–44, 49

Citation: Ministry of Health. 2006. Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A background paper. Wellington: Ministry of Health. Published in April 2006 Revised November 2008 (mercury and allergy content updated) by the Ministry of Health PO Box 5013, Wellington, New Zealand ISBN 978-0-478-31778-7 (Print) ISBN 978-0-478-31779-4 (Online) HP 4232 This document is available on the Ministry of Health’s website: http://www.moh.govt.nz

– 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Foreword
Good nutrition is important for all New Zealanders, but it assumes an even greater importance for women when they are pregnant or breastfeeding their infant. Pregnancy is a time when nutritional needs are higher, and meeting those needs has a positive effect on the health of both the mother and her unborn baby. The effects of nutrition while the foetus is developing during pregnancy last for a lifetime, and we want to see children inherit a legacy of good health for the future. We also want to see women enjoying a healthy pregnancy without the negative effects of poor nutrition on their health, and in the best possible nutritional state to support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the best and safest way to feed infants, and women and families need to be given all the advice and support possible to assist them in establishing and continuing breastfeeding for at least the first six months of the infant’s life. This background paper brings together all the key areas of food and nutrition affecting the health of pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is intended that health practitioners, educators and caregivers will use this paper and the accompanying health education booklets, Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women and Eating for Healthy Breastfeeding Women, to provide sound advice and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A background paper supports three of the key priorities in the New Zealand Health Strategy, and along with the other background papers in the series of population group-specific background papers, forms an important technical basis for implementing the Healthy Eating– Healthy Action Strategy.

Dr Don Matheson Deputy-Director General Public Health Directorate

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

Acknowledgements
The Ministry of Health would like to thank all those who have contributed to the development of this document. In particular, thanks go to Dr Jane Coad, Dr Janet Weber, Kathryn Beck, Dr Kathy Kitson, and Zirsha Wharemate from Massey University. The many individuals and groups who gave feedback as part of the public consultation process and the specialists who provided advice have shaped this background paper significantly. The Ministry of Health appreciates the assistance of the many people who have had input during the process. The preparation of this document was led by Christine Stewart from the Non-Communicable Disease Policy Group at the Ministry of Health, with technical assistance from many other staff of the Ministry of Health, especially Mary-Louise Hannah, Elizabeth Aitken and Mari Skar Manger. 

v

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

......1...............................................................................................................................................................................1 Energy requirements and intakes in pregnant and breastfeeding women ........................21 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper v .....................3 Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand ..............................................................4 Part 1: The New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guidelines ..............10 2.....................................................2............................................................5 1........2 Structure of this background paper .........13 2........................................18 2.................................18 2...............14 2........5 Sources of energy in the diet ..........................2 Food groups and the nutrients they provide ...............................................16 2....................13 2............................5 1.............................2 Weight changes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ........................................3 Energy restriction in pregnancy ...................................................11 2.........................1.........................3 Recommended energy intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women............................2 Energy intakes during breastfeeding and milk volume ..........................17 2....................2 High birthweight ...............14 2........1........3......................2 The rate of gestational weight gain .......................................1 The New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements ............................5 1...........................................1....1.......................... iii Acknowledgements ....................................10 2.........................9 Part 2: Maternal Energy............................................17 2................... 12 2.........................2...........................................4 Energy intakes in pregnant and breastfeeding women in New Zealand ..................3 Infant birthweight ............................................2................2..... Maternal Weight and Infant Birthweight ...Contents Foreword ..8 1.....................................................................1 Gestational weight gain and gestational weight gain recommendations .................4 Sources of data ...1 Low birthweight ...................1 Food and nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding .........10 2.......................................... iv Introduction ......................................1 Policy context .....................................4 Return to pre-pregnancy weight ................................................1 Background ....3............................

..27 3..4...............................................32 3....1 Pregnancy ...........................................................................3...........4 Practical advice for energy intake and weight gain for pregnant and breastfeeding women ....31 3..29 3...3.......2.........................................................................2..3............26 3....3...3 Fat ......3 Breastfeeding ...................35 3.............................3.............................................26 3...............................27 3........3..........................................................................................2 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre .....................29 3....................2................................2.......24 2........................................3 Protein intakes in New Zealand ...2.................................................................................................3 Factors affecting infant birthweight .......7 Practical advice .......................4 Sources of protein in the diet ...........36 v Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper .........21 2.....................24 2.........2.....................................30 3.....2 Breastfeeding ............................................................1 Protein ..........................................................2 Dietary fibre ............................6 Sources of fat in the diet ...............................................................6 Sources of carbohydrate and dietary fibre in the diet ..........................................................35 3...........................................................................................................................1....1 Background ..........................26 3...........27 3.......................................34 3..............................................24 Part 3: Nutrients...................1........................................................1 Background .......32 3..................5 Practical advice ...2 Pregnancy ..........................2..................................................33 3....................................3 Glycaemic index ..........3....1.........2 Recommended protein intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ............................................................4 Recommended carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ...............................1 Background .................... Foods and Drinks ..............28 3.................................................................................5 Carbohydrate and dietary fibre intakes in New Zealand ..........................5 Fat intake in New Zealand ............3.......................................................27 3.....30 3.............................28 3.......31 3.............32 3......1...2.......................7 Practical advice .............................................................................................................1...............................................4...............4 Recommended fat intakes for pregnant and breastfeeding women ..............................................

.......1............................6...............................................47 3...........................3....................................3 Vitamin E ...............................................49 3..........................58 3.............69 3..................57 3.............4........................................................1 Lifestyle ....................................4......4..........6.............72 4............................................................................5....................7 Choline ..................................................67 3................................6 Vitamin C ..6..........................................................2 Vitamin D ...1 Physical activity ........4......4 Vitamin K .........2 Thiamin...................................................................................56 3....6 Water-soluble vitamins ...................................................................69 Part 4: Other Issues .........4................................. sodium...........................................................................................67 3........ sulphate and fluoride .....77 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper v .....................36 3...................5 Magnesium ...........................................................................41 3...............65 3............................................................6.......................................................................................74 4..........................................................................46 3........................................................................................43 3..1 Iron ..................................4 Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) ............................8 Potassium............................................64 3.................................................................................. niacin and pantothenic acid ....................................4..4..................................................................................................................................................3 Zinc ...........................................................................2 Alcohol ...........................................................................36 3...............72 4....................................5 Fat-soluble vitamins ...........................5 Biotin ...........................................................................3 Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) ................................54 3..................6 Iodine .....6............................5...1 Vitamin A ........................7 Copper ......44 3..........................................3 Cigarette smoking ....................................7 Drinks ..........................4 Selenium ..4 Minerals and trace elements ......1.....6...............50 3.............................2 Calcium ......................................5......................58 3.........................................72 4........4..............6............5.....................1...........62 3.....52 3............................................................................................................... riboflavin....................52 3............................1 Folate ....................

....................2...........2 Food security ........................89 4..............2.....................2.............2...................................81 4..3.....89 4...............................99 4.2 Vegetarian and vegan women ......1......3 Human immunodeficiency virus........................4 Specific conditions ......................................................4 Food choices and household socioeconomic status .....4. hepatitis B and hepatitis C in pregnancy and breastfeeding .............................................................................................................................98 4.................101 4.............1..................................3 Pregnancy and breastfeeding with multiple infants .....5 Practical advice ..........5..............88 4.....84 4..........and water-borne illnesses .................................................................4...................4 Illicit drugs and ‘party pills’ (restricted substances) ....3 Toxoplasmosis ..........89 4................................................................5.....................................................................................4.82 4....79 4.......8 Supplements and fortified foods ........1 Definitions and background ................................................3................................3 Impact of food insecurity on population groups ............................................91 4........................................4 Environmental contaminants ..........99 4...............................6 Other .........................105 4.............3............................3................................................................................................108 v Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper ...........................103 4........5.........2.......85 4..................................88 4.........................1..1 Adolescent pregnancy and breastfeeding ..................3.........................................................5 Medications and breast implants ............7 Caffeine .......................................................88 4.....................................................5 Intense sweeteners .....2 Listeria .....6 Herbal preparations and teas ..............................5 Special groups ......................89 4...................92 4..........................................................................2 Health consequences of food insecurity ..........................................................................4 Overweight and obesity ...3 Food safety .............1 Nausea and vomiting ...........................................................2 Cravings/aversions .............106 4........................................................................4...........88 4....96 4.........4.................98 4...103 4...............1 Food...1.......................................1..........................................................................................................92 4...............

..................2 Pacific models of health ............3 Areas of concern ......................................114 Part 5: Nutrition Issues for Ma ........................................................................................................111 4............................4 Age of introduction of complementary foods and effect on breastfeeding ....................1....................................................1 Background ........................................................................2..........126 6..116 ¯ori 5.............................125 6........................................1 Background ......................1................125 6......................................................................3 Traditional foods and cultural practices .................6..................................6...........2....119 Part 6: Nutrition Issues for Pacific and Other Populations .................................2.............................6 Phytoestrogens ........113 4....................3.......127 6...........1 Pre-conception nutrition ............6............1..................................................................1.3 Effect of maternal nutrition on colic and wind ....................................115 5....115 ¯ori 5...117 5................................1 Ma pregnant and breastfeeding women ......112 4..........6.....116 5..5 Inter-pregnancy spacing ...................5 Potential nutrition issues for pregnant or breastfeeding Pacific women ....................................................2..................................................3......123 6...2.....6...............108 4..................................2............................................................2 Ma models of health ............121 6.............2 Pacific pregnant and breastfeeding women .............................128 6.........2 Effect of maternal nutrition on incidence of infant allergy .............................121 6................6 Practical advice ....................................4 Lifestyle diseases and behaviours .....1 Background ........1............................................110 4..............................................2 Cultural beliefs and food practices ...1...................................................................................1 Background .......117 ¯ori 5........3 Pregnant and breastfeeding women of other ethnic groups .3................................................121 6..................121 6.................................115 ¯ori 5..............6 Practical advice ................................................................................................123 6...4.......129 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper x ............3 Traditional foods and cultural practices .......5 Potential nutrition issues for pregnant or breastfeeding Ma women .................................................4 Lifestyle behaviours ..........................................127 6......6......

.................................3..................................161 Index .158 Appendix 11: Herbal Preparations That May Not Be Safe for Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding ........129 Glossary ...148 Appendix 4: Key Population Health Messages Underpinning the Healthy Eating – Healthy Eating Strategy and Implementation Plan ......141 Appendix 1: Ministry of Health Policy Context for the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women .....192 x Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper ......................................................................................................................................................................................151 Appendix 7: Pregnancy: Three-Day Meal Plan ...................................................................................................160 References.......................154 Appendix 9: Australia and New Zealand Recommended Dietary Intakes for Women Aged 14–18 years .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................156 Appendix 10: Australia and New Zealand Recommended Dietary Intakes for Women Aged 19–50 years ...................................................................................................................................................................131 Abbreviations ...4 Recommendations and practical advice ......149 Appendix 5: Summary of the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes (1981) ..........................................150 Appendix 6: World Health Organization and UNICEF Statement on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (1989) ...........................................................................144 Appendix 2: Reducing Inequalities Tools ....................................................................................................................................................................................................6..........146 Appendix 3: Population Health Objectives in the New Zealand Health Strategy (2000) ...................................................152 Appendix 8: Breastfeeding: Three-Day Meal Plan .........................................................................................................

........... 15 Recommended total weight gain in pregnant women................................................................................................... 31 Table 10: Dietary sources of essential and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) ................................................... riboflavin........................................ 16 Possible causative factors.................................................... 6 Definition of NRV recommendations ................... and concerns for low birthweight infants .................................................... 153 Table 20: Summary of the average number of servings per day provided by the meal plans and recommended number of servings for breastfeeding women ...... 28 Principal dietary sources of carbohydrate for New Zealand women .......................................... 19 Rate of low birthweight per 1000 live births.... 64 Table 15: Standard drinks contained in typical servings of alcohol .............................................. 155 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper x ........... by pre-pregnancy 2 BMI (kg/m ) .......................... 102 Table 19: Summary of the average number of servings per day provided by the meal plans and recommended number of servings for pregnant women ............................. 63 Table 14: Dietary sources of thiamin................ 8 Appropriate BMI cut-offs for different ethnic groups .................... niacin and pantothenic acid for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years .................................... niacin and pantothenic acid in some studies of New Zealand diets ............. 20 Rate of high birthweight per 1000 live births... 97 Table 18: Percentage of overweight and obese females aged 15+ years in New Zealand ................................................................................................. by ethnicity .........Lst of Tables Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4: Table 5: Table 6: Table 7: Table 8: Table 9: The four food groups: advice on servings and nutrients for pregnant and breastfeeding women ................................................................................................................................. 32 Table 11: Adequate intakes for essential fatty acids and omega-3 LCPUFAs ..................................................................... in order of importance................................................................................... 37 Table 13: Reported intakes of thiamin............ 34 Table 12: Spectrum of iron deficiency ............................... 21 Classification of the major dietary carbohydrates ....... median exposure and main contributor to intake for intense sweeteners .................. 77 Table 16: Average caffeine content of common foods and beverages ............................................................................. by ethnicity ......................... riboflavin.................. 85 Table 17: ADI...........

x Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper .

primary health care providers. This background paper has been written to: • provide evidence-based. a healthy infant and mother) provide reliable. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . reducing ¯ori inequalities. health promoters and teachers – in the practice of healthy nutrition. and the best possible pregnancy outcome (ie. adolescents. World Health Organization policies and plans and World Health Assembly resolutions. up-to-date policy advice on the nutrition. The foundation for considering Ma health is laid out in He Korowai Oranga: Ma Health ¯ori ¯ori Strategy. consistent information to use as a basis for programmes and education to support healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women (eg. iwi and Ma communities ¯ori active participation by Ma at all levels of the health and disability sector ¯ori effective health and disability services (ie. District Health Board programmes) guide and support health practitioners – including dietitians. nutritionists. timely. and pregnant and breastfeeding women. which aims for wha ¯nau ora – Ma families being supported to achieve their ¯ori maximum health and wellbeing (Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Health 2002). nurses. and to use as a resource for more detailed information if required identify health inequalities relating to nutrition and physical activity so that education and support for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women can be targeted to reduce health inequalities between population groups. culturally appropriate services to improve health and reduce inequalities) working across sectors within health and disability. high-quality. adults. physical activity. effective. midwives. and is detailed in Appendix 1. This context includes Ma health. older people. and across government sectors. technical background for health education resources for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women. The four pathways that need to be addressed to progress wha ¯nau ora are: • • • • the development of wha ¯nau. children. • • • Polcy context Food and nutrition guidelines for the New Zealand population are produced in the context of Ministry of Health policies and strategies. doctors.Introducton Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A background paper is one of a series of population group-specific background papers. The population groups are healthy infants and toddlers. lifestyle and environmental determinants for achieving and maintaining the best possible health for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Food and nutrton durng pregnancy and breastfeedng Nutrition deserves special attention during pregnancy and breastfeeding because of the high nutrient needs and the critical role of appropriate nutrition for the foetus and infant. ¯ori ¯ and safeguarding Ma cultural concepts. ¯ori development and delivery of health and disability services protection – working to ensure Ma have at least the same level of health as non-Maori. and poorer health outcomes. The emphasis on achieving and maintaining a nutritionally adequate diet is important. Health inequalities in New Zealand are greater between Ma ¯ori and non-Maori. hapu wha ¯. increase physical activity and reduce obesity – are addressed in the Healthy Eating – Healthy Action (HEHA) Strategy and Implementation Plan. The New Zealand Health Strategy sets the direction and priorities for the health system (see Appendix 3). resources. Health Promotion Forum 1991). education and support for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women should be planned and evaluated using the reducing inequalities tools: the Intervention Framework and the HEAT tool (see Appendix 2). as set out in He Korowai Oranga: • • • partnership – working together with iwi. planning. ¯ori This relationship can be expressed by the principles of partnership. a poor diet should not be seen as a barrier to breastfeeding. The Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women provide a policy base for implementing the key messages of HEHA for this population group (see Appendix 4). and a poor maternal diet should be improved during pregnancy and breastfeeding to maintain the mother’s health. Women should be confident that they can still breastfeed even if their diet is not optimal. and between males and females. However. Effective action to ¯ address inequalities in health must take a balanced approach and consider both the social and economic inequalities and their impact on health. ¯nau and Ma communities to ¯ori develop strategies for Ma health gain and appropriate health and disability services ¯ori participation – involving Ma at all levels of the sector in decision-making. Three of these priorities – improve nutrition. and also between Pacific peoples and European/Others. For this reason. ethnic groups and people living in different geographic areas. Inequalities in health exist between socioeconomic groups. programmes. poorer access to health and disability services. participation and protection. These principles continue to underpin the Ma ¯ori–Crown relationship and are threaded throughout He Korowai Oranga. Physiological adaptations during pregnancy partly shield the foetus from inadequacies in the maternal diet. Reducing inequalities for different groups of New Zealanders has been identified as a key priority by the Government.The Treaty of Waitangi acknowledges the special relationship between Ma and the Crown. because the nutritional status of a lactating mother has a minimal effect on milk volume unless she is actually malnourished (Riordan 2005).  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . but even so these inadequacies can have consequences for both the shortand long-term health and development of the foetus and infant. values and practices (Minister of Health and ¯ori Associate Minister of Health 2002. People living in the most deprived circumstances have been shown to have increased exposure to health risks. and the access to and effectiveness of health and disability services.

and for the more recent evidence of long-term benefits (Fewtrell 2004). To protect and support breastfeeding. Breast milk is the optimal food for the infant. Women who follow the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women will attain the optimum nutrition required for a successful pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is important that partners.The relevance of maternal (and paternal) nutrition to pregnancy begins before a woman conceives. Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years): A background paper (Ministry of Health 2008) complements this paper for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women. and breastfeeding provides positive benefits for the mother as well. one for health workers and one for industry. Maternal iron status pre-pregnancy is especially important because women need to go into pregnancy with adequate body stores. and the health and nutrition of one group cannot be divorced from the health and nutrition of the other (WHO 2003a). Pregnant and breastfeeding women are often receptive to information and amenable to change. All LMCs are required to promote breastfeeding. Many pregnancies are unplanned and the key concerns for unplanned pregnancies are alcohol intake. lack of folic acid supplementation and the use of drugs and medications. Once pregnancy is confi rmed. Because the nutrition recommendations during this time are similar to those for the Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Maternal stores are particularly important if the woman is planning another pregnancy. it is a good time for health practitioners and lead maternity carers (LMCs) to emphasise the importance of good nutrition to the pregnant woman. The WHO Code is implemented in New Zealand by two voluntary codes of practice. the World Health Organization (WHO) released an International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the WHO Code) (see Appendix 5). A woman who is consuming a diet in line with the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Adults: A background paper (Ministry of Health 2003a) before she becomes pregnant is likely to have an appropriate nutritional status for pregnancy and is most likely to continue this eating pattern. The foetus is particularly vulnerable during the early days of pregnancy. and WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a joint statement on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (see Appendix 6). NZIFMA 1997). and to provide assistance and advice with breastfeeding and nutrition as part of the care they offer to pregnant women. and is monitored by the Ministry of Health (Ministry of Health 1997a. often before most women know they are pregnant. Breastfeeding mothers and their infants form an inseparable biological and social unit. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are implemented in New Zealand under the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. These are designed to encourage breastfeeding and control the promotion of infant formula and other aspects of bottle feeding to prevent the unnecessary use of breast milk substitutes. family and health practitioners support the breastfeeding woman as much as possible in the first days of breastfeeding to help establish breastfeeding patterns and prevent its early cessation. These long-term protective effects appear to be related to the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding (Riordan 2005). Breastfeeding should be promoted for its well recognised short-term benefits. Maternal stores laid down during pregnancy are important in supporting breastfeeding.

The recommended numbers of servings of the food groups are based on an individual meeting their requirements. identifies sources in the New Zealand diet. The recommended number of servings and the practical advice given in each section are used as the basis for the health education resources Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women and Eating for Healthy Breastfeeding Women. Foods and Drnks considers the role that energy and each of the major nutrients play in health. special groups of pregnant and breastfeeding women (eg. physical activity). this is an ideal opportunity to disseminate advice about good food choices. Structure of ths background paper • Part 1: The New Zealand Food and Nutrton Gudelnes presents the Food and Nutrition Guideline statements. It discusses current and recommended dietary intakes in New Zealand. with this background paper acting as a source of more detailed information. and the sources of food and nutrient intake data for the paper. and infant birthweight and the determinants of infant birthweight. and other issues (eg. nausea and vomiting). Maternal Weght and Infant Brthweght discusses energy intakes and weight changes in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Part 5: Nutrton Issues for Ma discusses the specific nutritional issues for Ma ¯or ¯ori. the background on the use of the Australia and New Zealand nutrient reference values (NRVs). adolescent pregnancy and breastfeeding). specific conditions (eg. links have been drawn to highlight the holistic nature of diet and lifestyle.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . maternal nutrition and allergy). food security. • Part 2: Maternal Energy.adult population. and summarises the evidence available on the topics covered. the four food groups and the recommended number of servings for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Part 3: Nutrents. food safety. Part 6: Nutrton Issues for Pacfic and Other Populatons discusses the specific nutritional issues for Pacific peoples and other ethnic groups. The information on nutrients and issues surrounding them are presented individually. It makes suggestions that can form the basis for practical advice for healthy pregnant women and breastfeeding women. which may also influence the family’s diet. These resources are the primary means of communicating the advice to the public. These suggestions are intended as a guide only. but. where possible. usually the recommended dietary intake (RDI) value. because the nutritional needs of individuals are dependent on many factors. Part 4: Other Issues discusses lifestyle issues (eg.

if using salt. limit your intake of high-sugar foods. Three-day meal plans have also been provided as examples of how to achieve these guidelines. It is best not to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . • Eat plenty of breads and cereals.Part : The New Zealand Food and Nutrton Gudelnes . * 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most if not all days of the week. • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. poultry. These are: 1. Food groups and the nutrents they provde The Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements refer to the four food groups. Purchase. serving sizes for each food group. Eat well by including a variety of nutritious foods from each of the four major food groups each day. including the recommended food and nutrient intakes (see Appendices 7 and 8). preferably reduced or low-fat options. drinks and snacks: • with minimal added fat. prepare. . 5. eggs. Drink plenty of liquids each day. 6. Table 1 gives a description of each food group. 4. • Have milk and milk products in your diet. nuts. especially saturated fat • that are low in salt. • Include lean meat. cook and store food to ensure food safety.* 2. seafood. especially water. seeds or legumes. Readers are referred to New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Adults: A background paper (Ministry of Health 2003a) as a companion document to this paper for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women. preferably wholegrain. Maintain a healthy body weight by eating well and by daily physical activity. The New Zealand Food and Nutrton Gudelne Statements The recommendations for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women are based on the New Zealand Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements for Healthy Adults. choose iodised salt • with little added sugar. 3. advice on the recommended number of servings from each food group. and a broad indication of the main nutrients supplied by each food group. Prepare foods or choose pre-prepared foods. Not all of the foods within each group will contain all these nutrients.

grains. . frozen. broccoli (50–80 g)) ½ cup salad or mixed vegetables (60 g) 1 tomato (80 g) Fruit 1 apple. Only one serving of juice or one serving of dried fruit counts towards the total number of servings for the day. parengo. water ¯ha cress. Pregnant women Eat at least sx servings per day (choose wholegrain breads and cereals). potassium 1 medium potato. vitamin A (yellow and green vegetables). kumara or similar-sized ¯ root vegetable such as yam or taro (135 g) ½ cup cooked vegetable (eg. corn. at least four servings of vegetables and at least two servings of fruit. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper Breads and cereals (includes breakfast cereals. zinc and selenium Nutrents provded  Food group Advce Vegetables and fruit (includes fresh. potatoes) Minerals: magnesium. preferably wholegrain Breastfeeding women Eat at least seven servings per day (choose wholegrain breads and cereals). pu ¯. iron. pear. calcium. and vitamin C (dark green vegetables and most fruit. canned and dried) Pregnant and breastfeeding women Eat at least sx servngs per day. rice and pasta). banana or orange (130 g) 2 small apricots or plums (100 g) ½ cup fresh fruit salad ½ cup stewed fruit (fresh. breads.Table : The four food groups: advce on servngs and nutrents for pregnant and breastfeedng women Servng sze examples Vegetables Carbohydrates Dietary fibre Vitamins: especially folate. frozen or canned) (135 g) 1 cup fruit juice (250 ml) 2 tablespoons dried fruit 1 bread roll (50 g) 1 muffin (80 g) 1 medium slice rewena ¯ 1 medium slice bread (26 g) 1 cup cornflakes ½ cup muesli (55 g) ½ cup cooked porridge (130 g) 1 cup cooked pasta (150 g) 1 cup cooked rice (150 g) 1 cup cassava or tapioca (150 g) 2 plain sweet biscuits (14 g) Protein Carbohydrates Dietary fibre Vitamins: all B group (except B12). E (rich in wheat germ) Minerals (particularly in wholegrain breads and cereals): magnesium. silverbeet.

niacin. B12.  . copper. magnesium. zinc and iodine Pregnant and breastfeeding women Lean meat. peas or lentils (135 g) 2 drumsticks or 1 chicken leg (110 g) ½ cup nuts or seeds Protein Fats: both visible and marbled in meat (mostly saturated fat. A.or monounsaturated fats especially in full-fat products Advce Servng sze examples Nutrents provded Pregnant and breastfeeding women Milk and milk products (includes milk. D Protein Fats: higher proportion of saturated than poly. and legumes Eat at least two servings per day. yoghurt and ice-cream) and alternatives Eat at least three servings per day (choose low or reduced-fat options). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper * Pregnant women should follow the advice given in section 4.3.Food group 1 large glass milk (250 ml) 1 pottle yoghurt (150 g) 2 slices cheese (40 g) 2 scoops ice cream (140 g) 1 large glass calcium-fortified soy milk (250 ml) 2 slices cooked meat (approximately 100 g) ¾ cup mince or casserole (195 g) 1 egg (50 g) 1 medium fillet of fish* cooked (100 g) ¾ cup cooked dried beans. seafood. phosphorus and selenium Iodine: particularly in seafood and eggs Vitamins: riboflavin. Source: Modified from Department of Health 1991. nuts and seeds. poultry. cheese. nuts and seeds) Carbohydrates: mainly legumes (dried peas and beans) Vitamins: B12. thiamin Minerals: iron. potassium. phosphorus. mostly unsaturated fats in seafood.4 on the appropriate intake level and type of fish to consume. Minerals: especially calcium. zinc. eggs. cholesterol).

The average dietary energy intake that is predicted to maintain energy balance in a healthy adult of defined age. height and level of physical activity. Nutrent reference values for Australa and New Zealand The nutrient reference values (NRVs) for Australia and New Zealand (NHMRC 2006) supersede the 1990 Australian recommended dietary intakes (Australian RDIs) (Truswell et al 1990). The NRVs are presented as a set of recommendations. and for 19–50 years in Appendix 10. which had been used in New Zealand since their adoption in 1991. then an adequate intake (AI) is determined. The RDI. Where an EAR (and therefore an RDI) for the nutrient cannot be determined because of limited or inconsistent data. but is based on experimentally derived intake levels or approximations of observed mean nutrient intakes by a group of apparently healthy people maintaining a defined nutritional state. AI and UL recommendations have been used in this paper. This value is usually used for populations. RDI (recommended detary ntake) AI (adequate ntake) EER (estmated energy requrement) UL (upper level of ntake) Source: NHMRC 2006. consistent with good health. weight. The average daily dietary intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals (97–98 percent) in a life stage/gender group.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . The AI can be used as a goal for individual intake.. Readers are referred to the Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes (NHMRC 2006) for detailed information on how the NRV values were derived. including the recommended dietary intake. This background paper for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women is based on the NRV values. with a range of levels. gender. the EER is taken to include the needs associated with the deposition of tissues or the secretion of milk at rates consistent with good health. Table : Definton of NRV recommendatons EAR (estmated average requrement) The median usual intake estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage/gender group. The RDIs (or AI where no RDI exists) for women aged 14–18 years are given in Appendix 9. In children and pregnant and lactating women. These are defined in the following table. The highest level of continuing daily nutrient intake likely to pose no adverse health effects in almost all individuals.

folate and vitamins A. a two-day activity record. dietary habits and nutrient intakes. Sources of data The food and nutrient intake data are largely taken from the 1997 National Nutrition Survey (NNS97) (Russell et al 1999). E and betacarotene status were determined from blood samples taken around month five of pregnancy. A brief description of these studies follows. The data are reported using the mean value. The data are reported using the median value (50th percentile) from the second trimester of pregnancy. three one-day diet records. Women came from three ethnic groups: European (61). Demographic. Todd and Parnell 1994). The data are reported using the mean value. The data collection period was from month four to month seven of pregnancy. and height. 24 weeks and 36 weeks of gestation. Watson and McDonald 1999. McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993. were collected from each woman. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . The subjects came from an area bounded by ¯ Taupo in the south and Wellsford in the north. Iron. The data are reported using the mean value from month seven of pregnancy. Watson and McDonald studied 504 women from three ethnic groups: New Zealand European (354). as determined by two 24-hour recalls. Demographic data. weight and skinfolds at month four and again at month seven of pregnancy. medical and lifestyle details were obtained from questionnaires. Food and nutrient data are also reported from several regional studies (Benny et al 1991. Benny et al assessed the diets of 115 pregnant women in the Wellington region using 24-hour dietary recall. Maori (102) and Pacific peoples (48). following the convention used in the NNS97 report.. Todd and Parnell assessed the dietary habits of 73 Dunedin women who had been exclusively breastfeeding for three months. Ma (29) and ¯ori Pacific peoples (25). Data collected included one 24-hour diet recall. McKenzie-Parnell et al assessed the dietary intake of 95 healthy pregnant Dunedin women using three-day weighed records at about 12 weeks. The data are reported using the median value (50th percentile).

an average 10–15 percent increase in basal metabolic rate (BMR). Energy requrements and ntakes n pregnant and breastfeedng women . Maternal activity tends to decrease in pregnancy. Maternal Weght and Infant Brthweght . nutrients are preferentially partitioned to the mother. and has been used to define the medical standard for overweight and obesity.Part : Maternal Energy. although in sedentary women the energy saving consequences of decreased activity are probably minimal. whereas fatter women tend to experience an increase in BMR (Prentice and Goldberg 2000). optimal weight gain and outcome of pregnancy can be attained over a very wide range of energy intakes. by increasing absorption or by reducing excretion BMR may be reduced diet-induced thermogenesis can be reduced physical activity can be reduced (Kopp-Hoolihan et al 1999) growth in new tissue or fat deposition in maternal stores can be reduced. at least partially. 1 1 Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio used to determine healthy weight ranges for humans. as follows: • • • • • • intake can be increased nutrients can be more efficiently used. In well-nourished women. Women with the least increase in BMR tend to be thinner (Prentice 1994). and maternal physiological changes in pregnancy. there is a limit to the physiological capacity of the body to adjust nutrient metabolism. However. There are variable changes in BMR that may be. Energy requirements are higher in later pregnancy but may be. or adolescent mothers who are still growing. including sub-optimal nutrition. so that foetal growth is compromised to a greater extent than maternal growth (Wallace et al 2001). at least partially. particularly in the third trimester. effectively protecting nutrient stores from foetal demand. In under-nourished women.. BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres. so energy is conserved. Background Pregnancy Energy requirements increase in pregnancy by about 12 percent. These adaptive strategies are mechanisms that enable women to sustain a pregnancy under a wide range of conditions. and foetal growth and development may be compromised. 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . This is because of the increase in maternal body weight. This probably reflects different adaptive strategies that can be used to meet the additional energy demands of pregnancy. related to pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI ). Many women sustain a pregnancy with a successful outcome on less than the recommended energy intake. the energy costs of the growing foetus. offset by the mobilisation of fat stored in early pregnancy.

In the first six months of breastfeeding. predominantly leaner. The density is associated with maternal anthropometry (Perez-Escamilla et al 1995. although a review of the research suggests that they are not significant in well-nourished women (Institute of Medicine 2002). Sufficiency of breast milk supply should be judged by infant growth and development. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . because of mobilisation of body fat. Weight loss. There is evidence that women in developed countries reduce their level of physical activity in the early months post-partum (van Raaij et al 1991. An increase in food intake can be a source of energy to meet the increased energy requirement during breastfeeding. Energy supplementation of malnourished women does not usually increase milk volume. even among malnourished women. Goldberg et al 1991. Butte 2000b). but thereafter production rates vary with weaning practices. Nommsen et al 1991) and pregnancy weight gain (Michaelsen et al 1994). evidence from developing countries suggests that some women do not increase their energy intake but still produce adequate milk (Prentice et al 1996). A woman’s diet will not usually limit her ability to produce sufficient breast milk (with perhaps the exception of severe energy restriction). Demand-fed infants effectively regulate their energy intake (and milk volume). Physical activity levels during breastfeeding are very variable. Restricting dietary energy intake has been found to result in reduced breast milk energy density for some. about 100 g per month (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). Breastfeeding women are generally reported to increase their energy intake to. women (McCrory et al 1999).Breastfeedng There is an increase in energy requirement during breastfeeding because of the energy cost of producing breast milk. Low milk volumes have been observed in populations of under-nourished women. Energy ntakes durng breastfeedng and mlk volume Milk volume is the result of infant demand rather than a reflection of maternal capacity (Daly and Hartmann 1995). is reported in most populations of breastfeeding women. Well-nourished women are reported to lose an average of 800 g per month for the first six months of breastfeeding (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). Maternal fat stores are a significant source of energy to support breastfeeding. accommodate their increased energy expenditure (Todd and Parnell 1994). Other mechanisms to consider in the energy balance of breastfeeding women are changes in BMR and diet-induced thermogenesis. on average. so the volume an infant consumes depends on milk energy density. . under-nourished women are reported to lose. There is some evidence that energy savings occur through these mechanisms. milk production tends to increase. The specific energy cost reflects the volume produced and the energy density of the breast milk. at least partly. women with very low body fat might protect their own body stores and be able to exclusively breastfeed for longer if they had an increased energy intake (Prentice et al 1980). However. because maternal nutrition has only a modest effect on breast milk production and composition (Riordan 2005).. However. but this is thought to be mainly because of low infant demand associated with low birthweight and/ or illness (Prentice et al 1983).

Unsettled infant behaviour is often attributed to insufficient milk production. Note that there are large variations in requirements according to pre-pregnancy body weight.67kcal/g). and 720 kJ (172kcal) per day weight loss (FAO et al 2004). no change in physical activity level. Breastfeedng The average extra daily energy requirement for breastfeeding is 2000–2100 kJ (476–500 kcal) per day (NHMRC 2006).5 kg per week will not compromise breastfeeding. milk energy content of 2. These recommendations for energy intakes are derived from the sum of the energy requirement of non-pregnant women. In the second six months of breastfeeding. However. It is important that women understand the relationship between infant demand and milk production so that they do not introduce infant formula unnecessarily. or if the energy restriction is for a longer period of time (ie. In a Dunedin study. although the effect on total milk energy output was not measured (Strode et al 1986). 2000). energy requirements remain the same because body fat stores are reduced and not available as an energy source. nor affect breast milk composition or infant weight gain (Lovelady et al 2000). it is important to note that these results may not be applicable to women with a BMI less than 25. Recommended energy ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women Pregnancy The recommended energy intake for pregnant women is: no extra energy requirement in the first trimester. such as infant growth or urinary output. energy restriction to less than 7500 kJ (1800 kcal) per day for one week resulted in decreased milk volume. Mothers tend not to use objective measures for assessing adequate milk production.. although there is no scientific evidence that this is usually the cause. over 12 weeks). . 1400 kilojoules (kJ) or 340 kilocalories (kcal) extra energy per day for the second trimester and 1900 kJ (452 kcal) extra energy per day for the third trimester (NHMRC 2006). The value of 2000 kJ (476kcal) for extra daily energy requirement assumes full breastfeeding in the first six months. milk production is about 600 ml per day. so care needs to be taken in applying these figures to individuals. 80 percent efficiency. there may be a plateau of energy intake below which milk production is compromised. with the intention of losing body weight. While a number of studies suggest that weight loss of approximately 0. It is also worth noting that these studies have not examined more subtle indicators of health and satisfaction. Maternal physical activity does not appear to affect milk volume (Lovelady et al 1990.Moderate reduction of dietary energy intake by the overweight breastfeeding woman. such as baby fussiness and maternal fatigue. does not appear to reduce milk volume. and for the energy content of the gain in fat mass in pregnancy (NHMRC 2006). and insufficient milk production was the most common reason for using infant formula (Heath et al 2002). plus increments for average changes in energy expenditure.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . milk production of 780 ml per day.8 kJ/g (0. However. In one study. only 58 percent of the women were aware of this relationship.

. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . butter and margarine. . Energy intakes at the observed levels are not likely to adversely affect breastfeeding or maternal wellbeing.1.. The median energy intake for non-pregnant women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand was 8175 kJ (1946 kcal) per day (Russell et al 1999). Breastfeedng The mean energy intake of breastfeeding women in Dunedin was 8411 kJ (2000 kcal) per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). This energy intake for Dunedin women is similar to reported intakes in other developed countries. All of these studies found ¯ori that although energy intake increased in pregnancy it was less than the recommendations. Energy ntakes n pregnant and breastfeedng women n New Zealand Pregnancy A New Zealand regional survey of dietary intake in pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999) found that the energy intake of pregnant women was higher in the second trimester than the third. This is consistent with earlier findings (Benny et al 1991. but because of the increased need for all micronutrients during breastfeeding it is important that the foods chosen are nutrient dense. and beverages (non-alcoholic) (both 5 percent) (Russell et al 1999). the highest percentage was from cereals. followed by dairy and fruit (Benny et al 1991). The lesser energy intake in the third trimester compared with the second was more marked in Ma and Pacific women. Sources of energy n the det The principal sources of energy in the diet for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are bread (12 percent). but the consensus remains at that value (Riordan 2005). milk. For Pacific women. The recommended energy intakes for breastfeeding are based on a slow loss of approximately 5 kg body weight during the first six months post-partum and on the understanding that weight loss is compatible with breastfeeding (see section 2.2). cakes and muffins (each 6 percent). Overall mean intakes were 9508 kJ (2264 Kcal) per day in month four and 9186 kJ (2187 Kcal) per day in month seven. the percentage of energy obtained from specific food groups was highest from dairy. followed by cereals and baking. potatoes and ku ¯mara (7 percent). . most women gave birth to a healthy infant within the optimal birthweight range. However. A regional study of pregnant women found that for European and Ma women in the third ¯ori trimester.The efficiency of milk energy production from food energy appears to be higher than the 80 percent used above. McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993).

The nutritional quality of the diet is critical. and those with underprivileged backgrounds (lower income and education). Weight gained in pregnancy tends to have a greater effect on birthweight in small. In these women there is an association between birthweight and micronutrient intakes.2) Pacific women were found to have both the highest pre-pregnancy BMI and the highest GWG in pregnancy. at the thigh) and to a lesser extent on the hips and trunk (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). Women with low GWG are more likely to be young. Lower than recommended GWG is associated with increased risk of pre-term delivery or restricted foetal growth (Abrams et al 2000). Women with high GWG are more likely to be tall. The gain in fat is higher in pregnant women with a higher pre-pregnancy BMI (Butte et al 2003). nicotine and illicit drugs). foetal weight is about 25 percent of the total weight gained. less educated and smokers. particularly zinc. Women with a higher pre-pregnancy BMI tend to gain more weight in pregnancy and to have heavier infants (Kramer 2003). Women with a low pre-pregnancy BMI (less than 20) are more dependent during pregnancy on their nutritional intake in order to achieve good weight gain. The component of GWG most clearly associated with increased birthweight is maternal water (plasma) volume (Rush 2001). thin. The increased fat mass is deposited in a gynoid-type fat distribution (ie. Appropriate expansion of plasma volume is associated with a favourable outcome of pregnancy. suggesting that one or more micronutrients might be a limiting factor for foetal growth (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003). fat mass (about 30 percent) and fat-free mass (protein. Women who are most likely to have a low prepregnancy BMI include those following restrictive diets (eg. foetal weight is a considerably bigger proportion of GWG (Prentice and Goldberg 2000). In affluent populations. Women who eat energy-dense. about 8 percent) (Hytten and Leitch 1971). Pre-pregnancy weight and GWG are correlated. Gestatonal weght gan and gestatonal weght gan recommendatons Gestational weight gain (GWG) is made up of several components. those with substance abuse problems (including alcohol. to control their weight).1). Weght changes for pregnant and breastfeedng women . thin women than it does in women with a higher BMI. short.3. including water (about 62 percent). and it is one of the best predictors for birthweight (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003). calcium and magnesium. Women with high GWG are also more likely to retain substantial post-partum weight.. nutrient-poor food  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . heavy. which means they are potentially more vulnerable to weight retention problems post-partum (see section 6. Where nutrition is poorer and maternal BMI is low. primiparous (pregnant for the first time) and hypertensive (having high blood pressure).. It is recognised that adequate GWG is required for optimal pregnancy outcome. High GWG is associated with macrosomia (more than 4000g at birth) (see section 2. GWG should not be considered in isolation from other aspects of maternal diet.

Table : Approprate BMI cut-offs for dfferent ethnc groups Classficaton New Zealand Europeansa Underweight Normal range Overweight Obese < 18.5 Sources: aSwinburn et al 1999. monitoring weight needs to be undertaken with care to avoid having a negative effect on body image or creating unwarranted concerns (Dawes and Grudzinskas 1991). who may require extra support and advice about weight gain and energy intake in pregnancy. which overestimates their body fat.may gain adequate or excessive weight but may have compromised nutritional intake and be at increased risk for an adverse pregnancy outcome (Kramer 1998). People of Asian origin carry a higher fat mass for a given BMI and people of Polynesian origin have a proportionately lower fat mass for a given BMI. Women who have been restrained eaters prior to pregnancy may interpret pregnancy as a ‘green light’ to eat without constraint (Clark and Ogden 1999).5 18. However.5 18. There are some groups of women.5–26 26–32 > 32 Asan populatonsb < 18.4 > 27. BMI tends to correlate with fat mass but is not an actual measure of fat. normal. These can be a useful guide.9 23–27. bWHO Expert Consultation 2004. Women who are very active with a high muscle mass may have a misleading BMI.5–25 25–30 > 30 BMI (kg/m) Ma or and Pacfic ¯ peoplesa < 18. Regular monitoring of weight changes performed as part of a woman’s antenatal care may identify extremes of weight gain. so different cut-off points are appropriate (see Table 3). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . The classifications of underweight. but care must be taken in applying these values to individuals. Consideration must also be given to the rate of weight gain. These include women who were underweight or overweight before pregnancy. Pre-pregnancy BMI should be ascertained (ACOG 2005). those with a current or previous history of an eating disorder or restrained eating. The relationship between BMI and body fat also varies with ethnicity. Nutrition During Pregnancy (Institute of Medicine 1990) provides target ranges of recommended weight gains by pre-pregnancy BMI (see Table 4). and alert practitioners to sub-optimal weight gain or acute and significant increments in weight that may indicate pre-eclampsia. and those who are ceasing or reducing smoking. including adolescents. This will identify those women with extremes of BMI who should be referred to a registered dietitian for advice on achieving a nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain in pregnancy. The following limitations of using pre-pregnancy BMI should be noted.5 18. overweight and obese are based on adults of European descent.5–22.

 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . A third of weight gain should occur in the second trimester.0–11. Short women (< 1.5–16. Although 90 percent of foetal growth occurs in the second half of gestation.57 m) should strive for gains at the lower end of the range. maternal weight gain in the first half of pregnancy may have an important effect on foetal growth throughout the pregnancy (Brown et al 2002.3 kg on average) are gained predominantly between the 10th and 30th week of gestation and provide an energy reserve that can be mobilised when foetal growth demands are high in late pregnancy. Maternal fat stores (3. The Institute of Medicine uses slightly different cut-off points for weight-for-height (BMI) categories than the New Zealand Ministry of Health – see Table 3.5 kg/week. For obese women the rate should be determined on an individual basis (Institute of Medicine 1990).5–18. and two-thirds in the third trimester (NHMRC 2006). fed for about one week less than those who gained the recommended weight (ie. Women who gained more or less than the recommended gains but went on to breastfeed. the recommended rate of gain is approximately 0.0 11. The rate of gestatonal weght gan The rate of GWG is much lower in the first trimester compared with the second and third trimesters.0–29.4 kg/week in the second and third trimesters.0) Source: Institute of Medicine 1990. However. by pre-pregnancy BMI (kg/m ) Weght-for-heght category Low (BMI < 19.Table : Recommended total weght gan n pregnant women. there is a broad physiological range of GWG from 10 to 30 percent of pre-pregnancy weight. Notes: Adolescents should strive for gains at the upper end of the recommended range. .0) High BMI (BMI >26. Neufeld et al 2004). for women in the underweight range of pre-pregnancy BMI it is approximately 0. and for women in the overweight range of pre-pregnancy BMI it is approximately 0.0 6.0 Weight gains outside the Institute of Medicine’s suggested ranges are associated with double the number of poor pregnancy outcomes as weight gains within the ranges (Abrams et al 2000). Another review found that women who gained less than the recommended GWG had a significantly higher chance of never breastfeeding than those who gained the recommended weight.0) Obese (BMI > 29.8–26. for about 12 weeks rather than 13 weeks (Li et al 2003).  Recommended total gan (kg) 12.3 kg/week.8) Normal (BMI 19.0 7. the first half of pregnancy can be considered to be preparation for the later demands of foetal growth. For women in the normal range of pre-pregnancy BMI. Women with low or high pre-pregnant BMI are more likely to be given incorrect advice on their target weight gain (Stotland et al 2005). However. A review of wide-scale programmes of nutritional intervention during pregnancy in a range of countries found that the average GWG was 13 kg (Rush 2001)..

.. Energy restrcton n pregnancy
Severe energy restriction to lose weight is not appropriate in pregnancy. It is unlikely to be beneficial and may harm the foetus ( 2003a). Inadequate energy and nutritional intake, particularly in the first trimester, is associated with an increased incidence of low birthweight infants, with associated impacts on later health (see section 2.3.1) and congenital abnormalities, such as neural tube defects (Carmichael et al 2003). Excessive weight loss in pregnancy can produce ketone bodies and other metabolites that can create metabolic stress and may be detrimental to foetal development. Maternal health may also be compromised, and breast growth and development in preparation for breastfeeding may be affected. Historically, there were two reasons for recommendations to restrict energy and protein intakes in pregnant women: the risk of developing pre-eclampsia and to prevent obesity. However, energy and/or protein restriction has no effect on the development of preeclampsia, and excessive weight gain is the result, not the cause, of the underlying clinical pathology. In obese women, severe energy restriction is associated with a reduction of mean birthweight (Merialdi et al 2003), although some moderate reduction of energy intake to control weight gain may be appropriate. 

.. Return to pre-pregnancy weght
Breastfeeding is associated with post-partum weight loss, but weight loss is highly variable (Butte et al 2003). It has been suggested that periods of breastfeeding longer than six months are required to ensure significant weight loss (Kac et al 2004). The pattern and timing of weight loss during breastfeeding vary. The pattern of body fat loss generally reverses the pattern of weight gain during pregnancy, with loss of subcutaneous fat and fat from the hips and thighs (Butte and Hopkinson 1998). The rate of weight loss among well-nourished women may be primarily associated with a desire to lose weight and be the result of an intentional reduction of dietary energy intake (Rogers et al 1997). Although the additional energy requirement of breastfeeding leads people to expect a greater rate of weight loss among breastfeeding women, this does not always appear to be the case (Chou et al 1999; Wosje and Kalkwarf 2004). Most women lose weight gradually while breastfeeding, some women actually gain weight, and others lose weight relatively rapidly. Women need to allow adequate time to readjust after pregnancy, and weight loss after delivery should not be expected to occur before 9–12 months. There is a lack of information on rates of weight loss while breastfeeding after the first 12 months post-partum among wellnourished women. Post-partum weight and fat retention are significantly correlated to GWG, specifically gestational fat mass gain (Butte et al 2003). Women with high post-partum weight are more likely to have gained excessive weight during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy (Brown et al 2002). Controlled studies in well-nourished women living in developed countries suggest that, on average, women increase body weight between conception and one year post-partum by 0.5–3.3 kg (Ellison and Harris 2000). Variations in post-partum weight retention suggest that it is not solely attributable to the effects of pregnancy (and/or the immediate post-partum period). Increased body weight is associated with age, increased parity, socioeconomic and

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

marital status, increased intake, decreased activity, and other factors such as psychosocial stress, isolation and loneliness, which may become apparent in the post-partum period. There are difficulties in accurately assessing the extent of weight retention following pregnancy. Body composition can change from very early in the first trimester and many women do not return to their pre-pregnancy weight, so it is difficult to determine a reliable baseline BMI measurement (Kopp-Hoolihan et al 1999). The difficulties are compounded by women self-reporting pre-pregnancy weights that have a skewed distribution, suggesting they report a desired rather than an actual pre-pregnancy weight. Physical activity alone, without intentional moderate reduction in energy intake, does not seem to lead to weight loss, because exercising women tend to have higher dietary energy intakes than their sedentary counterparts (Lovelady et al 1990; Dewey 1998). Breastfeeding women may accelerate weight loss by reducing energy intake and increasing physical activity. A weight loss of 0.5 kg per week in overweight breastfeeding women, achieved by moderate reduction in energy intake and increase in physical activity, does not appear to affect milk production (Lovelady et al 2000), although researchers have not assessed more subtle indicators, such as infant satisfaction (Lovelady et al 1990). If physical activity is included along with moderate reduction in energy intake, most of the weight lost will be body fat (McCrory et al 1999). Loss of body fat associated with breastfeeding may be more likely after 12 weeks post-partum (McCrory et al 1999; Lovelady et al 2000). High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended while breastfeeding and during pregnancy. It will be difficult to achieve adequate intakes of micronutrients, and to meet the requirement for glucose for lactose synthesis, lactose being the primary sugar in breast milk. Although the body can produce some glucose itself, it is not clear that sufficient quantities can be produced to support a high rate of milk synthesis, with a possible result of reduced milk supply. The flavour and odour of breast milk may also be affected by the presence of ketone bodies (Heinig and Doberne 2004), which may be produced as a result of a highprotein, low-carbohydrate diet. If a breastfeeding woman chooses to reduce her dietary energy intake, it is important that the foods then chosen are nutrient dense, because the requirements for micronutrients increase during breastfeeding. 

. Infant brthweght 
.. Low brthweght
Low birthweight is defined as being less than 2500g at birth (UNICEF and WHO 2004). Low birthweight may be caused by growth restrcton (of the foetus before birth), or pre-term brth. Growth restriction (or its outcomes) can also be described as small for gestational age (SGA), or intrauterine growth restriction/retardation (IUGR). Growth restriction and pre-term birth can occur together – in other words, some babies are small both because of growth restriction during pregnancy and being born pre-term. There are a number of causes of low birthweight, some of which overlap (see Table 5). 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Table : Possble causatve factors, n order of mportance, and concerns for low brthweght nfants
Growth-restrcted nfants Definition Small for gestational age: less than 10th percentile of weight for a given age Low gestational weight gain Low maternal energy intake Low pre-pregnancy BMI Maternal short stature Cigarette smoking Pregnancy-induced hypertension Primiparity Congenital anomalies Other genetic factors Concerns and risks for low birthweight infants Increased risk of stillbirth and neonatal death Short-term risks of increased morbidity from: • hypoglycaemia • hypocalcaemia • polycythaemia Long-term risks of: • small but permanent deficits in growth and neurocognitive development • increased risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease in adult life
Source: Table adapted from Kramer 2003.

Pre-term nfants Less than 37 completed weeks of gestation Urinary tract infection Multiple birth Pregnancy-induced hypertension Low pre-pregnancy BMI Incompetent cervix Prior pre-term birth Placental abruption Heavy work Cigarette smoking Increased infant mortality Short- and long-term problems with lungs, eyes and nervous system development and function Delayed psychomotor development

Possible factors involved in causing low birthweight

The most adverse outcomes arise in the most immature infants. There may be difficulties in forming parent–infant relationships with low birthweight infants who require prolonged early hospitalisation. Social support and referral to specialist maternal mental health services may be required. The use of birthweight as the outcome measure of pregnancy success is widespread, partly because birthweight is easy to measure, and infant mortality increases exponentially as birthweight decreases (Kramer 1998b). However, birthweight is a crude outcome measure of optimal intrauterine growth and development. Sub-optimal maternal body composition and nutrient intake can have a long-term effect on body composition and development of specific tissues and organs in the infant without necessarily affecting size at birth (Godfrey 2001).

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

Incdence of low brthweght n New Zealand
Most infants born with low birthweight in New Zealand are born pre-term rather than growth restricted. In most cases, the cause(s) of pre-term birth are not known. In 2002, 6.5 percent of infants born in New Zealand weighed less than 2500 g at birth and 1.3 percent weighed less than 1500 g (New Zealand Health Information Service 2004). The rate of low birthweight is highest in Asian and Ma and lowest in Pacific peoples, with New Zealand European/ ¯ori Other being intermediate (see Table 6). Table : Rate of low brthweght per 000 lve brths, by ethncty
Ethncty Asian Ma ¯ori Pacific peoples NZ European/ Other Total  77.7 69.5 44.5 64.3 64.6  72.1 75.8 43.0 60.0 63.6  75.3 72.2 44.9 61.8 63.8  68.3 72.8 48.5 62.7 64.4 000 77.7 72.1 50.7 60.8 64.1 00 73.0 78.5 48.0 63.3 66.6 00 80.5 76.7 46.4 64.9 67.4 00 78.1 69.2 44.9 58.0 61.5 00 73.7 69.6 46.4 58.6 61.8

Source: Unpublished vital statistics and external migration data from Statistics New Zealand

The incidence of low birthweight is increasing with time, which reflects an increased obstetric intervention (to decrease stillbirth and maternal morbidity and mortality) and the increased incidence of twin births as a result of infertility treatment (Elster 2000).

Impact of low brthweght
Low birthweight has been associated with increased rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus, independent of the effect of maternal lifestyle such as smoking, alcohol intake, socioeconomic status and physical activity (Barker 2004). The foetal origins of disease hypothesis (Barker hypothesis) proposes that these chronic diseases originate in utero in response to undernutrition during critical periods of development. Undernutrition of the foetus occurs when the maternal supply of nutrients is unable to meet foetal demands, and is due to a range of factors including genetics, maternal body composition, dietary intake, metabolic state, and placental function (Barker and Godfrey 2004). The undernutrition affects foetal growth and development and makes the individual more vulnerable to adverse environmental influences in later life. In infancy, low birthweight may be followed by rapid weight gain or persistent low weight, and both situations may lead to the increased rates of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus linked with low birthweight. Barker based his hypothesis on studies on a cohort of English men and women born between 1911 and 1970. Later studies in Scandanavia, continuing analysis of results of the Dutch Famine in World War 2, and ongoing work by Barker have added support for the hypothesis. The hypothesis remains unproven, so any intervention based on it should be conservative and not present a potential risk to the health of pregnant women and the foetus (NHMRC 2003). 

0

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

7 149. and lowest in Asian people. Chinese infants were also significantly lighter. Several of these factors are not independent and there may be considerable overlap..5 2004 53. particularly if their weight gain in pregnancy is low.2 206.8 122. Factors affectng nfant brthweght There are a number of factors that are known to affect birthweight (see Table 5). and Indian infants were significantly lighter.1 136.7 152.7 216.9 2001 58.9 134.9 117.0 206. .3 124.1 2000 60.9 160.1 2003 64.9 105. but this difference was not statistically significant (McCowan and Stewart 2004). Women with a BMI of less than 2 20 kg/m are more likely to deliver a pre-term or low-birthweight infant (Kramer 2003). Tongan and Samoan infants were significantly heavier.6 111.8 212.4 197. by ethncty Ethnicity Asian Ma ¯ori Pacific peoples NZ European/ Other Total 1996 53. overall.3 156.8 128.3. than infants from all other ethnic groups. Maternal sze Maternal pre-pregnancy weight and height strongly and positively correlate with birthweight. The rate of high birthweight is highest in Pacific peoples and New Zealand European/Other people.6 220.1 202. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . with weight having the strongest bearing.9 146.7 142.7 153.3 103.9 214.3 145.4 1998 64.0 2002 61..1 146.2 144.3 145.1 112.3. Infants weighing more than 4000 g have increased risk of adverse outcome of delivery (death and birth difficulties (such as shoulder dystocia) and a higher risk of childhood morbidity) (Orskou et al 2003) and increased risk for the infant of obesity and type 2 diabetes in later life. Optimising the intrauterine environment may contribute to breaking the cycle of socioeconomic deprivation and high disease risk in later life (Godfrey and Barker 2003).Those caring for a woman during pregnancy need to consider whether there are any factors that may prevent a healthy birthweight and provide advice and assistance to remove any barriers. These factors are discussed in section 2.8 1997 53. Ma infants were approximately 50 g lighter than New Zealand ¯ori European infants.0 1999 61.5 190. ¯ori Table : Rate of hgh brthweght per 000 lve brths. Hgh brthweght High birthweight (macrosomia) is defined as more than 4000 g at birth. Having a low pre-pregnancy BMI is one of the strongest predictors of poor pregnancy outcome and interacts with other factors such as smoking and stress (Neggers and Goldenberg 2003).7 131.8 155.7 141.3 Source: Unpublished vital statistics and external migration data from Statistics New Zealand .2 116. with Ma being intermediate (see Table 7). with a mean birthweight 100 g less than New Zealand European infants.9 140. Ethncty A study comparing mean birthweights (adjusted for length) of New Zealand’s main ethnic groups found that.1 142.

particularly if it is started in early pregnancy and if there is good compliance with recommendations (Blondel et al 1993). Obese women tend to have heavier infants. There is also an intergenerational effect: women who were born of low birthweight are more likely to have a low birthweight child (and even grandchild) (Alberman et al 1992). thinner women tend to have lighter infants than heavier women. Adolescent pregnancy is associated with an increased incidence of low birthweight infants. Young maternal age is also associated with low prepregnancy BMI and adverse behavioural risk factors (Cogswell and Yip 1995). height and BMI and iron status) are recommended for all pregnant women. partly because low parity and lack of antenatal care influence birthweight (Loto et al 2004). which may be asymptomatic and undiagnosed. even when gestational weight gain is taken into account. while births among younger women have decreased. Maternal medcal condtons and hstory Maternal medical conditions (eg. In 2002 half of all births were to women 29 years of age or younger (New Zealand Health Information Service 2004). Urinary tract infections. but may be related to declining placental adequacy with age (Cogswell and Yip 1995). Gender and brth order Male infants are slightly heavier than females (Catalano and Kirwan 2001). Antenatal care Antenatal care has a positive effect on the outcome of pregnancy. hypertension) and episodic illness may restrict foetal growth. Older mothers (above 35 years) also have a higher incidence of low birthweight than women less than 35 years. There is a higher incidence of low birthweight infants born to mothers who have previously had a low birthweight infant or spontaneous abortion (Zhang and Klebanoff 2004). In New Zealand. are also implicated in some pre-term births. Peridontal disease has been linked with pre-term delivery.In practice. Maternal age Extremes of maternal age are associated with an increased risk of delivering a low birthweight infant (Ozalp et al 2003). Parity also influences birthweight: first-born infants tend to be slightly lighter than second and subsequent siblings (Robinson et al 2000). over the last 20 years the number of women giving birth over the age of 30 has increased.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . This may be because of a metabolic adjustment to assure a foetal weight that is proportional to maternal size. and monitoring of the progress of the pregnancy (including determination of pre-pregnancy weight. Early antenatal care can be instrumental in identifying risk factors and determining appropriate intervention or monitoring of the pregnancy. the reasons for this are not known. Regular contact with the LMC.

Multple brths
Multiple births are usually associated with higher rates of low birthweight, due to either or both growth restriction and pre-term birth. In studies conducted in a range of countries, the average birth weight of twins ranged from 2300 to 2600g, and for triplets the average weight was 1800g (Brown and Carlson 2000).

Socoeconomc status
The socioeconomic status of the mother is associated with birthweight. Rates of low birthweight infants are higher in areas with a higher level of socioeconomic deprivation (Neilsen Ltd 2003). Birthweight is also related to income level and accessibility to health care, education and housing (Kramer et al 2000). See section 4.2.

Maternal stressors
Maternal stressors are associated with low birthweight, both growth restriction and pre-term birth. These stressors are perceived stress, chronic and acute life-event stress, physical abuse, strenuous physical work, work-related stress, and pregnancy-related anxiety (Hobel and Culhane 2003).

Nutrton
Poor nutrition adversely affects birthweight because it affects pre-pregnancy BMI and nutritional status, and gestational weight gain (Hobel and Culhane 2003). See sections 2.2 and 4.2.

Alcohol
High alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with a cluster of symptoms classified as foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). One of the most consistent features of full FAS is intrauterine and post-natal growth retardation (O’Leary 2004). See section 4.1.2.

Cgarette smokng
Cigarette smoking (or exposure to environmental or second-hand tobacco smoke) is probably the most important single factor influencing the incidence of low birthweight infants in developed countries (Chiriboga 2003). The birthweight of infants born to mothers who smoke in pregnancy is, on average, 150–300 g less than the birthweight of those born to mothers who do not smoke. An important contributing factor to the higher incidence of low birthweight infants born to Ma is the high proportion of Ma women who smoke during ¯ori ¯ori pregnancy (Ministry of Health 2003d). See section 4.1.3.

Illct drugs
Most illicit drugs can cross the placenta and enter the foetal blood. The most serious consequences are pre-term birth and low birthweight, birth defects, growth restriction, small head size, impaired neurodevelopment, poor motor skills, learning disabilities, behavioural problems, increased risk of infection and sudden infant death syndrome (Spear et al 2002). Use of illicit drugs can increase the risk of miscarriage, pre-term labour and placental abruption. See section 4.1.4.

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

Caffene
Birthweight is reduced by high caffeine consumption, but this is unlikely to be of clinical importance except in women consuming more than 600 mg of caffeine per day (Bracken et al 2003). See section 4.1.7.

Medcatons
Any prescribed medications may cross the placenta and possibly affect the foetus. It is important that no medications be taken except under supervision of the LMC. See section 4.1.5. 

.

Practcal advce for energy ntake and weght gan for pregnant and breastfeedng women 

.. Pregnancy
• Pregnant women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. Pre-pregnancy height and weight should be measured and BMI recorded. Women who have a BMI of 19.8–26 kg/m2 before pregnancy should be encouraged to gain around 11.5–16 kg. See Table 4 for details of recommended weight gain for other BMI ranges. For women in the normal range of pre-pregnancy BMI, the recommended rate of gain is approximately 0.4 kg/week in the second and third trimesters. Dieting to lose weight is not recommended during pregnancy. Women who have a habitually low energy intake (< 8000 kJ [1900 kcal] per day) and enter pregnancy with a low BMI (< 20 kg/m2) should be referred to a registered dietitian for advice on achieving a nutritionally adequate diet and appropriate weight gain. Women with a current or previous history of an eating disorder or restrained eating may require support and advice from a registered dietitian about weight gain and energy intake in pregnancy. Factors affecting infant birthweight (eg, socioeconomic status, alcohol use and cigarette smoking) should be assessed, and appropriate advice and support offered (see relevant sections). Pregnant women should enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. The aim is to be physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not all days of the week. Regular, moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be maintained to help achieve the recommended weight gain.

• •

• • •

• 

.. Breastfeedng
• Breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1) and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Rapid weight loss (more than 0.5 kg per week) is not recommended while breastfeeding. Expect weight loss to be slow, and it may take up to 12 months before there is a return to pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding women should enjoy regular, moderate physical activity. The aim is to be physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not all days of the week. Regular, moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be maintained to help achieve return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

Part : Nutrents, Foods and Drnks 
. Proten 
.. Background
Proteins are made of amino acids. The body can synthesise some amino acids, whereas the indispensable (formerly known as essential) amino acids must be obtained from food. Proteins are necessary to build and repair tissue, for synthesising hormones, enzymes and antibodies, and for many other bodily functions. Adequate energy intake is required along with adequate dietary protein intake to allow protein and amino acids to be used for these functions. Protein requirements increase in pregnancy to support maternal tissue synthesis and foetal growth, principally in the third trimester. There seems to be a metabolic adaptation in pregnancy that enhances the efficiency of protein synthesis from the start of pregnancy (Duggleby and Jackson 2002). Sources of protein vary in their nutritional value, digestibility, efficiency of use and ratio of indispensable amino acids. Proteins from animal sources – such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and milk and milk products – tend to be of higher protein quality because they provide all nine indispensable amino acids. Proteins from plant-based sources may be limited in at least one indispensable amino acid and so are used less efficiently. The majority of women in New Zealand consume a diet that includes protein from a variety of sources (Russell et al 1999), so protein quality is unlikely to be a concern for most women. However, women who consume predominantly plant-based proteins, particularly from a less varied diet, may have a higher dietary requirement for protein in order to provide sufficient indispensable amino acid intake (see section 4.5.2). Low protein diets are associated with adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Protein intakes of less than 75 g per day have been associated with low birthweight and birth length (Institute of Medicine 2002), and intakes of less than 50 g per day with increased maternal morbidity (Wynn and Wynn 1991). However, there does not seem to be a straightforward relationship between maternal total protein intake and birthweight (Duggleby and Jackson 2002). High protein intakes (over 20 percent of total energy) may have adverse effects on birthweight and should be avoided (Rush et al 1980; Rush 1989). Ammonia and urea are produced in protein metabolism, and the foetus has limited ability to detoxify ammonia and excrete urea, particularly in the first trimester. In experimental animals, high protein intakes (25 percent of total energy) during the foetal period have been linked to marked increases in congenital abnormalities, thought to be related to high levels of ammonia (Gardner et al in press). It is not clear whether similar effects might be seen in humans. The relationship between breast milk protein content and maternal diet and nutritional status is inconclusive. Some studies have found lower levels of protein in the breast milk and colostrum of malnourished women, while others found similar levels (Emmett and Rogers 1997). Protein supplementation in the mother has resulted in small increases in milk protein in some studies (seen in well-nourished women when increasing protein from 8 to 20 percent of energy), while others found daily protein milk output did not change, but milk 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Reported mean intakes of protein in pregnant women range from 72 to 84 g per day (Benny et al 1991.75 g/kg/day). .1 g/kg/day) (NHMRC 2006). . McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993. as part of a balanced and varied diet will ensure adequate protein intakes. and for women aged 14–18 years the RDI is 58 g per day (1. For women aged 14–18 years the RDI is 63 g per day (1. bread-based dishes (4 percent) and pork (5 percent). eggs. New Zealand women in Dunedin who are breastfeeding have been found to have mean protein intakes of 78 g per day.. seafood. protein intake of over 1 g per kg per day conserves maternal lean body mass (Motil et al 1989. .volume increased and protein concentration dropped (Gopalan and Puri 1992). Proten ntakes n New Zealand New Zealand women aged 25–44 years have a median protein intake of 75 g per day. . Based on these data. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . bread (11 percent). which was 16 percent of total energy intake (Todd and Parnell 1994). or 15.. Practcal advce • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least two servings of lean meat. Therefore. Regular consumption of the above foods. poultry.02g/kg/day) (NHMRC 2006). Even though maternal dietary intake of protein has little effect on breastfeeding performance. it is not normally necessary to recommend that New Zealand pregnant and breastfeeding women increase their protein intake. In the second and third trimesters the RDI for protein for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 60 g per day (1. Watson and McDonald 1999). Recommended proten ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women In the first trimester of pregnancy there is no additional protein requirement. nuts and seeds or legumes per day. Sources of proten n the det The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the following principal sources of protein in the New Zealand diet for all New Zealand women: beef and veal (12 percent). The RDI for breastfeeding women over 19 years is 67 g per day (1. milk (11 percent). poultry (8 percent).6 percent of energy from protein (Watson and McDonald 1999). so the RDI for protein for pregnant women aged 19–50 years in the first trimester is 46 g per day (0.00 g/kg/day). the protein intake of New Zealand women of childbearing age appears to be sufficient to meet the additional requirements of pregnancy and breastfeeding. and wholegrain breads and cereals. fish and seafood (7 percent).. Motil et al 1996). The recommended percentage of total energy from protein for adults over 14 years of age is 14–25 percent (NHMRC 2006).1 g/kg/day). or 15 percent of energy from protein (Russell et al 1999)..

In later pregnancy there is a shift towards reduced insulin sensitivity. glucose tolerance is normal and insulin sensitivity is enhanced. providing just over half of the  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . hydrocolloids Source: FAO/WHO 1998. favouring maternal fat production and storage. trehalose Sorbitol. Women suspected of having very low energy and protein intakes should be referred to a registered dietitian for nutritional advice. protein powders or high protein beverages. The mother’s carbohydrate intake is important in pregnancy to ensure adequate glucose for maternal brain metabolism.• Vegetarian diets in New Zealand usually contain adequate protein. stachyose. amylose. hemicellulose. Carbohydrate and detary fibre . and for the foetus. fructose Sucrose.2). lactose. Note that polysaccharides are often called complex carbohydrates. In early pregnancy. oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (FAO and WHO 1998). should be discouraged during pregnancy. and consumption of protein supplements. Carbohydrates can be classified as sugars. pectins. The transfer of glucose from mother to foetus is thought to be about 17–26 g per day (Hay 1994). The foetus uses glucose as its primary energy source. modified starches Cellulose. mannitol Maltodextrins Raffinose.. amylopectin. mobilisation of maternal fat stores and maternal metabolism of fatty acids. as shown in Table 8. wholegrain breads and cereals. Blood glucose levels are maintained at a significantly higher level in order to meet the increasing requirements of the placenta and foetus. and milk substitutes daily to provide adequate protein (see section 4. The metabolism of carbohydrates (and lipids) alters throughout pregnancy to ensure that the foetus receives a continuous supply of each macronutrient despite maternal intake being intermittent (Butte 2000a). • • . Women choosing vegan diets must ensure they eat a range of legumes. but it can also metabolise ketone bodies.5. Background Carbohydrates provide the largest source of energy in the diet. fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) Resistant starch. galactose. High protein diets (over 20 percent of total energy). Table : Classficaton of the major detary carbohydrates Class Sugars Sub-group Monosaccharides Disaccharides Polyols Oligosaccharides Malto-oligosaccharides Other oligosaccharides Polysaccharides Starch Non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) Examples Glucose. nuts.

dried beans. where they stimulate the control of glucose and the proliferation of bacteria. adequate dietary fibre intake is particularly important during pregnancy to maintain regular bowel habits. certain cancers and diabetes. Carbohydrate requirement increases in breastfeeding to provide the energy for the synthesis of milk. Individuals vary in their capacity to metabolise glucose after eating. Increasing consumption of foods rich in these kinds of NSPs (such as wheat bran. which often results in constipation. irritable bowel syndrome and anal fissures. resistant starch and lignin (a non-carbohydrate) (NHMRC 2006). oats. The concentration of lactose in breast milk is about 74 g per litre and varies little. In pregnancy. including heart disease. have an impaired capacity to clear glucose from the blood – a process that is Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . They also have a laxative-promoting effect (Ministry of Health 2003a). Thus. Detary fibre Dietary fibre is found in all plant materials. diverticular disease. Low-carbohydrate diets are not recommended during breastfeeding. barley. haemorrhoids. High intakes of NSPs may also protect against gallstones (FAO/WHO 1998). High GI foods break down quickly during digestion and their blood glucose effect is fast. Low GI foods are digested slowly and cause a slow and sustained increase in blood glucose (Brand-Miller 2003). It can be difficult to consume adequate micronutrients if avoiding carbohydrate-containing foods.. the remainder of the energy requirements are provided as ketone bodies. They reduce the glycaemic index (see below) of carbohydrate foods. Water-insoluble NSPs are the most important contributors to faecal weight. Water-soluble NSPs are found in peas. resulting in bulky stools. and sufficient glucose may not be available for breast milk production. The definition used for the AI is that dietary fibre includes non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs). and may also be related to reduced risk for a number of diseases. .energy requirements of the foetus (Institute of Medicine 2002). for example. People with diabetes.. Lactose. but water is also reabsorbed to a greater extent. Soluble and viscous NSP components in diets may delay the absorption of sugars from food and improve metabolic control of glucose (Baghurst et al 1996). high progesterone levels affect smooth muscle tone and result in a decreased rate of gastrointestinal transit. is synthesised in the breast from glucose. NSP and resistant starch are fermented in the colon. An adequate intake of dietary fibre is essential for proper gut function and regular laxation. pasta and fruit. Glycaemc ndex The glycaemic index (GI) is a ranking system of carbohydrate-rich foods based on their effect on blood glucose levels. Low GI foods result in more colonic fermentation of carbohydrate and beneficial short-chain fatty acid production (Brand-Miller 2003). increase bile acid excretion and may reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. lentils. the principal carbohydrate in breast milk. This decreased rate has advantages for nutrient absorption because gut contents are in contact with sites of absorption for longer. cereals and vegetables) is an effective means of preventing and treating constipation. .

and 24 g per day for breastfeeding women (NHMRC 2006). It is also important to use GI in the context of meals and not individual foods. low energy density and/or low GI food sources should be chosen (eg. Breastfeeding women were consuming a mean of 22 g of dietary fibre per day (Todd and Parnell 1995). To meet the recommended percent total energy from carbohydrates and the AI for dietary fibre. The recommended number of 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper .5 percent of energy intake.. The GI is valuable in planning diets for people with diabetes. which is 45 g more than the RDA for non-pregnant. Pregnant women in New Zealand are likely to meet requirements for carbohydrate without specifically increasing their intake of breads and cereals. nine percent of women (aged 15 and over) consumed the recommended number of bread and cereal servings (Russell et al 1999). Dietary fibre intakes in the NNS97 and the regional studies of nutritional intakes refer to NSP intakes only. or 223 g of carbohydrate per day. The NNS97 found that women aged 25–44 years were consuming a median of 18 g of dietary fibre per day (Russell et al 1999). In 1997. There are no numeric recommendations for carbohydrate intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women in the NRVs. the US and Canadian recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate intake in pregnancy is 175 g per day. Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had mean intakes of 46 percent of energy as carbohydrate (Todd and Parnell 1994). The mean dietary fibre intake in pregnancy was 23–24 g per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). The RDA for carbohydrate intake for breastfeeding women is 210 g per day. Carbohydrate and detary fibre ntakes n New Zealand In the NNS97 (Russell et al 1999). which is 80 g more than the RDA for non-pregnant. Recommended carbohydrate and detary fibre ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The recommended percentage of total energy from carbohydrate for adults over 14 years of age is 45–65 percent (NHMRC 2006). The AI for dietary fibre intake for healthy pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 22 g per day. . The most recent New Zealand regional survey of diet in pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999) found that pregnant women had a mean carbohydrate intake that was 48. non-breastfeeding women. wholegrain breads and cereals. .under the control of the hormone insulin. The GI of foods needs to be evaluated in conjunction with other dietary constituents and recommendations. fruit and vegetables) to ensure the nutritional quality of the overall diet. However. where it is important to maintain blood glucose within the normal range. non-breastfeeding women (Institute of Medicine 2002).. and a usual daily median intake of 100 g of total sugar. New Zealand women aged 25–44 years consumed a median of 46 percent of energy as carbohydrate. The lower-than-recommended intake of breads and cereals among women may be related to misunderstandings about the energy density of carbohydrate foods. The GI has its limitations because high-fat foods have a low GI and may not confer nutritional benefits when consumed.

servings of breads and cereals is at least six per day. sucrose was the main contributor. soft drinks. Practcal advce • Pregnant women should eat at least six servings daily of breads and cereals (preferably wholegrain) and breastfeeding women at least seven servings. Table : Prncpal detary sources of carbohydrate for New Zealand women Carbohydrate source Age range Bread Beverages (non-alcoholic) Potatoes and ku ¯mara Sugar and sweets Fruit Source: Russell et al 1999. preferably wholegrain. potatoes and kumara. Principal sources of dietary fibre for all New Zealand women are bread. sugar and sweets. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least six servings of well-washed vegetables and fruit. cereals. and the vegetables and fruit food groups.. which is the same as for adults. . and therefore intake should be limited. Eating the recommended number of servings of these foods will provide adequate carbohydrate and dietary fibre. Water and trim milk should be consumed as the drinks of choice. fruit and legumes are good sources of dietary fibre. Percent contrbuton to carbohydrate ntake 19–24 years 18 18 8 8 7 25–44 years 21 17 9 10 9 Principal sources of total sugars for all New Zealand women in the NNS97 were beverages (non-alcoholic). If snacks are needed to meet increased energy and nutritional requirements. Of the total sugars. Breastfeeding women are advised to consume one extra serving of breads and cereals. Increase dietary fibre intake (along with increasing fluid intake and physical activity) if constipation is a problem. preferably wholegrain. ¯ . energy drinks and fruit drinks are a dietary source of sugar but supply very few other nutrients. and breakfast cereals (Russell et al 1999). vegetables. Remember that plant foods such as wholegrain breads. and fruit (Russell et al 1999). vegetables.. Sources of carbohydrate and detary fibre n the det The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the following principal sources of carbohydrate for all women in the New Zealand diet (see Table 9). • • • • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . to provide for extra energy and carbohydrate requirements (at least seven servings). Flavoured waters. choose foods from the breads and cereals.

There are two polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential in the diet because they cannot be synthesised by the body. salmon. It also provides the mechanism for absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A. when nerve tissue growth is maximal.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . blackcurrant oils Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) Source: Mann and Skeaff 2002. and use alpha-linolenic acid to make eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). nuts and seeds Fish oils. oily fish (eg. eel. Fatty acids can be classified into saturated. Pregnancy During early pregnancy the foetus uses fatty acids as food supplied by the mother. eel. canned tuna.. E and K. warehou and kahawai) Fish oils. Background Fat is a concentrated source of energy. which consist of three fatty acids and one glycerol unit. contributing to the high body fat in the human newborn (Herrera and Amusquivar 2000). . mackerel. Dietary fat is predominantly in the form of triglycerides. safflower. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) are necessary for normal brain growth and development in infants. Dietary sources of the two essential fatty acids and associated LCPUFAs are shown in Table 10. Individuals can use linoleic acid to make the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) arachidonic acid (AA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). flaxseed and walnut oils. mackerel. sardines. In later pregnancy the foetus makes its own fatty acids. sunflower and corn oils. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. oily fish (eg. Table 0: Detary sources of essental and long-chan polyunsaturated fatty acds (LCPUFAs) Omega- Essential fatty acids Linoleic acid Sources Soybean. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentanoic acid (DPA). green leafy vegetables. salmon. The polyunsaturated fatty acids can be classified as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. nuts and seeds Egg yolk. D.. canola. Fat . meats (particularly organ meats) Omega- Alpha-linolenic acid Sources Soybean.. especially in the last trimester. sardines. These are linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid. and carries flavour. warehou and kahawai) LCPUFAs Arachidonic acid (AA) Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) Evening primrose. canned tuna.

leading to the suggestion that supplementation with LCPUFAs or fish oil might be beneficial. Several factors may adversely affect the mother’s LCPUFA synthesis. Diets low in total energy and total fat lead to breast milk with a fatty acid composition that reflects maternal fat stores (Lonnerdal 1986). just over half the energy content of breast milk is fat (Riordan 2005). magnesium. will be more dependent on dietary intake to maintain an adequate supply.3. so the intake of LCPUFAs from food sources.5. The fatty acids in breast milk are sourced from maternal diet or maternal fat stores. LCPUFA metabolism is very sensitive to changes in maternal fat intake. A poor supply will affect neonatal growth (Herrera 2002b).4 on the appropriate intake levels and types of fish to consume. Breastfeedng Usually. including oily fish. Concerns have been expressed about increasing fish intake excessively because fish oils may contain high levels of vitamin A (see section 3. These positive effects have generated a great deal of interest in the role and requirements in pregnancy for LCPUFAs. and inflammation (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004).Almost half the high lipid content of the brain is LCPUFA. result in breast milk with a higher concentration of medium-chain fatty acids. Although milk with a lower fat concentration has a lower energy concentration. Vegetarians and vegans have a higher concentration of linoleic acid and a lower concentration of DHA in their breast milk than omnivores. Consumption of oily fish. Placental supply comes from the mother’s dietary intake or her fat stores. zinc. These include dietary intake of trans-fatty acids (Koletzko 1992). in pregnancy is associated with a reduced incidence of pre-term delivery and low birthweight (Olsen and Secher 2002).. Excess intake of LCPUFAs can increase the risk of oxidative damage (Herrera 2002b). alcohol consumption. Breast milk contains varying amounts of essential fatty acids and LCPUFAs depending on maternal intake. Omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy appears to have no effect on the incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia without oedema. because infants consume more milk if allowed to breastfeed on demand. calcium. However. but may increase the duration of pregnancy. riboflavin. potentially. but which are low in fat. Obese women with insulin resistance. Very low maternal fat intakes have been associated with lower breast milk fat content. with fat concentration reaching a plateau at a maternal intake of around 35 g fat per day. particularly vitamin E. .1). pregnancy weight gain and diet. and. is extremely unlikely to cause any problem. vitamins B6 and B12. Supplementation is not recommended. However. diets low in protein or high in sucrose. and the level of DHA Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Maternal diets containing sufficient energy. or synthesised by the breast. excess intake of LCPUFAs may deplete lipid antioxidant reserves. and thin women with little body fat. and therefore a rich supply of DHA. birthweight or both (Makrides and Gibson 2000). and some fish may be contaminated with heavy metals. there is no evidence to suggest that LCPUFAs from dietary sources have the same effect. this does not appear to limit infant energy intake. The foetus has a limited ability to make LCPUFAs so it is dependent on placental supply for both LCPUFAs and essential fatty acids (Herrera 2002a). the fat content of breast milk is related to maternal anthropometry. or about 20 percent of energy (Lonnerdal 1986). Pregnant women should follow the advice given in section 4. deficiencies of iron.

Lnolec acd 10 g/day 12 g/day alpha-lnolenc acd 1 g/day 1. non-breastfeeding adults. eel. selenium and folate. the same as that recommended for non-pregnant. trace elements and vitamins. especially iron. Maternal reserves of LCPUFAs accumulated in early pregnancy provide a significant addition to the maternal dietary intake of LCPUFAs of a breastfeeding woman (Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2004). mackerel. Hawkes et al 2002). There has been particular interest in the relationship between maternal diet and levels of DHA in breast milk because of its role in the development of the infant’s brain and retina..is higher in the breast milk of women who eat fish (Sanders 1999). The AI value for linoleic acid equates to 4–10 percent of total energy and 0. There is little evidence of benefit or harm as a result of omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy or breastfeeding. . warehou and kahawai). The AI for essential fatty acids and omega-3 LCPUFAs are shown in Table 11. salmon. nuts and seeds. increasing omega-3 LCPUFA consumption by eating foods rich in omega-3 will improve intakes of minerals. iodine. canola. and oils (soybean. Recommended fat ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The recommended intake of fat for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 20–35 percent of total energy. This means that DHA intake is important throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.4–1 percent for alpha-linolenic acid (NHMRC 2006).7g omega-3 LCPUFAs per day (Makrides and Gibson 2000). Supplementation with LCPUFAs during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended. Supplementation of breastfeeding women with oil rich in DHA results in a dose-dependent increase in breast milk DHA (Helland and Saarem 1998. based on supplement level up to 2.2 g/day Total omega- LCPUFA (DHA+EPA+DPA) 115 mg/day 145 mg/day  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Table : Adequate ntakes for essental fatty acds and omega- LCPUFAs AI Pregnant women aged 19–50 years Breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years Source: NHMRC 2006. In contrast to supplementation. Foods rich in omega-3 are green leafy vegetables. It appears that omega-3 LCPUFA supplementation as fish oil during pregnancy does not result in beneficial (or harmful) effects on cognitive development or the growth of infants (Makrides and Gibson 2002). This should be made up of no more than 10 percent of energy from saturated and trans-fatty acids (NHMRC 2006). oily fish (canned tuna. It is thought that breastfeeding women have increased requirements for LCPUFAs because their dietary intake has to meet both maternal requirements and the significant amount of DHA that is transferred into the milk (about 70–80 mg per day). flaxseed and walnut oils). which would not be the case if a LCPUFA supplement was used. sardines.

but this is likely to be less for women who do not eat fish or who consume a low-fat diet. steamed/baked/grilled fish 15 percent. 11 percent from monounsaturated fat and 4 percent from polyunsaturated fat. fried fish 10 percent. . battered fish 12 percent. The ratio of linoleic (omega-6) to alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) in the diet should be between 5:1 to 10:1 (FAO and WHO 1994). or served with. 1 g per day a-linolenic acid. potatoes and ku ¯mara (6 percent). . This survey identified that the fat intake of women aged 25–44 years was approximately in the proportion of 15 percent energy from saturated fat. equivalent to 35 percent of their energy intake (Russell et al 1999).. The UL for omega-3 LCPUFAs is 3 g per day.. Sources of fat n the det The NNS97 (Russell et al 1999) identified the principal sources of fat in the New Zealand diet for all New Zealand women as butter and margarine (16 percent). If a woman chooses to take a supplement.0 g per day because high intakes may impair the immune response and prolong bleeding time (NHMRC 2006). shellfish 6 percent and seafood 2 percent (Russell et al 1999). and 200 mg per day total DHA and EPA (Eyres 2000). Fat ntake n New Zealand The normal diet in New Zealand tends to have a higher fat intake than recommended. A New Zealand regional survey of dietary intake in pregnancy (Watson and McDonald 1999) found that pregnant women had a mean fat intake of 36 percent of total energy intake. The ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is estimated to be 15:1 in the New Zealand diet (Eyres 2000). and crisps). she should be advised not to exceed the UL for omega-3 LCPUFAs. Note that potatoes and ku ¯mara are identified as a source because they may be cooked in. cakes and muffins (7 percent). The dietary fat intake level in New Zealand is unlikely to limit the fat concentration of breast milk for most breastfeeding women. The upper level of intake (UL) for omega-3 LCPUFAs is 3.These values are based on the usual daily median intakes of populations with little apparent fatty acid deficiency. milk (6 percent). many supplements for pregnancy and breastfeeding contain fish oils that provide between 150 and 350 mg omega3 LCPUFAs per day. The estimated current dietary intake in New Zealand adults of linoleic acid is 15 g per day. Dunedin women who were breastfeeding have been found to have fat intakes of 37 percent of total energy intake (Todd and Parnell 1994). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . for women aged 25–44 years the percentage consuming fish in various forms at least once a week was canned fish 21 percent. The NNS97 found that women aged 25–44 years were consuming a median of 77 g of fat per day. mashed potatoes. fat (eg. pies and pastries (5 percent). roast potatoes and kùmara. Omega-3 LCPUFA supplements are not recommended. hot chips. In the NNS97. However. beef and veal (5 percent). and cheese (5 percent).

and oils (soybean. Diets providing less than 20 percent of energy from fat are not recommended. These foods and oils can replace foods with high saturated fat content. Grilling. and about 25 percent as ferritin iron stores. Reduce the intake of sausages and processed meat.. as explained below. tissue and many cell enzymes. • • • • • • • • • . particularly for breastfeeding women. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should aim to reach the recommended fat intake level of 20–35 percent of energy intake. muscle.. sardines. salmon. nuts and seeds. For many individuals this will mean a reduction in fat intake.. biscuits or pastries. Select lean meat and trim visible fat from meat. The total amount of omega-3 LCPUFAs in the diet should not exceed the UL of 3 g per day. boiling. Choose snacks based on vegetables and fruit. warehou and kahawai).3. Over 60 percent of iron is in haemoglobin. canola. Choose a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated margarine (fortified with vitamin D) instead of butter. because they may affect the fat content of breast milk. which can be high in fat. fried chicken and chips should be eaten only occasionally. Foods fortified with fish oil (such as milk or bread) or fish oils themselves may be a useful way to increase the omega-3 LCPUFA content of the diet. There are two types of iron in the diet: haem and non-haem iron. eel. flaxseed and walnut oils). and the portion size reduced to compensate for the higher fat and energy content. and if eating these meats grill rather than fry them. Haem iron from meat. Mnerals and trace elements . mainly in the liver (McPhail 2002). the liver. and remove skin from chicken after cooking.2). mackerel. Fried foods such as fried/battered fish.4 on the appropriate intake level and type of fish to consume. Iron Background Iron is present in haemoglobin as a carrier of oxygen in the blood. wholegrain breads and cereals and low-fat milk and milk products rather than potato crisps. and absorption is not significantly affected by other components of the diet. oily fish* (canned tuna.3. including listeriosis (see section 4. such as green leafy vegetables. Include more omega-3 LCPUFA-rich foods in the diet. steaming and microwaving food uses less fat in cooking. Non-haem iron from non-animal sources such * Pregnant women should follow the advice given in section 4. and these methods are preferred over frying.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . poultry and fish is typically 20 to 30 percent absorbed. These foods should always be served hot to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. especially of saturated fat.

Although first trimester iron requirements are lower than for the non-pregnant. normal haemoglobin Depleted iron stores based on serum ferritin < 12 µg/L. with absorption of 5 percent or less. Inhibitors of non-haem iron absorption include phytates (in legumes.as plant foods. Iron requirements in breastfeeding women are substantially lower than in pregnancy. For example. however. and even lower than those for non-pregnant. Absorption varies with physiological requirements. Timing of consumption of dietary factors can influence non-haem iron absorption. eating foods high in vitamin C (such as kiwifruit or orange juice) with a non-haem iron source (such as baked beans) will improve iron absorption. especially in the third trimester (et al 1994). Iron requirements for breastfeeding are based on the assumption of menstruation not being resumed until after six months of exclusive breastfeeding. the iron status of the individual and dietary composition. wholegrains and rice are still useful sources of iron.35 mg per litre (Institute of Medicine 2000b). particularly for vegetarians and vegans. grains and rice). polyphenols (in tea and coffee. non-breastfeeding women. Some of the additional requirement is offset by menstrual savings and increased maternal absorption of iron: non-haem iron absorption is known to increase in pregnancy. Table : Spectrum of ron deficency Stage 1 2 3 Definton Iron depletion Iron-deficient erythropoiesis Iron-deficiency anaemia Characterstcs Low iron stores based on a fall in serum ferritin from 12 to 20 µg/L. Iron-deficency anaema In adults. the spectrum of iron-deficiency anaemia can be characterised in terms of three stages: iron depletion. normal haemoglobin Anaemia based on depleted iron stores and low haemoglobin Source: MacPhail 2002. iron-deficient erythropoiesis and iron-deficiency anaemia (see Table 12). and vegetable proteins such as those in soybeans. Iron requirements in pregnancy need to provide for the growing foetus and increased maternal blood volume. fish or poultry. whereas tea consumed with iron-containing meals will reduce iron absorption. It seems likely that breastfeeding contributes to effective repletion of maternal iron stores. grains and red wine). The average iron content of breast milk is low at 0. transferrin saturation < 16%. iron medication and iron fortificants in food is less bioavailable. and appears to be relatively unaffected by maternal intakes. Foetal requirements tend to be met at the expense of the mother. requirements are markedly higher by the third trimester (Hallberg 2001). as long as the pre-pregnancy iron intake is maintained. nonbreastfeeding woman. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Dietary factors that promote absorption of non-haem iron are vitamin C and the presence of meat. Post-partum iron stores have been found to be higher in breastfeeding women compared with non-breastfeeding women (Kalkwarf and Harrast 1998). bran. Note that legumes.

in adolescent women. low socioeconomic status and poor educational attainment. poor concentration and increased risk of infection. because low iron status leads to increased risk of illness. Severe maternal iron deficiency can result in a sub-optimal iron supply to the foetus. The haemodilution of pregnancy (the plasma volume increases to a greater extent than red blood cell mass) means that slightly lower haemoglobin concentrations are normal at certain stages of pregnancy rather than indicating iron deficiency anaemia. infants of iron-deficient mothers are more likely themselves to have low iron stores and be susceptible to iron deficiency (Allen 1997). Iron deficiency is more likely with multiple gestation. and may not be reversible. High haemoglobin concentrations. Long-term consequences of maternal iron deficiency on the offspring include effects on cognition. motor development. There is no consensus on the cut-off points for haemoglobin for iron depletion and iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy. Regional laboratories have adopted cut-off points to use to assess iron status. However. activity and physical capacity. which can cause under-diagnosis of iron deficiency. Following birth. and lower birthweight (Scholl and Reilly 2000). mortality and heart failure (Scholl and Reilly 2000). behaviour. and appears to be common in pregnant women. which reflect inadequate plasma volume expansion.Diagnosing iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy from haemoglobin concentration can present some problems.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . which limits menstrual loss. Serum ferritin is a more sensitive and specific indicator of iron status because it reflects iron stores. Further. pre-term delivery. levels during infection will be misleadingly higher. perinatal mortality. Iron deficiency causes impaired red blood cell function and symptoms of weariness. Previous use of oral contraceptives. and in those with a short inter-pregnancy interval. increased tiredness and breast infections. When a woman is suspected of being iron deficient during pregnancy. with associated increased risks of foetal death. and treatment initiated and followed up. These can negatively impact on the mother’s ability to care for her infant and also may affect her breastfeeding. are associated with adverse pregnancy outcome so there is a U-shaped relationship between haemoglobin concentration and favourable pregnancy outcome. Anaemia increases the risk of post-partum haemorrhage. tends to result in a favourable iron status. Iron deficiency during breastfeeding should be treated. Risk factors for iron deficiency in pregnancy and breastfeeding include: • • • • • • • depleted iron stores before and during pregnancy post-partum anaemia post-partum haemorrhage vegetarianism chronic aspirin use (resulting in gastrointestinal lesions) low intake of factors that increase iron absorption (particularly vitamin C) high intake of factors that decrease absorption. infection. a woman who has been iron deficient during pregnancy should have further follow-up to check if she is still iron deficient. a full iron blood screen should be conducted.

for iron for pregnant women is no higher than for non-pregnant. McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993. UK 1991). nonbreastfeeding women. The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 9 mg per day. Zinc supplementation is recommended when > 30 mg of iron is given (Institute of Medicine 1990). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . A New Zealand review found insufficient evidence to justify routine iron supplementation for pregnant women (Hewson 1999). Absorption of iron medications is best on an empty stomach. Iron ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of iron by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 10. The recommendation for breastfeeding adolescent women (14–18 years) is slightly higher at 10 mg per day to allow for maternal growth needs (NHMRC 2006). There is some evidence that high-dose iron medications (> 60 mg per day and possibly less) can decrease plasma zinc levels (O’Brien et al 2000. Fung et al 1997). The clinical effects of haemochromatosis. identify those with haemochromatosis who might be at risk in later life of developing clinical effects (Watson and McDonald 1999). Fergon) appears to be less irritating (Yip 1996). or RNI (the equivalent of the Australia and New Zealand RDI). the RDI was established using estimates for the third trimester to build iron stores during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Although iron requirements in the first trimester are lower. Watson and McDonald 1999). which is half of the RDI of 18 mg for non-pregnant. Dawson et al 1989. Note that the UK reference nutrient intake. Low-dose iron medications are associated with fewer side effects. The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 45 mg per day. such as serum ferritin in pregnant women. but this may be associated with more side effects. For women taking more than 30 mg of iron per day. 15 mg of zinc and 2 mg of copper as supplements are recommended (Institute of Medicine 1990). heart and pancreas. Survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand indicate mean iron intakes between 11 and 14 mg per day (Benny et al 1991. Routine assessment of blood parameters. non-breastfeeding women. such as constipation. Iron medication should be given under supervision of the LMC. a recessively inherited disease that results in iron overload. unless anaemic and being treated with high-dose iron medications.3 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). and ferrous gluconate (eg. Iron is potentially toxic in excess. Iron medication in iron-replete women may increase the risk of gestational diabetes and increased oxidative stress (Scholl 2005). based on the belief that increased iron absorption along with adequate iron stores are sufficient to meet the needs of women eating a varied and balanced diet (Department of Health. Iron medications should not be given to women with haemochromatosis (Heath and Fairweather-Tait 2003). Recommended ron ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 27 mg per day. are not usually manifest or of concern in women of childbearing age because menstrual losses help to maintain iron balance. Some women experience side effects in response to iron medications. because of deposition of iron in the liver.Iron medication should only be given after iron-deficiency anaemia has been diagnosed.

The NNS97 identified that about 40 percent of women aged 15–44 years in New Zealand have an inadequate intake of iron. seafood. iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anaemia was among New Zealand Ma women. This is especially important for Ma women. which enhance iron absorption. Maori and Pacific ethnicities. poultry. and to choose wholegrain breads and cereals. • 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . The highest prevalence of low iron stores. 2–6 percent had iron deficiency. which included women from New Zealand European. nuts. All women should receive advice on dietary sources of iron and factors affecting iron absorption. A serving (30 g) of iron-fortified breakfast cereal will provide around 2–3 mg of iron and is a useful source if eaten with vitamin C-rich foods. The iron status in pregnant women should be monitored.8 mg iron per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). is important in identifying current or potential iron deficiency. and for ensuring adequate iron stores for subsequent pregnancies.5 percent has serum ferritin levels less than 10 micrograms per litre (Watson and McDonald 1999). 31. Practcal advce • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat two servings of lean meat. including iron stores and factors that affect them. Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to consume 11. seeds or legumes per day. seeds or legumes per day. The blood analyses in the NNS97 found that 4–7 percent of women aged 15–64 had low iron stores. nuts. and 1–6 percent had iron-deficiency anaemia. poultry. breakfast cereals (9 percent). beef and veal (11 percent). seafood. Using a cut-off of 100 g haemoglobin per litre for diagnosis of iron deficiency anaemia during pregnancy. and iron deficiency treated with iron medications. especially those aged ¯ori 15–24: approximately 12 percent of Ma women in this age group had iron deficiency and ¯ori 10 percent had iron-deficiency anaemia (Russell et al 1999). In a regional study of diet in pregnancy. All women should be encouraged to eat two servings of lean meat. Sources of ron n the det The main sources of iron for women aged 25–44 years in the New Zealand diet are bread (13 percent). Monitoring of iron status throughout pregnancy. eggs. and vegetables (8 percent) (Russell et al 1999).2 percent of all women in the study had iron deficiency anaemia. usually between 6–10 mg per 100 g. Of all women in the study. ¯ori All women should receive advice on dietary sources of iron and factors affecting iron absorption to avoid iron deficiency. 6. there was no significant difference between the serum ferritin ¯ and haemoglobin levels among the ethnic groups. eggs. This is especially important for women who had low iron stores before becoming pregnant. Some breakfast cereals are fortified with iron.

because tea reduces the absorption of non-haem iron. suggesting that there is no increased need for dietary calcium during pregnancy (Oliveri et al 2004). and only under supervision of the LMC. there is no relationship between the number of previous pregnancies and bone mineral density or fracture risk. Vegetarian and vegan women may find it difficult to meet their iron requirements. possibly by both a direct effect on growth and by prolonging gestation (Merialdi et al 2003). Calcum Background Calcium is required for the normal development and maintenance of the skeleton.. Iron supplementation may be necessary if iron-deficiency anaemia is diagnosed.2). nuts and seeds. vegetables and legumes. alkaline agents and some diuretics lower excretion. Calcium reserves in bone are affected by dietary calcium intake and calcium losses from the body. and phosphorus. fruit and fruit juices with meals to increase non-haem iron absorption. protein. fruit juices and vegetables) with meals.1). Calcium is laid down in bone reaching peak bone mass by 18–20 years of age. dried fruit. whatever the calcium status of the mother.5. zinc and Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . resulting in bone fracture in older people. fish. Most of the calcium is transferred to the foetus during the third trimester (Institute of Medicine 1997). and have vitamin C-rich foods and drinks (fruit. • • • • • • . vegetables and legumes. especially fortified breakfast cereals. Foetal requirements for calcium are significant but are met largely by increased maternal calcium absorption.• • Women who were iron deficient during pregnancy should have further follow-up with a blood test to check for ongoing iron deficiency. but must always be given in conjunction with appropriate dietary advice. Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking may adversely affect bone density (Goulding 2002). Moderate physical activity is associated with increasing bone mineral density. Sources of haem iron include lean red meat. mussels (cooked and served hot). Calcium status is also affected by vitamin D status (see section 3. caffeine and acidifying agents raise calcium losses. The majority of trials tended to show a protective effect of 1500–2000 mg per day of calcium supplementation on foetal growth. Maternal bone mass decreases in pregnancy. Eat vitamin C-containing foods such as vegetables. Meals containing haem iron increase the absorption of all types of iron. Improved pregnancy outcomes have been observed with supplementation of calcium. It is present in the bones and teeth to provide structure and strength. Avoid drinking tea with iron-containing meals. chicken and liver (limit liver intake to 100 g per week – see section 3. Sources of non-haem include wholegrain breads and cereals (especially fortified breakfast cereals). However. nuts and seeds. dried fruit. A low calcium intake has been associated with loss of bone mass (osteoporosis). Dietary sodium. especially women.5. They should consume wholegrain breads and cereals. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of hypertensive disorders and related problems has been studied. turnover and retention in early pregnancy.

However. the effects of calcium. particularly in the lumbar spine and femoral neck regions. and vegetables (5 percent) (Russell et al 1999). green leafy vegetables and dried fruit (Goulding 2002). The low oestrogen levels of breastfeeding amenorrhoea allow increased bone resorption. A breastfeeding woman transfers approximately 260 mg per day of calcium to breast milk (Goulding 2002).  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Decreased maternal excretion and increased maternal resorption of bone calcium are the most important contributors to levels of calcium in breast milk rather than increased dietary intake or increased absorption (Prentice 1994). zinc and magnesium supplementation may be limited to women at high risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension. Foods vary greatly in their calcium content. Milk has a particularly high calcium content. Good sources include nuts. A small number of breastfeeding women avoid milk and milk products because of concern about the allergic response of the infant (see section 4.6. The RDI for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 1300 mg per day. yoghurt and calcium-fortified soy beverages. and women with inadequate intakes of these minerals. dairy products (5 percent). bread (6 percent). ¯ori Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean calcium intake of 923 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). Calcum ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of calcium by women in New Zealand aged 25–44 years is about 714 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). canned fish with bones. and the bone loss is regained once oestrogens return to non-breastfeeding levels.magnesium (Ramakrishnan et al 1999). Recommended calcum ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19 years and over is 1000 mg per day.2) (Todd and Parnell 1995). beverages (non-alcoholic) (6 percent). Sources of calcum n the det The principal dietary sources of calcium for New Zealand women aged 25-44 years are milk (38 percent). 920 mg (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 938 mg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). the same as for non-pregnant. so supplementation is generally not necessary. Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand estimated mean intakes of 761 mg (Benny et al 1991). This last more recent study found marked differences with ethnicity (a lower intake in Ma and Pacific women) and socioeconomic status. non-breastfeeding women aged 19 years and over. The calcium concentration of human milk and increased bone resorption. The NNS97 found that a high proportion of Maori ¯ women across all age groups had inadequate intakes of calcium. Adolescent pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased requirement because their own bones are growing (NHMRC 2006). but other excellent sources include cheeses. cheese (11 percent). are independent of calcium intake.

gluconate or lactate – are absorbed equally well and as well absorbed as calcium from milk. such as calcium-fortified soy milk. low birthweight and other complications of pregnancy and delivery. Znc Background Zinc is essential for many functions. tofu. and even more so for pregnant and breastfeeding adolescents. Low zinc intakes in pregnancy together with vitamin A deficiency may contribute to increased risk of infection (Christian and West 1998). food preparation practices such as sprouting beans. Calcium supplements – including calcium chelated with amino acids. green leafy vegetables. a calcium supplement may be needed if calcium intake from food is inadequate. and wholegrain breads and cereals. Women who avoid milk and milk products need to maintain adequate intakes by eating non-dairy sources of calcium. immune and sensory function. Zinc requirements increase in pregnancy and breastfeeding. dried fruit. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . or calcium acetate. nuts. This is especially important during breastfeeding. chelated calcium-magnesium combination. who are still growing (Institute of Medicine 2000a). such as impaired development and premature delivery (Velie et al 1999. oyster shell calcium fortified with organic magnesium. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least three servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk. However. citrate. seeds and grains..Calcium supplements are only necessary for women with inadequate intake from food. antioxidant protection and membrane stabilisation. Reduction of the uterus and decreased maternal blood volume following childbirth releases about 30 mg of zinc (King and Turnlund 1989) to provide 1 mg per day for the first month of breastfeeding. reproduction. • • • . Adequate intake of calcium may be protective against hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. Calcium from calcium supplements containing calcium and magnesium carbonate. The level of zinc in milk decreases sharply during the first six months of breastfeeding (Krebs et al 1995) but is not altered by maternal supplementation. wholegrains and unrefined rice. carbonate. bran. Zinc deficiency in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of congenital abnormality (including neural tube defects). and leavening bread. alter phytate levels and allow greater zinc absorption (American Dietetic Association 2003). calcium phosphate dibasic. Keen et al 2003). The bioavailability of zinc in foods varies considerably and is lower in foods with high phytate content such as legumes. including growth and neurobehavioural development. canned fish (with bones). Breast milk concentrations of zinc appear to be protected from low maternal intake (Sian et al 2002). Food sources of calcium are preferable to supplements. or calcium carbonate fortified with vitamins and iron is less well absorbed (Whitney and Rolfes 1999). However. cheese and yoghurt every day to ensure an adequate intake of calcium.

Fung 1997) (see section 3. Sources of znc n the det The main sources of zinc for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are beef and veal (17 percent). Dawson et al 1989. 10 mg per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 10.4. Selenum Background Selenium is involved in a number of roles in the body. Regional survey data of pregnant women estimated a mean intake range of 9–11 mg per day (Benny et al 1991). seafood. a cardiomyopathy (NHMRC 2006). Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods.8 mg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). Znc ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of zinc by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 10. but there is no conclusive evidence of these protective effects (Thomson and Paterson 2003). The UL is 40 mg per day of zinc (NHMRC 2006). milk (9 percent).1 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean zinc intake of 11. and for women aged 19–50 years is 12 mg per day (NHMRC 2006). . Recommended znc ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–18 years is 10 mg per day.There is some evidence that high-dose iron supplementation can decrease plasma zinc levels (O’Brien et al 2000.8 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). eggs. vegetables (6 percent) and grains and pasta (6 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). Higher intakes of selenium may be protective against some cancers and cardiovascular disease by protecting against free radical damage. The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 11 mg per day. including antioxidant functions and thyroid hormone metabolism (Thomson and Paterson 2003). and for women aged 19–50 years is 11 mg per day.. bread (10 percent). poultry. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups. Zinc in excess may induce a secondary copper deficiency (Institute of Medicine 1990). nuts. The placenta actively transports selenium  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Selenium requirements increase in pregnancy to allow for growth of the foetus and increased selenoprotein synthesis and tissue accumulation. A relatively low intake of selenium (about 20 µg per day) is required to prevent Keshan disease. seeds or legumes (see Table 1). and New Zealand soils are low in selenium.1). especially wholegrain breads and cereals and lean meat. The amount of selenium in food reflects the soil in which it was grown.

In the South Island usually all wheat is grown locally. Selenium intakes appeared to increase between 1987/88. but it is not known whether maternal absorption of selenium increases in pregnancy. Survey data of pregnant women in the North Island of New Zealand suggest a mean intake of 66 µg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). Sources of selenum n the det The main sources of selenium for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are fish and seafood (31 percent). and for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 75 µg per day. sesame Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . In the south of the North Island about 30-35 percent of wheat used is Australian. so that region has higher selenium intakes. Organ meats. Although these intakes are lower than the RDI. further work needs to be done to demonstrate a health impact of a lower intake. Selenum ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of selenium by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 41 µg per day. Livestock are given selenium supplements to maintain fertility and prevent disease (Vannoort and Thomson 2005). The Total Diet Survey estimated the dietary selenium intakes for women aged 25 and over to be 49 µg per day (Vannoort and Thomson 2005). accounting for lower selenium intakes in that region (Thomson and Paterson 2003). given regional variations (Russell et al 1999). This was attributed to increased levels of selenium in wheat products and animal products. The UL is 400 µg per day (NHMRC 2006). Selenium intakes in New Zealand tend to vary regionally. bread (11 percent). pork (5 percent). Recommended selenum ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 65 µg per day. Data from NNS97 are insufficient to allow definitive conclusions on the adequacy of the selenium intake of New Zealanders because of difficulties in establishing food composition data for selenium.8 µg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). and eggs and egg dishes (5 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). is higher in selenium and is used for all bread making in the north of the North Island. especially Australian wheat. Twelve micrograms of selenium is secreted into breast milk per day. seafood. and 33 µg per day in women aged 15–18 (Russell et al 1999). and adverse effects have been described in those with dietary intakes as low as 900 µg per day (Thomson and Paterson 2003). Brazil nuts. and 1997/98. and the variation is correlated to selenium concentration in bread and other wheat products. Imported wheat.to the foetus (Hytten and Leitch 1971). poultry (9 percent). The margin between adequate selenium intake and toxicity is narrower than for many other trace elements. so it is appropriate to recommend a higher intake of selenium when breastfeeding (NHMRC 2006). Mean selenium intakes of breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to be 35.

The RDI for breastfeeding women is 360 mg per day for women aged 14–18 years. who have a higher risk of poor pregnancy outcome. cerebral palsy and mental retardation (Institute of Medicine 1997). Magnesium has been used in high intravenous doses in the treatment of eclampsia and severe pre-eclampsia. bread. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should regularly choose foods rich in selenium. non-breastfeeding women (NHMRC 2006). Serum magnesium levels are usually very constant. particularly Brazil nuts and sesame seeds. such as fish and seafood. The RDIs for breastfeeding women are the same as for non-pregnant. but decrease in pregnancy because of plasma volume expansion.seeds. have observed low intakes of magnesium (Doyle et al 1989). imported legumes and baked products made from imported flour are rich sources of selenium. Some intervention studies have found that magnesium supplementation increases birthweight (Merialdi et al 2003). nuts and seeds. Recommended magnesum ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnancy is 400 mg per day for women aged 14–18 years.. pregnancy-induced hypertension. foetal growth retardation. meat and poultry. eggs. 350 mg per day for women aged 19–30 years and 360 mg per day for women aged 31–50 years (NHMRC 2006). 310 mg per day for women aged 19–30 years. The use of selenium supplements is not recommended unless under specialised nutritional and medical advice. Moderate or marginal deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . • . but the results of studies on the effects of magnesium deficiency are not consistent (Fleet and Cashman 2001). cardiovascular disease and diabetes. milk and milk products. The concentration of magnesium in breast milk is not influenced by maternal dietary intake and there is no evidence to suggest requirements increase during breastfeeding. Magnesum Background Magnesium is found in the skeleton and soft tissues. Magnesium deficiency is very rare and usually only occurs in clinical settings. and is required for energy production and bone metabolism. Several surveys of women from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. There is no evidence for the use of magnesium for mild pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension (Fleet and Cashman 2001). and 320 mg per day for women aged 31–50 years. Poor magnesium status has been implicated in the incidence of pre-term labour (via uterine hyper-irritability).

resulting in low concentrations in locally grown foods. Mild to moderate iodine deficiency during pregnancy adversely affects both maternal and infant thyroid function and has implications for the mental development of the infant (Zimmermann and Delange 2004). but the iodine content in these tablets is extremely variable and can be high enough to be toxic. Iodine is efficiently absorbed from the intestine. nuts and shellfish. Pregnant women are identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the vulnerable groups for iodine deficiency disorders. .. but dietary goitrogens (present in vegetables such as cabbage. and mandatory fortification of food with iodine in New Zealand is currently under consideration.5. especially green vegetables and legumes (see Table 1). and in energy production. dwarfism. Sources of magnesum n the det Rich sources include green vegetables. Magnesium occurs in a wide range of foods. Most soils in New Zealand are low in iodine. In infants. Requirements for iodine increase in pregnancy and breastfeeding because the foetus and neonate have a high rate of growth. cretinism and mental retardation. and efficiency of absorption will adapt to a wide range of intakes. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups. iodine deficiency leads to goitre. Seaweed and kelp tablets are known to be rich sources of iodine. Severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy is associated with abortions. Iodine deficiency is an emerging public health issue in New Zealand (see below).3’-triiodothyronine (T3). legumes. speech and hearing defects. broccoli and sweet potatoes) and nitrates may interfere with the utilisation of absorbed iodine. A review of the iodine status of pregnant women in Europe identified the variability in quality and quantity of iodine Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . psychomotor. Iodine deficiency affects growth and development and reproductive function. and 260 mg per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993). hypothyroidism and impaired mental and physical development (Hetzel et al 1990). cauliflower. Iodne Background Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and its active form 3. Iodine levels in soil. irrigation and fertilisers affect iodine in food. Survey data of pregnant women in regional New Zealand suggest a mean intake range of 301–451 mg per day (Benny et al 1991). Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. spastic diplegia. increased perinatal and infant mortality. Unrefined cereals are a reasonable source (NHMRC 2006). The thyroid hormones play an important role in growth and development. children and adults.Magnesum ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of magnesium by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 275 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. stillbirth. health practitioners have a role in educating women about the importance of adequate iodine in the diet and encouraging consumption of iodine-containing foods. In the interim. congenital abnormalities.

The use of more ready-to-eat and pre-prepared foods (in which salt is not iodised) and the recommendation to use less added salt may have also contributed to a reduced iodine intake. eggs. some meat and cereals.47 µmol per day. seaweed and kelp) are rich sources. Urinary iodine excretion represents 75–90 percent of oral intake. Other sources of iodine include eggs. If an oral iodine preparation becomes available as a registered medicine. and for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years it is 270 µg per day (NHMRC 2006). and seameal custard. only one-third of the RDI. Currently. and grains (11 percent) (Vannoort and Thomson 2005). and is below the recommended intake. Ninety micrograms of iodine is transferred into breast milk per day (NHMRC 2006). The iodine content of breast milk correlates to maternal dietary iodine intake. so the pregnant women in the study would have had median intakes of around 60–70 µg per day. The Total Diet Survey estimated for women aged 25 years and older a mean dietary iodine intake of 60 µg per day (Vannoort and Thomson 2005). which increased the amount of iodine in milk and milk products. The decrease in iodine intake has several causes. meat (28 percent). have been replaced by non-iodine-containing cleaning products. fish.30 to 0. Iodised salt is readily available (Thomson 2004). The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14-18 years is 900 µg per day. In countries with iodine deficiency disorders. so seafoods (including seameal. Skeaff et al (in press) found that the mean breast milk iodine concentration is 22 µg per litre.in dietary supplements targeted at pregnant women (Zimmermann 2004). so milk and milk products are a useful source. and for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19-50 years it is 1100 µg per day (NHMRC 2006). Recent nutritional surveys of the New Zealand population suggest that iodine intake is falling. takeaways (12 percent). Iodine is secreted into milk. breast milk iodine concentrations are typically below 50 µg per litre. Recommended odne ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 220 µg per day. Marine animals and plants concentrate iodine from seawater. it may be appropriate to recommend this to pregnant or breastfeeding women. Dairy industry cleaning compounds called iodophors. In New Zealand. there are no oral iodine preparations available as registered medicines (the only products that have specific and appropriate quality control) in New Zealand. Sources of odne n the det The Total Diet Survey estimated that the main sources of iodine for New Zealand women aged 25 years and over are dairy foods (34 percent). When iodine intakes are adequate.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . chicken. Iodne ntake n New Zealand In a study of pregnant women. breast milk iodine concentrations range between 60 and 150 µg per litre (Dorea 2002). Thomson et al (2001) found median values for 24-hour urinary iodide excretion ranging from 0.

3.2).Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should regularly choose foods that are sources of iodine. The iodine supplements currently available in New Zealand are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Rock salts and other salts have negligible levels of iodine and are not recommended. seameal and alginates (food-thickening agents).3 mg per day and 1. also provide a good source of iodine. it may be appropriate to recommend this to pregnant or breastfeeding women. Seaweed and kelp supplements are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.1 and 3. generally. Recommended copper ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women There were insufficient data available to set an RDI for copper.2 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Note that sushi should only be eaten if it does not contain raw fish. If any supplements containing iodine are taken.4. Physical activity.3). Iodised salt should be used when salt is used for cooking and at the table. Copper ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of copper by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is about 1. The concentration of copper in breast milk declines naturally during the course of lactation and is not affected by maternal nutrition. copper deficiency is rare in humans and only found in people who have a genetic defect in copper metabolism. Copper deficiency in pregnancy in experimental animals is associated with foetal abnormality and miscarriage (Keen et al 2003). fish and seafood. Little is known about copper toxicity. cold meat or egg and is freshly prepared (see section 4.. Iron and zinc supplementation may compromise copper absorption and transfer (see sections 3. Copper Background Maternal serum has twice the non-pregnant concentration of copper. but. Copper requirements in pregnancy are based on copper accumulated in the foetus. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . and in the amniotic fluid and new maternal tissues.4. then the total daily intake of iodine from supplements must not exceed the UL of 900–1100 µg per day. However. Foods that contain seaweed. infection.5 mg per day for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years (NHMRC 2006). such as low-fat milk products. but the risks of excess copper intake from food and water sources are low (Institute of Medicine 2000a). The AI for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 1. eggs. suggesting a role for copper in pregnancy (Krachler and Rossipal 1999). hypertension and high intakes of fructose or zinc may influence copper levels. inflammation. • • • • . especially the liver. such as sushi. if an oral iodine preparation becomes available as a registered medicine. diabetes. so an AI based on median population intakes has been set.

including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. The AI for potassium for breastfeeding includes an allowance for potassium secreted in breast milk. seafood. For breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years the Al for potassium is 3200 mg (82 mmol) per day (NHMRC 2006). Copper is widely distributed in foods. The UL for sodium is 2300 mg (100 mmol) per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding (NHMRC 2006). clinical trials have not found any benefit from restricting sodium intake (Knuist et al 1998). However. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. The National Heart Foundation (1999) states that sodium intake could be reduced by about 1150 mg (50 mmol) by avoiding salty foods and not adding salt during cooking or at the table. Hence the AI is the same as for non-pregnant. non-breastfeeding women. Salt restriction has been recommended for pregnant women at risk of hypertension. National Heart Foundation 1999. non-breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years: 2800 mg (72 mmol) per day. The latest reviews of the evidence of the benefits of salt reduction recommend continued promotion of salt reduction (Thomson and Colls 1998. there is no evidence to suggest sodium requirements in pregnancy are higher than in non-pregnant.Sources of copper n the det The main sources of copper for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are non-alcoholic beverages (13 percent). 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . the same as for non-pregnant. A regional study in New Zealand indicated a mean sodium intake of 3473 mg (151 mmol) per day (Thomson and Colls 1998). The AI for sodium is 460–920 mg (20–40 mmol) per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years. non-breastfeeding women. Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were shown to have a mean sodium intake of 2635 mg (114 mmol) per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). Potassum. Although both vomiting in pregnancy and onset of sweating at a lower temperature (Clapp 1991) might increase sodium loss. Particularly rich sources are organ meats. potatoes and ku ¯mara (11 percent).. sodum. . These additional sodium needs of pregnancy are probably met by altered rates of excretion. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition 2003). vegetables (ten percent) and fruit (nine percent). Sodum Sodium increase is slightly more marked than potassium increase to maintain the increased plasma volume in pregnancy. although some studies have suggested that appetite for sodium increases in pregnancy (Brown and Toma 1986). sulphate and fluorde Potassum There is a small overall potassium increase in pregnancy. but this probably does not require an increased intake of potassium. cereals and grains. nuts and seeds. bread (12 percent).

sulphate requirements can be met from drinking water and eating protein foods rich in sulphur-containing amino acids. Fluoride concentrations in human milk are low. it is considered to be safe and effective. sulphate and fluorde • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. The UL for pregnant and breastfeeding women for all ages is 10 mg of fluoride per day (NHMRC 2006). such as acetaminophen (an antipyretic analgesic). There are. so no NRVs have been established for sulphate requirements. which can deplete sulphate. Use iodised salt when salt is used for cooking or added to food during the meal. fluoride toothpaste is the main source of fluoride. For women living in an area that does not have a fluoridated water supply. Sulphate Sulphate requirements are higher in pregnancy (Institute of Medicine 2004). and it is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women to drink fluoridated water. Practcal advce for potassum. Drinking fluoridated water is appropriate. the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste is the recommended alternative for preventing tooth decay. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. Sulphate intake usually exceeds requirements if protein intake is adequate. however. For those who live in areas without fluoridated water. The main source of fluoride is fluoridated water. non-breastfeeding women. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). sodum. However. Epidemiological studies show no evidence of an association between the consumption of fluoridated drinking water by mothers and increased risk of spontaneous abortion or congenital malformation (WHO 2002).The three-day meal plans (Appendices 7 and 8) use low-salt margarine to ensure the UL is not exceeded. The AI is 3 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006). such as methionine and cysteine. Fluorde Fluoride is transported across the placenta to the foetus and is incorporated into the developing deciduous teeth. Hence intakes will be below the UL. Magnesium sulphate is used therapeutically to prevent eclampsia.0 mg/litre.7–1. • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . The fluoridation rate allowed in the Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand is 0. and vary little with maternal intake. but the serum sulphate concentration of treated women doubles. some medications. There is no evidence that pregnant women have a higher fluoride requirement than non-pregnant.

integrity of the epithelium. and bone remodelling. Infants are born with low vitamin A status and the infant relies on an adequate supply in breast milk to prevent deficiency. Absorption of beta-carotene is increased with chopping. but only a small number have vitamin A activity. There are over 600 carotenoids. Recommended vtamn A ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for women aged 19–50 years for pregnancy is 800 µg REs per day and 1100 µg REs per day for breastfeeding. head circumference and length and gestational duration. The term vitamin A includes retinol (preformed vitamin A) from animal sources. The vitamin A content of breast milk is affected by maternal vitamin A status and intake in pregnancy and breastfeeding. embryological development. Birth defects in humans have been associated with the use of vitamin A analogues (retinoic acid) for the treatment of acne. A high retinol (preformed vitamin A) intake is also associated with teratogenicity in the first trimester and causes birth defects (West 2002). pureeing and cooking.. Fat-soluble vtamns . heart and thymus.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Carotenoids are pigments in plants.. B-cryptoxanthin and other provitamin A carotenoids. The UL for vitamin A as retinol for women aged 19–50 years is 3000 µg retinol (NHMRC 2006). Dietary vitamin A is expressed as retinol equivalents (RE). where 1 RE is equivalent to: • • • 1 µg of all-trans retinol 6 µg of all-trans beta-carotene 12 µg of a-carotene.2). and by the addition of a small amount of fat (American Dietetic Association 2003). and pro-vitamin A carotenoids (precursors of retinol) in oils. immune function.1. Vtamn A Background Vitamin A is involved in vision. Low status is associated with increased maternal mortality and decreased birthweight (Ramakrishnan et al 1999). and beta-carotene is the most active. Vitamin A deficiency can contribute to nutritional anaemia (West 2002). reproduction. Vitamin A status in pregnancy is positively correlated with birthweight. which may be especially relevant for pregnant adolescents. gene expression. Vitamin A requirements for breastfeeding women are greater than for pregnant women. These defects are manifested as craniofacial deformations (such as cleft lip and palate) and abnormalities of the central nervous system (not neural tube defects). Alcohol intake enhances the toxicity of vitamin A in pregnancy. vegetables and fruit. which may be a factor in the pathogenesis of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) (Leo and Lieber 1999) (see section 4. growth. High alcohol consumption is associated with reduced liver vitamin A stores partly because of reduced intake of vitamin A.

and yellow. • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . rabbit and liver (six percent). Animal feeding practices are different in New Zealand. Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a mean intake of 1316 µg REs per day (Todd and Parnell 1994).3. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. butter and margarine (15 percent). pumpkin. including listeriosis (see section 4. Liver should be well cooked. including liver pâté. red and orange-coloured vegetables and fruit ¯ha (carrots. and vitamin A in margarine. milk (seven percent). or to limit intake of liver because of high levels of vitamin A in liver resulting from the supplementation of dry animal food with vitamin A. is not recommended because of the risk of food-borne illness. and fruit (four percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). including fish oils. silverbeet or pu ¯) and yellow. Vtamn A ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of vitamin A by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand was reported to be 827 µg REs per day (Russell et al 1999). Liver may be consumed in amounts up to 100 g per week (Department of Health 1990). milk and other milk products. red and orange vegetables and fruit. The major source of vitamin A is retinol in animal products such as oily fish. Not more than a 100 g serving of liver should be eaten once a week during pregnancy because of the potentially toxic effects of ingesting large amounts of vitamin A. so vitamin A levels in liver are likely to be lower. egg yolk. In a number of European countries. It is generally agreed that there are no adverse effects of carotenoids from normal dietary levels of intake (West 2002). apricots. tamarillos). Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. Sources of vtamn A n the det The main sources of vitamin A for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are vegetables (27 percent). including dark-green leafy vegetables (spinach. pâté. Younger women (aged 15–24 years) have a lower usual daily median intake of vitamin A (725–698 µg REs per day). However. and other meats such as venison. It appears that occasional consumption of liver will have little risk of birth defects. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). does not exceed the UL because of the serious toxicity problem with vitamin A during pregnancy.If any nutritional supplements are taken. Concern has been expressed about high vitamin A intakes from eating liver during pregnancy. but chronic high intake of vitamin A may increase the risk (West 2002). tomatoes. The main sources of carotenoids are dark green leafy vegetables. 930 µg REs per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 1133 µg REs per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). pregnant women have been advised not to eat liver.2). care must be taken that the total daily intake from all supplements. Choose a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. served hot and eaten immediately after cooking. Survey data for pregnant women in regional New Zealand suggest a mean intake range of 1170–1920 µg REs per day (Benny et al 1991).

Supplements containing vitamin A are not recommended during pregnancy, unless under supervision of the LMC. Care must be taken that the total daily intake of vitamin A from any supplements taken, including fish oils, does not exceed the UL of 3000 µg REs per day. Women taking medication for the treatment of acne or other dermatological problems should check with their LMC to see whether the medication may contain large doses of vitamin A or its analogues. If so, discontinue its use prior to and during pregnancy.

• 

.. Vtamn D Background
The main function of vitamin D is to maintain serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations within the range that optimises bone health, by affecting the absorption of these minerals from the small intestine, their mobilisation from bone and calcium resorption by the kidney. Vitamin D circulates in the blood as 25-hydroxy-vitamin D and is converted in the kidneys to the biologically active form, 1.25-dihydroxy vitamin D. Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin, hence dietary requirements depend on exposure to sunlight. Women who are regularly exposed to sunlight are much less dependent on dietary sources of vitamin D. During the daylight savings months, when Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) levels are high or extreme, most people should be able to achieve adequate vitamin D levels through incidental outdoor ultra violet (UV) exposure outside peak UV times, ie, before 11am or after 4pm. During winter, particularly in southern New Zealand, where UVR levels are dramatically lower, vitamin D status may drop below adequate levels. Additional measures to achieve adequate vitamin D status may be required particularly for those at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Summer levels of vitamin D influence winter levels of vitamin D because body stores decline in winter (Sunsmart Partnership 2005). The time to achieve adequate vitamin D levels depends on skin type. Skin types 1–3 are fair-skinned, burn more easily and need less time for adequate vitamin D synthesis. Skin types 4–6 are darker-skinned, burn less easily and need more time for adequate vitamin D synthesis because the pigment in the skin reduces UV absorption. This may have implications for the vitamin D status of Ma ¯ori, Asian and Pacific communities, especially those living further south. People with skin types 1–3 may only need five minutes of exposure outside peak times (to the face, hands, and forearms), while people with skin types 4–6 will need more, for example, up to 20 minutes (Sunsmart Partnership 2005). Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is associated with decreased foetal growth via the effect on maternal calcium homeostasis (Brunvand et al 1996). Vitamin D deficiency in the infant results in inadequate mineralisation or demineralisation of the skeleton. Rickets occurs in New Zealand, and in Auckland was found to be more common among children of Indian ethnicity (Blok et al 2000). A recent paper based on the NNS97 indicated that, in New Zealanders aged 15 years and older, there is a low prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and a high prevalence of insufficiency, with a higher prevalence observed in Ma and Pacific ¯ori peoples than in New Zealand European/Other groups. However, the clinical significance of low serum vitamin D levels in these populations is yet to be determined (Rockell, Skeaff, Williams et al 2005). 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Groups of women and infants at risk of vitamin D deficiency include babies of vitamin D deficient mothers, women who are housebound or are in institutional care, women with darker skin types and those who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons (Cancer Society 2005). Low socioeconomic status, and low educational levels have also been identified as risk factors (Hollis and Wagner 2004). Children of these families are vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency postnatally due to low maternal levels and lifestyle, for example, nonexposure to sunlight, being covered by clothing, and not opening curtains. Those pregnant and breastfeeding women and children at risk of vitamin D deficiency are more dependent on dietary vitamin D. Health practitioners should identify women and children at risk of vitamin D deficiency. These at risk women should be advised that oily fish, eggs and vitamin D fortified margarine are rich sources of vitamin D. Mothers and babies with risk factors for vitamin D deficiency may need a 10µg tablet of vitamin D per day. Exposure to sunlight for vitamin D synthesis may carry risk of skin cancer if it is excessive (Sunsmart Partnership 2005). Deliberate exposure at peak UV times is not recommended as this increases the risk of skin cancer, eye damage, and photo aging. During the daylight saving months, when Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) levels are high or extreme, most people should be able to achieve adequate vitamin D levels through incidental outdoor Ultra Violet (UV) exposure outside peak UV times, ie, before 11 am or after 4pm. The Ultra Violet Index (UVI) is a measure of the intensity of UVR in our environment. The UVR intensity can reach levels as high as 14 or 15 during the New Zealand summer. The higher the number the greater the risk of skin and eye damaging exposure to UVR. When the UVI is low (1 or 2), no sun protection is required. When the UVI is higher than or equal to 3, sensible sun protection behaviour is warranted. When it is 6 and above sun protection is essential. It is important to encourage pregnant and breastfeeding women to adopt sun protective behaviour, including wearing a broad brimmed sunhat, sun protective clothing, for example sleeves and a collar, a broad spectrum, SPF30+ sunscreen and sunglasses that meet the Australian/NZ standard.

Recommended vtamn D ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women
The AI for pregnancy and breastfeeding is 5 µg of vitamin D per day, the same as for adults (NHMRC 2006). The UL for all women is 80 µg of vitamin D per day (NHMRC 2006).

Vtamn D ntake n New Zealand
As the predominant source of vitamin D is synthesis in the skin, it has been considered that there is little need to collect data about vitamin D intake. Most New Zealand women are likely to have adequate vitamin D status because of adequate exposure to UVR. However, there is increasing evidence that New Zealanders have less than optimal vitamin D status (NHMRC 2006).

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

Sources of vtamn D
Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish (such as canned tuna, sardines, herrings, mackerel, eel, warehou and salmon), vitamin D-fortified margarine, eggs, fish oils and liver (see section 3.5.1).

Practcal advce
• During the daylight savings months (between October and March inclusive), before 11am and after 4pm, expose face and arms to 5–20 minutes of UVR per day (not through glass). The amount of time depends on skin type. During the daylight savings months (between October and March inclusive), between 11 am and 4 pm, adopt sun protective behaviour including seeking shade, wearing a wide brimmed hat (minimum 7cm brim), sun protective clothing (eg sleeves, collar and fabric with a tight weave), sunglasses that meet the Australian/NZ standard, and a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen. Outside the daylight savings months (between April and September inclusive), make sure you spend some time in the sun to ensure adequate vitamin D synthesis. Women who have dark skin, who are housebound, or who do not expose themselves to sunlight for cultural or religious reasons should also include oily fish, eggs and vitamin D fortified margarine in their diet and their children’s diet. These women and their infants may need a 10 µg vitamin D tablet per day under supervision of the LMC.

• • 

.. Vtamn E
Background
Vitamin E is the name of a group of substances known as tocopherols. The different forms of tocopherols have different biological activity, and a-tocopherol is the most active. Vitamin E activity is expressed as a-tocopherol equivalents (a-TE). Vitamin E is a potent, fat-soluble antioxidant that protects against fat peroxidation and the resulting membrane damage. The major role is to protect polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and requirements are increased when PUFA intake is increased (NHMRC 2006). During pregnancy, blood levels of both fats and vitamin E increase. The placenta actively transports vitamin E to the foetus (Hytten and Leitch 1971). Overt vitamin E deficiency is rare, and there have been no reports of deficiency in pregnancy. It is suggested that vitamin E supplementation might be protective against pre-eclampsia (Chappell et al 2002) and pre-term delivery. There are no reports of naturally occurring vitamin E toxicity. There is no evidence of increased needs for vitamin E in pregnancy. The average amount of vitamin E transferred to breast milk per day is 4 mg of a-TE, so the recommendation for breastfeeding women is increased by this amount.

Recommended vtamn E ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women
The AI for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is the same as for non-pregnant women: 7 mg of a-TE per day (NHMRC 2006). The AI for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 11 mg of a-TE per day (NHMRC 2006). 

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper

Vtamn E ntake n New Zealand
The usual daily median intake of vitamin E by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 8.6 mg a-TE per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in the upper North Island estimated a mean intake of 9.3 mg a-TE per day (Watson and McDonald 1999).

Sources of vtamn E n the det
The main sources of vitamin E for New Zealand women aged 25–44 years are butter and margarine (12 percent); vegetables (11 percent); fruit (eight percent); potatoes and ku ¯mara (seven percent); beverages, cakes/muffins and sauces (all five percent); and fats and oils (four percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). Good sources of vitamin E are oils such as wheatgerm, sunflower, safflower, canola and olive oils (but not soybean and corn oils); margarine; nuts (especially almonds) and seeds; and ku ¯mara.

Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods, including
the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1), and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. 

.. Vtamn K
Background
Vitamin K is involved in maintaining normal blood coagulation. It is synthesised in the gut, with some dietary intake. Use of drugs that interfere with the metabolism of vitamin K, such as warfarin, can increase the risk of foetal haemorrhage, microencephaly and mental retardation. Anti-epileptic treatments can inhibit placental transport of vitamin K, which affects foetal synthesis of clotting factors and increases risk of haemorrhage. For this reason, pregnant women with epilepsy should seek medical advice to see if it is necessary to take a vitamin K supplement. The infant is at risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), which is also known as haemorrhagic disease of the newborn (HDN). The risk arises because placental transport of vitamin K is not efficient, concentration of clotting factors is low at birth, breast milk levels of vitamin K are low, and production of vitamin K from microflora in the infant gut is limited until full microbial colonisation is achieved. Administering a prophylactic dose of vitamin K to the infant shortly after delivery can effectively prevent VKDB, and this can be done with the consent of the mother/parent. Increased maternal dietary intake of vitamin K or vitamin K supplementation of the mother is not effective in the prevention of VKDB (Greer 1999).

Recommended vtamn K ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women
The AI for vitamin K for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 60 µg per day, the same as for non-pregnant, non-breastfeeding women.

Vtamn K ntake n New Zealand
There are no data on the dietary intake of vitamin K in New Zealand. The significance of dietary intake is difficult to assess because the microbial contribution to requirements may be significant. Microbial synthesis of vitamin K may be compromised by the use of broad-

Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper 

The term DFE is a new term.5 µg of a folic acid tablet taken on an empty stomach 0. Foods fortified with folic acid will include folic acid in the ingredient list on the label. • • . Folate requirements are expressed as dietary folate equivalents (DFEs).6 µg of folic acid from fortified food. The contribution of microbial vitamin K synthesis has not been accurately determined but is often assumed to be about equal to the dietary intake. This will have a positive effect on the intake of many micronutrients. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. such as anti-epilepsy preparations and vitamin K antagonists. Sources of vtamn K n the det Good dietary sources of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables. Previously. RNA and proteins. making dietary sources more important when on antibiotic treatment. Folate Background Folate is a generic term applied to dietary sources of related compounds that are involved in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids. The total folate value on the nutrition information panel includes the naturally occurring folate in the food plus the added folic acid. Health practitioners need to identify any use of medication. or as a tablet taken with meals (NHMRC 2006). making dietary sources more important when on antibiotic treatment. The term DFE includes folate from food.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Folate has a role in recycling homocysteine to methionine.spectrum antibiotic treatment (particularly if it is required for a significant period). servings of vegetables a day. including green leafy vegetables. and ideally six. including vitamin K. folate intake was measured in micrograms (µg) of total folate and did not take into account the different bioavailability of folate from food and folic acid. oils (particularly soybean and canola oils). Microbial synthesis of vitamin K may be compromised by the use of broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment (particularly if it is required for a significant period). and hence the synthesis of DNA. Note that 1 µg of DFEs equals: • • • 1 µg of folate from food 0. that might affect vitamin K metabolism and requirements. It is more bioavailable and more stable than folate from food.. Water-soluble vtamns . wheat bran and margarine. adopted in New Zealand when the NRVs were adopted in 2006. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat at least three. found in supplements and fortified foods and beverages. and folic acid.

It is unknown whether consuming folic acid tablets reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. However. at the recommended folic acid tablet dose. however. There may also be some resistance to taking ‘medication’ in pregnancy (Bower and Werler 2001). particularly as vitamin B12 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Some drugs increase the risk of NTDs. and this may be in part because they are folate antagonists (Pimentel 2000). Folate has a role in reducing and maintaining the level of homocysteine in the blood at an optimal level. but the benefit of high doses of folic acid has not been studied in non-diabetic obese women. NTDs are the most common congenital abnormality. although this figure does not include termination data. low birthweight and pre-term delivery.Requirements for folate increase considerably in pregnancy and breastfeeding because of increased nucleotide synthesis and cell division. cervical dysplasia and atherosclerosis in the mother. so these women are unlikely to have been taking the folic acid tablet. Folic acid tablets are recommended in New Zealand for women planning pregnancy. which means there may be one to two terminations for NTDs for every affected live birth. Raised levels of homocysteine in pregnancy are associated with complications and adverse outcomes of pregnancy.000 births in 2001 (New Zealand Health Information Service 2005a. The risk of NTDs is higher in infants of obese women. The prevalence of NTDs at birth (live and stillbirths) in New Zealand was 3. Note. and result from failure of the neural tube to close effectively between 22 and 27 days post-conception. Alzheimer’s disease and some types of cancer (Wu and Wu 2002). insulin. megaloblastic anaemia of pregnancy. Low serum and red-cell folate levels in early pregnancy are known to be teratogenic (Stover 2004). infertility treatment (such as clomiphene). NTDs and other congenital abnormalities. These drugs include anti-epileptic or anti-convulsant drugs (such as carbamazepine and valproate). Low levels are associated with neural tube defects (NTDs) in the infant. that not all NTDs are related to low-serum and red-cell folate. High folate intake can mask anaemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. New Zealand Health Information Service 2005b). Up to 12 percent of second trimester terminations are for NTDs in the foetus. There is a well-established protective effect of folic acid supplementation of 400 µg daily that significantly reduces the prevalence of NTDs. depression.4 per 10. Increased intake of folic acid around conception has been shown to overcome abnormalities (Boddie et al 2000) in the folate metabolic pathways of genetically predisposed women. placental abruption and spontaneous pregnancy loss (Holmes 2003. the masking effect does not appear to be a significant issue.(ACOG 2005). delaying diagnosis of B12 deficiency and increasing the risk of permanent neurological damage to the foetus (Shane and Stokstad 1983). Hyperhomocysteinaemia (high circulating homocysteine) is associated with cardiovascular disease. Vollset et al 2000). These may include an increased risk of pre-eclampsia. stroke. vitamin A analogues (used to treat acne) and some anti-tumour agents. About half of pregnancies in New Zealand – as in many other developed countries – are unplanned (Schader and Corwin 1999).

take an 800 µg (0. retinoids and etretinate. but the only folic acid tablets currently available as registered medicines in New Zealand contain 800 µg (0. Supplementing with 400 µg (0. Women at high risk are those who: • • • • • have previously had an NTD-affected pregnancy have a family history of NTD. As vitamin B12 deficiency is usually not a problem in women of childbearing age. This does not include the folic acid tablet recommended to reduce the risk of NTDs (NHMRC 2006). 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . and not to rely on dietary supplements for their folic acid. women at high risk of a pregnancy affected by NTD can safely take the 5 mg tablet. Good maternal folate status is particularly relevant for women who may become pregnant again soon after giving birth.8mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before. and 12 weeks after.deficiency anaemia tends to affect predominantly older people and is usually not a problem in women of childbearing age (unless they are vegan). and folc acd supplementaton The RDI for intake of DFEs for pregnant women aged 14–50 years for the entire duration of their pregnancy is 600 µg DFEs per day. valproate. vitamin A analogues used to treat acne and some anti-tumor agents. The UL for folic acid for pregnant women aged 19–50 years is 1000 µg per day. so it is important that women have adequate folate intakes to protect their own health.8 mg (800 µg) tablets or 5 mg (5000 µg) tablets. clomiphene. or whose partner is affected by NTD are on insulin treatment for diabetes are taking medications known to affect folate metabolism such as anti-convulsants. for example. Women at high risk of a pregnancy affected by NTDs are recommended to take a 5000 µg (5 mg) folic acid tablet for the same period of time. The UL for folic acid for pregnant women aged 14–18 years is 800 µg per day. conception to reduce the risk of NTDs. infertility treatment. Women are recommended to take only folic acid tablets that are registered as medicines to reduce the ocurrence and re-ocurrence of NTDs. or who are in the early stages of pregnancy. The folic acid tablets recommended are registered medicines which are available over the counter from pharmacies. either as 0. or whose partner had a family history are affected by NTD themselves. carbemazepine. Breast milk folate concentrations are protected from relatively low maternal intake at the expense of maternal status (Mackey and Picciano 1999).4mg) is sufficient to reduce the risk of NTDs. Recommended detary folate equvalents (DFEs) ntakes for pregnant women. This value is based on limited evidence of the effects on people with vitamin B12 deficiency.8 mg) or 5000 µg (5 mg). The Ministry of Health recommends that all women planning pregnancy. The average amount of folate in breast milk is estimated to be 85 µg per litre per day (Institute of Medicine 1998).

and 71 percent ate two or more servings of fruit per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). we can assume that the folate intake figures are likely to be similar to what the DFE intake figure would be. A 250 ml glass of folic acid-fortified fruit juice will provide about 100 µg total folate. Of women aged 25–44 years. Breastfeeding women were found to have a mean total folate intake of 311 µg per day (Todd and Parnell 1995). The main folic acid-fortified foods available are breakfast cereals and fruit juice. and 12 weeks after. Note that folate sources indicate sources of total folate and not DFE. 71 percent ate three or more servings per day of vegetables and 49 percent ate two or more servings of fruit (Russell et al 1999). Pregnant women should be encouraged to meet the RDI for DFE intake for their entire pregnancy as well as taking the folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before. Sources of folate n the det Sources of folate for women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand are vegetables (18 percent). The UL for folic acid for breastfeeding women aged 14–18 years is 800 µg per day. Note that folate intake figures in these surveys indicate total folate intake and not DFE intake. However we can assume that the folate sources are likely to be similar to what the DFE sources would be. Recommended detary folate equvalents (DFEs) ntakes for breastfeedng women The RDI for DFEs for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 500 µg DFEs per day. after these surveys were conducted. 50 percent of women aged 19–24 years ate three or more servings of vegetables per day. because voluntary folic acid fortification was only permitted in New Zealand in 1996. breads (13 percent). and for breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years is 1000 µg per day. Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand indicated that seven percent of pregnant women ate three or more servings of vegetables per day. However. which takes into account the different bioavailability between dietary folate and folic acid. 190 µg of total folate per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and 275 µg of total folate per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). because voluntary folic acid fortification was only permitted in New Zealand in 1996. On average. Women aged 15–18 consume a lower percentage ¯ from vegetables (15 percent) and a higher percentage from bread (15 percent). A serving (30 g) of folic acid-fortified breakfast cereal will provide between 70 and 100 µg total folate. fruit (9 percent).Note that the UL is for folic acid and does not include dietary folate. a serving of vegetable supplies 40 µg total folate. The mandatory fortification of food with folic acid is being considered. and 48 percent ate two or more servings of fruit. conception. Health practitioners have a role in educating women about the importance of folate in the diet and encouraging the Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Folate ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of total folate by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 213 µg per day (Russell et al 1999). Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand estimated a mean intake range of 203–257 µg of total folate per day (Benny et al 1991). In the NNS97. and potatoes and kumara (7 percent) (Russell et al 1999). breakfast cereals (11 percent). and fruit 8 µg total folate.

rboflavn. and 1. preeclampsia and sudden infant death syndrome (Ortega et al 2004). and deficiency of riboflavin may be a risk factor for pre-eclampsia (Wacker et al 2000). and liver (limit to 100 g per week – see section 3. The requirement for riboflavin increases in pregnancy to support growth and the increase in energy utilisation..4 mg of thiamin per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006). Thiamin deficiency is most likely to be associated with heavy alcohol use in conjunction with limited food consumption. The RDI is 1. or who are in the early stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women who restrict bread and cereal consumption are potentially at risk of deficiency. and is associated with an increased risk of malformations such as cleft lip and palate.5. so the recommended intake of niacin is expressed as niacin equivalents (NEs): 1 NE is equal to 1 mg of niacin or  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. At least six servings of well-washed vegetables and fruit should be eaten per day. Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an NTD should take a 5000 µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception. Thiamin is preferentially transported by the placenta to the foetus at maternal expense (Schenker et al 1990). citrus fruit. The requirement for thiamin during breastfeeding is also increased to cover the energy cost of milk production and the thiamin transferred to breast milk. Rboflavn is a co-enzyme involved in a range of metabolic processes. Thiamin deficiency in pregnancy affects foetal growth. and breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. aiming for 10 servings per day. Nacn functions as a co-enzyme or co-substrate in energy metabolism. wholegrain breads. The amino acid tryptophan is converted to niacin through a biochemical pathway. Choose folate-rich foods: leafy green vegetables. and advising on the use of folic acid tablets. protein and fat. Women are recommended to take only folic acid tablets that are registered as medicines and not to rely on dietary supplements for their folic acid.consumption of foods containing folate and folic acid. Thamn.6 mg riboflavin per day for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years (NHMRC 2006). as well as consuming foods rich in folate and foods fortified with folic acid. Practcal advce • Women planning pregnancy. The RDI is 1. legumes.4 mg riboflavin per day for pregnant women aged 14–50 years. should take an 800 µg (0. Maternal intake of riboflavin may be associated with foetal growth (Badart-Smook et al 1997). • • • • .1). folic acid-fortified foods such as breakfast cereal and juice. The requirement for thiamin in pregnancy increases to support maternal and foetal growth and to provide for the increased energy utilisation (Institute of Medicine 1998). nacn and pantothenc acd Background Thamn (vtamn B) is a co-enzyme involved in energy supply and the metabolism of carbohydrate.8mg) folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception. Requirements are further increased in breastfeeding to cover the riboflavin transferred to breast milk.

nacn and pantothenc acd n New Zealand Table : Reported ntakes of thamn. rboflavn.5–2.1 2.3 1. which are involved in fatty acid metabolism.4 1. The higher requirement for niacin in pregnancy is related to increased energy use and growth.7 1.60 mg of tryptophan.5–18. There is little evidence that requirements for pantothenic acid increase in pregnancy.7 - - - - 3.9 15. Intakes of thamn. Pantothenc acd is a component of co-enzyme A and phosphopantotheine.6 Nacn mg (NE) 30 Pantothenc acd (mg) - 1–1. The higher niacin requirement for breastfeeding is based on the niacin transferred to breast milk and the energy expenditure involved in milk production. rboflavn.2 Rboflavn (mg) 1. Breast milk levels reflect maternal intake. It is widely distributed in foods.5 17 16. nacn and pantothenc acd n some studes of New Zealand dets Vtamn Usual daily median intake for women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand (Russell et al 1999) Mean intake range of pregnant women in Wellington (Benny et al 1991) Mean intake of pregnant women in Dunedin (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) Mean intake of pregnant women in the upper North Island (Watson and McDonald 1999) Usual daily median intake for women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand (LINZ Research Unit 1992) Mean intake of breastfeeding women in Dunedin (Todd and Parnell 1994) Thamn mg 1.3 1.6 - - 15 - Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . Low maternal blood concentrations have been reported for women with low dietary intake. The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 18 mg NEs per day. The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 17 mg NEs per day (NHMRC 2006). the requirement for pantothenic acid increases during lactation to cover the amount present in breast milk. non-breastfeeding women). and deficiency is unusual. and 6 mg per day for breastfeeding women (NHMRC 2006). The AI for pregnancy for women aged 14–50 years is 5 mg per day (the same as for non-pregnant. However.

and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. particularly in the third trimester. and is usually only seen with deficiencies of other vitamins or with protein deficiency (Truswell and Milne 2002). the evidence to support this treatment is inconclusive and there are concerns for safety because the doses used are close to the upper recommended limit (see section 4. milk.1). placenta and uterus. Serum concentrations of vitamin B6 fall throughout pregnancy to a greater degree than can be accounted for by haemodilution. vegetables. Vtamn B (pyrdoxne) Background Vitamin B6 comprises six compounds: pyridoxal. This appears to be because of active transfer to the foetus. non-alcoholic beverages. However. The vitamin B6 level of breast milk depends on maternal dietary intake. Intakes greater than 200 mg per day have been associated with neuropathy (Truswell and Milne 2002). High intakes of vitamin B6 can be toxic. poultry. nacn and pantothenc acd for New Zealand women aged – years Vtamn Thiamin Riboflavin Niacin Pantothenic acid Source: Russell et al 1999 Detary sources Bread. particularly  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . beef and veal. breakfast cereals. bread. dairy products. Infants who have a low intake of vitamin B6 grow more slowly (Chang and Kirksey 2002) and may be at risk of infant convulsions and greater irritability in the first week after birth (Mallory Boylan et al 2002). and their respective phosphates. rboflavn. milk and pork ¯ Milk. It may also prevent dental caries and protect the placenta (Mahomed and Gulmezoglu 2000). pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is essential for the developing nervous system and affects brain development and cognitive function. The principal active form is pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP). vegetables Bread.Table : Detary sources of thamn.. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups. Women who avoid milk and milk products may need to choose other sources of riboflavin (see Table 14). a co-enzyme involved in the metabolism of amino acids and glycogen. potatoes and kumara. Pregnant and breastfeeding women who have low dietary intake of vitamin B6 may compromise the vitamin B6 status of their infant. The additional requirement for breastfeeding is higher than that suggested by the amount transferred to breast milk. • . pyridoxamine. especially for wholegrain breads and cereals (see Table 1). fish/seafood Widely distributed in foods (NHMRC 2006) Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods.4. Deficiency of B6 on its own is rare. beef and veal. The effect of high doses of B6 on the developing foetus. Vitamin B6 has been used therapeutically for treating women with severe nausea and vomiting. breakfast cereals.

The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 2. The first symptoms of infant vitamin B12 deficiency are repetitive vomiting. Vtamn B (Cobalamn) Background Vitamin B12 is essential for normal blood and neurological function.3 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. Infant tolerance to deficiency of vitamin B12 is much lower than adult tolerance.. but the evidence for vitamin B6 deficiency being associated with post-natal depression is insubstantial (Institute of Medicine 1998). Hence. vegetables (9 percent). Pregnant women in a regional survey had a mean daily intake of 1. transfer to the foetus may be compromised even though the mother shows no overt signs of deficiency. and the foetus is dependent on maternal dietary intake (Allen 2002). severe constipation and tremor Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . such as severe megaloblastic anaemia and neurological damage. Absorption of vitamin B12 may increase in pregnancy. Breastfed infants may suffer serious consequences.0 mg of vitamin B6 per day. The UL is 40 mg of vitamin B6 as pyridoxine per day for women aged 14–18 years. problems with swallowing. Breastfeeding women in Dunedin had a usual daily mean intake of 1. . and 50 mg of vitamin B6 as pyridoxine per day for women aged 19–50 years (NHMRC 2006). drowsiness.6 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). is not known. The placenta preferentially transports newly absorbed vitamin B12 from the mother’s dietary intake. Women who are vegan or with a low intake of vitamin B12 may compromise the foetal vitamin B12 levels even if they have become vegan only recently (Specker et al 1990). Sources of vtamn B n the det The main sources of vitamin B6 for New Zealand women aged 25–44 are fruit (15 percent). including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). potatoes and ku ¯mara (10 percent).neural function. Vtamn B ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of vitamin B6 by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 1. Vitamin B6 has also been used to treat post-natal depression. The placenta then concentrates the vitamin B12 and transfers it to the foetus. even if their vitamin B12 deficient mothers are not showing clinical signs of deficiency. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. if dietary intake is inadequate.9 mg of vitamin B6 per day. Recommended vtamn B ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 1. rather than stored vitamin B12 from the mother’s liver. breakfast cereals (13 percent).8 mg at seven months’ gestation (Watson and McDonald 1999). and milk and poultry (both 7 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999).

death can be swift. milk and milk products). such as soy milk and textured vegetable protein (TVP).8 µg per day. Vegetarian women may need to be advised that milk and milk products are a source of vitamin B12. such as seaweed and spirulina. The consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency for the breastfed infant of a deficient mother are therefore serious and can be life-threatening.(particularly involving tongue. which have not been shown to have vitamin B12 activity in the human body. and 3. milk (18 percent). but the bioavailability of this B12 is uncertain (Martens et al 2002).3 µg of B12 per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). plant foods contaminated with soil. These vitamin B12 analogues may even increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency through competition.4 µg per day.8–5. eggs. often contain vitamin B12 analogues. Plant sources. to allow for the increased foetal and placental needs. Bacteria in the human intestine synthesise B12. whereas vegans might consume extremely low intakes (less than 1 µg per day) (Stabler and Allen 2004).3 µg of vitamin B12 per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993). The main dietary sources of vitamin B12 for New Zealand women aged 35–44 years are beef and veal (17 percent).6 µg per day. ultimately. Individuals who consume animal produce are likely to have an intake of 3–32 µg per day. These values are higher than the RDI for nonpregnant. and for the amount secreted into breast milk (NHMRC 2006). Adolescents have a lower usual daily median intake.5 µg per day (Russell et al 1999). Progression to unconsciousness. Vegan women need to take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. insects or other substances containing B12.3 µg per day (Benny et al 1991). The RDI for breastfeeding women aged 14–50 years is 2. Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand estimated a mean intake range of vitamin B12 of 2. coma and. The only dietary sources for vegans are plant foods exposed to vitamin B12 producing bacteria. or foods fortified with vitamin B12.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Low maternal intake or absorption of vitamin B12 may result in infants with signs of clinical deficiency. non-breastfeeding women of 2. Vtamn B ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of vitamin B12 by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 3. The vitamin B12 level of breastmilk reflects maternal vitamin B12 status. Recommended vtamn B ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 2. and egg and egg dishes (6 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). fish and seafood (16 percent). pharynx and legs). Breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to have a mean intake of 4. Sources of vtamn B n the det Vitamin B12 is synthesised by bacteria and found in animal products (eg. face. meat.

The AI for biotin for breastfeeding women is 35 µg per day because about 5 µg is transferred to breast milk per day (NHMRC 2006). does not have vitamin B12 activity in the human body. Botn Background Biotin is required for cellular function and growth.Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. which is 5 µg more than that set for non-pregnant.. Recommended botn ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The AI for biotin for pregnant women aged 14–50 years is 30 µg per day.9 µg (LINZ Research Unit 1992). They may also require supplementation with vitamin B12. non-breastfeeding women to account for additional body size. • • • . such as milk and milk products. The usual median daily intake of biotin by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 26. such as soy milk and TVP products. Biotin is present in a wide range of foods so deficiency is rare. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. such as seaweed and spirulina. Biotin deficiency is rare. It is involved in the recycling of Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . neurotransmitters and carnitine. . There is emerging evidence that biotin deficiency may be teratogenic (Zempleni and Mock 2000). Some studies have shown low plasma levels of biotin in pregnancy. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). Botn ntake n New Zealand and sources of botn n the det Biotin intake was not assessed in the NNS97. There is also some microbial synthesis of biotin in the colon. This is very important for breastfeeding because of infant needs. Vegan women should eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 and are likely to need vitamin B12 supplementation. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). Vitamin B12 in plant sources. and the foetus depends on maternal dietary intake (Mantagos et al 1998).. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. It is essential for foetal development. eggs and foods fortified with B12. Vtamn C Background Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant and a co-factor for enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. but it is not clear whether this is related to low intake or haemodilution. Vegetarian women should eat foods that contain vitamin B12.

vitamin E and also enhances absorption of iron (Hallberg et al 1987). pre-term delivery (Ramakrishnan et al 1999) and infection (Casanueva et al 1993). The RDI for vitamin C for breastfeeding is 80 mg for women aged 14–18 years. There is no UL for vitamin C. Intakes higher than 100 mg per day result in increased urinary excretion of the vitamin (Byerley and Kirksey 1985). regular use of aspirin (Cogswell et al 2003). Dried fruit is not a good source of vitamin ¯ C (Ministry of Health 2003a). Plasma vitamin C concentration is lower in pregnancy because of increased blood volume and the effect of haemodilution. There is no evidence for maternal toxicity with high vitamin C intakes. passive smoking. spinach. Vitamin C deficiency is associated with premature rupture of the placental membranes (waters breaking) (Siega-Riz et al 2003). Recommended vtamn C ntakes for pregnant and breastfeedng women The RDI for vitamin C for pregnancy is 55 mg for women aged 14–18 years. broccoli.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . use of recreational drugs. The vitamin C concentration in breast milk appears to be affected by maternal intakes of up to 100 mg per day. and 152 mg per day (Watson and McDonald 1999). Therefore. oranges). kiwifruit. Sources of vtamn C n the det The principal sources of vitamin C in the New Zealand diet are vegetables and non-alcoholic beverages (both 26 percent). fruit (23 percent). and exposure to environmental pollution. Vtamn C ntake n New Zealand The usual daily median intake of vitamin C by women aged 25–44 years in New Zealand is 92 mg per day (Russell et al 1999). and 85 mg for women aged 19–50 years per day (NHMRC 2006). Intervention studies have shown reduced incidence of pre-eclampsia in at-risk women supplemented with vitamin C and vitamin E (Chappell et al 2002). 90 mg per day (McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993). New Zealand breastfeeding women in Dunedin were found to have a mean usual vitamin C intake of 140 mg per day (Todd and Parnell 1994). use of significant quantities of alcohol. Regional survey data of pregnant women in New Zealand suggest a mean intake range for vitamin C of 164–217 mg per day (Benny et al 1991). but expert bodies suggest that intakes of no more than 1000 mg per day are prudent (NHMRC 2006). Requirements for vitamin C are increased with cigarette smoking. kumara) and fruit (strawberries. and 60 mg for women aged 19–50 years per day. Foods rich in vitamin C include vegetables (potatoes. and potatoes and ku ¯mara (13 percent) (LINZ Research Unit 1999). and adverse effects have been reported only after taking doses over 3 g per day (Institute of Medicine 2000b). additional dietary vitamin C is recommended for pregnant women exposed to these factors.

Intake of choline in New Zealand has not been measured. Low periconceptual intake of choline may contribute to the risk of NTDs (Shaw et al 2004). The requirements for pregnancy and breastfeeding are derived from the adult requirements. Water requirements are slightly increased in pregnancy because of expanding extracellular fluid space.. It seems to be important during embryo development. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). The adult AI is based on experimental studies (NHMRC 2006). and the amount transferred to breast milk. high levels of activity. the needs of the foetus. with additional allowance made for foetal and placental accumulation of choline. which is around 700 ml per day above basic needs. such as microwaving and steaming. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  .Practcal advce • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat least six servings of well-washed vegetables and fruit per day. Transport of choline to the foetus occurs at maternal expense. . For both pregnant and breastfeeding women. The colour of the urine can be used as an approximate guide to sufficiency of fluid intake: the urine should be clear to light yellow (Riordan 2005). both intracellular and extracellular. Drnks Background A significant proportion of the weight gained in pregnancy is water. (Remember that liver intake should be limited to no more than 100 g per week. and should follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. Cooking methods should be used that minimise loss of vitamin C. and the amniotic fluid. particularly of the nervous system (Zeisel 2000). the United States intake has been estimated at around 600–1000 g per day (Bowman and Russell 2001). high environmental temperatures or high humidity will increase sweat losses and increase fluid requirements. . Inadequate fluid intake may contribute to constipation. The AI is 440 mg and 550 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19–50 years. A substantial amount (125 mg per day) is secreted in breast milk. Choline is widely distributed and abundant in foods. mostly as phosphatidylcholine in membranes.) Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of nutritious foods. and fat and cholesterol transport and metabolism. Particularly rich sources are meat. respectively (NHMRC 2006). methyl metabolism. neurotransmission. eggs and liver. Cholne Choline is required for cell membranes. The extra requirement for breastfeeding is to replace the fluid lost in breast milk. However.

3.6 litres (about 10 cups) as drinks. • • • • 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . It is assumed that water from food provides about a fifth of the total water intake. which includes approximately 2. Water and trim milk are the recommended drinks. Recommendatons The AI for pregnant women is 3. including drinking water (NHMRC 2006). Increase fluid intake (particularly if constipation is a problem). as should those high in sugar (see section 2.1).1. The carbonation in carbonated drinks is not harmful for pregnant and breastfeeding women. all beverages contribute equally to the fluid intake (Institute of Medicine 2004). such as tyrosine and taurine. Water and trim milk should be consumed as the drinks of choice.6). particularly as changed social behaviour (such as ceasing work with scheduled refreshment breaks) may affect fluid intake. However. Herbal teas should be selected with caution (see section 4.4). levels of activity and the water content of food. but some of the other ingredients in these drinks need consideration because they may be unsuitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Pregnant women should drink potable water during pregnancy to avoid the risk of waterborne illnesses (see section 4. Colour of urine can be used as an approximate guide to indicate sufficiency. Many of the energy or smart drinks also contain amino acids.3 litres (or about nine cups) as drinks. a Brazilian berry extract.1 litres of total water (from food and fluids). Food is an important source of fluid. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should aim for nine cups of drinks per day when pregnant and 10 cups when breastfeeding. a useful guide is to have a drink with each breastfeed. For breastfeeding women. which will include about 2. coffee (63 percent) and tea (61 percent). Caffeine and guarana. Flud sources n New Zealand The NNS97 showed that women aged 25–44 years regularly drink (at least three times a week) water (83 percent).1.5 litres of total water. Caffeinated drinks should be limited (see section 4.6).It is useful to remind breastfeeding women that their fluid intake should be increased. fruit juices and powdered drinks is higher in women aged 15–19 years (Russell et al 1999). This is only a guide because actual amounts depend on environmental temperatures and humidity. are commonly added to energy or smart drinks (see section 4. including drinking water (NHMRC 2006). The consumption of carbonated drinks.7). and B vitamins at levels higher than are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. especially vegetables and fruit.1. The AI for breastfeeding women is 3.

6). and therefore their intake should be limited. so such drinks are not recommended (see section 4. Flavoured waters. energy drinks and fruit drinks are a dietary source of sugar. Energy and smart drinks may contain high levels of caffeine and other ingredients not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.1. no more than six cups of tea or instant coffee (see section 4.• • Caffeinated beverages should be limited.1. • • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . if available. carbonated drinks. and used with caution (see section 4. for example.7 for more detailed information).1. and supply very few other nutrients. Herbal teas should be checked for safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding.6). Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink fluoridated water.

and late pregnancy is associated with reduced placental and foetal growth (Clapp et al 2000).Part : Other Issues . stretching. premature rupture of the membranes. such as decreased birthweight. Women who are physically active before pregnancy and who continue to be so to the same extent during pregnancy tend to weigh less. and low-impact aerobics and certain physical activity programmes. improved mood and sleep patterns (Kramer 2002). These include more appropriate weight gain. Moderate physical activity (20 minutes 3–5 times a week) begun in early pregnancy enhances placental development and foetal growth. Lfestyle . Concerns about the potential adverse effects of physical activity during pregnancy. Moderate aerobic and strength-conditioning activities are considered safe and to be encouraged in pregnancy (Jarski and Trippett 1990). gymnastics and walking or running on rocky or unstable ground should be avoided to reduce the risk of falling. Pregnant women are advised to seek advice before starting a physical activity programme. biking. Lumbers 2002). less need for induction. and maintain placental and foetal tissue perfusion and oxygenation and nutrient delivery (Clapp 2000). In late  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . leg cramps. yoga. water-skiing. multiple pregnancy. Physiological adaptations to physical activity during pregnancy appear to protect the foetus. such as sprinting and squash. placenta previa. bleeding. Some conditions may limit physical activity during pregnancy. Physcal actvty Background There are benefits for women who are physically active during pregnancy. high blood pressure and constipation (SPARC 2003). gain less weight. A common guide is that when being physically active. pre-term delivery and hyperthermia. are not supported by the most recent scientific reviews. and a lower requirement for pain relief and operative delivery (Brown 2002. These conditions include high blood pressure during pregnancy. Physical activity may also assist in the management of back ache. injury and foetal trauma (Davies et al 2003). a weak cervix. Women athletes should discuss their training during pregnancy with their LMC. and medical conditions that limit cardiovascular reserve (SPARC 2003). swimming. a history of miscarriages. Contact sports. The aim should be to maintain a good fitness level during pregnancy rather than reach peak fitness or train for competitive events (Davies et al 2003). trampolining. weight loss after pregnancy. premature labour in this or previous pregnancies. High-intensity physical activities. and deliver slightly smaller infants than controls (but not low birthweight) (Clapp et al 2000). Physical activity seems to be a safe therapy for assisting with the control of gestational diabetes (Artal 2003). Examples of safe activities are walking. whereas physical activity begun in mid. faster progression of labour.. anaemia. pregnant women should have enough breath to hold a conversation. may result in respiratory stress (hyperventilation) or hyperthermia and are best avoided.

• • • • • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . If active before becoming pregnant. Exercising pregnant and breastfeeding women should take frequent breaks. Regular. bleeding and pre-term labour. If pregnant women experience vaginal bleeding or fluid discharge. Practcal advce for pregnant and breastfeedng women • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should enjoy regular. If breast refusal is associated with maternal physical activity. Lactic acid passes into breast milk. fainting. A good support bra is recommended (not an underwire bra. the mother can be advised to feed the infant before physical activity and then an hour or more after physical activity. The aim is to be physically active at moderate intensity for a total of 30 minutes on most if not all days of the week. pregnant women should have enough breath to hold a conversation. A common guide is that when being physically active. dizziness. moderate physical activity. activities that involve lying on the back are best avoided because the weight of the uterus can impede venous return to the heart and may cause postural hypotension (Coad and Dunstall 2001). moderate physical activity and an appropriate energy intake should be maintained to help achieve the recommended weight gain. breathlessness or exhaustion. as this may put undue pressure on the breasts and could lead to blocked milk ducts). and avoid exercising in extremely hot weather. consume adequate food and drinks. pain. but not increased beyond that level. Breastfeeding women who were assigned to a physical activity programme increased their physical fitness without any ill effects on the nursing relationship or milk volume being reported (Lovelady et al 2000). Pelvic floor exercises are also beneficial in the post-natal period. so should be avoided unless women are acclimatised to high altitude. Breastfeeding women should be encouraged to be physically active to enhance their wellbeing. such as dehydration. persistent contractions or a reduction in the baby’s movements.pregnancy. the level of physical activity enjoyed before becoming pregnant can be maintained. but its presence did not cause any change in infant acceptance of breast milk collected one hour after moderate physical activity (Wright et al 2002). Scuba diving should be avoided because it may affect the oxygen supply to the baby. they should stop the activity and seek advice from their LMC urgently. Physical activity should not cause severe discomfort. but is present only transiently. Physical activity at high altitude may be associated with pregnancy complications. along with loose clothing and supportive footwear. Breastfeeding mothers may need to consider the timing of breastfeeding and physical activity if breast refusal is a factor. Infants can detect lactic acid in breast milk (Wallace et al 1992).

but with longer duration. poor adaptability. so foetal blood alcohol levels will be similar to maternal levels and may affect foetal neurological and behavioural development (de la Monte and Wands 2002. such as hyperactivity. and hence the development of the foetus. inappropriate or immature behaviour. hence the outcome is not identical for every alcohol-exposed child. seizures. FAS is the most readily recognisable outcome of maternal alcohol drinking during pregnancy. Duester et al 1996). however. poor impulse control. poor abstract thinking. It is characterised by intrauterine and post-natal growth restriction. The term foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes the full range of effects of alcohol that may be observed in exposed children (O’Malley and Nanson 2002. There is no known safe level for alcohol consumption at any stage during pregnancy. The effects may include some or all of the following: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). inability to learn from previous experience. There is some evidence suggesting that measurable changes in behaviour may be observed in children exposed before birth to as little as one standard drink of alcohol per week (Sood et al 2001) and in cognitive skills with one drink per day (Goldschmidt et al 1996. poor judgement. other dietary factors. These infants may therefore be difficult to breastfeed successfully. and speech. Alcohol Background Pregnancy Alcohol readily crosses the placenta. hyperphagia and diaphoresis (American Academy of Pediatrics 1998). excessive crying. characteristic unusual facial features. disturbed sleep patterns. Proposals that antioxidant supplementation might improve the adverse effects of alcohol on foetal development (Cohen-Kerem and Koren 2003) should be treated with caution. It is now recognised. The effects of foetal alcohol exposure depend on the dose and timing of the exposure. inability to foresee consequences. as  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2004). Infants with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) may also show some of these symptoms. language and other communication problems (Koren et al 2003). and adverse effects on brain function leading to mental retardation and/or behavioural disturbances (O’Leary 2004. weak sucking. learning difficulties. Infants exposed to alcohol in utero may show symptoms after birth consistent with withdrawal. The lower limit of alcohol intake at which it is certain that no adverse effect will occur for any developing foetus has not as yet been determined. Alcohol may interfere with metabolic processes (Lieber 2000) and the supply of nutrients from the mother to the foetus. Recent studies in experimental animals have suggested that prenatal alcohol exposure may predispose an infant to developing insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance (Chen et al 2004. that there is a range of effects.. tremors. Koren et al 2003). and on the genetic makeup of the mother and the child (Molotkov et al 2002). less readily classifiable as a defined syndrome and therefore more difficult to diagnose. Full FAS is generally only encountered in instances where the foetus has been exposed to regular heavy alcohol intake or to very high alcohol concentrations at critical periods in development. Chen and Nyomba 2004).. Kodituwakku et al 2001). that may be found in children who have been exposed to lower amounts of alcohol in utero. and may not exist. lack of organisation. irritability.

Reduction of milk quality could occur through the metabolic effects of high alcohol intake. An example from this chart is that if a 61 kg woman consumes one standard drink.5 g alcohol per kg of maternal body weight may be harmful to the infant. because of the provision of energy from alcohol. The level of alcohol in the maternal blood. absorption and metabolism of vitamins. Infants exposed to alcohol have been reported to be more wakeful in the hours following breastfeeding (Mennella and Gerrish 1998) and have a reduced milk intake because the mother produces less milk (Mennella 2001). High alcohol intake also interferes with the absorption and metabolism of micronutrients (Lieber 2000). A chart from which you can estimate the time it takes for all alcohol to be cleared from breast milk has been published (Ho et al 2001). peaks after about 30 to 60 minutes. However. which may also affect the growth and development of the foetus.antioxidants may affect vitamin A metabolism and could cause vitamin A deficiency (Kitson et al 2001). Women who consume moderate to high intakes have alcohol levels higher in breast milk than in blood. A recent study in New Zealand has indicated that women drinking alcohol heavily prior to or during pregnancy had lower intakes of a range of nutrients (Parackal 2003). the rate of disappearance of the alcohol (in maternal blood and breast milk) varies considerably between women. There are also concerns about a negative effect on the motor development of infants resulting from maternal alcohol intake during breastfeeding. such as inhibition of protein synthesis. Women consuming relatively large amounts of alcohol may consume an inadequate amount of food. potentially because of a possible reduction in milk volume. or a poor diet possibly as a result of economic or lifestyle constraints associated with heavy alcohol drinking or alcoholism. Alcohol imparts a detectable odour to breast milk. Exposure to alcohol through breast milk may also influence the infant’s response to alcohol at a later age (Menella 2001). Breastfeeding Results from the limited research on the effect of alcohol intake during breastfeeding consistently show a decrease in lactational performance. The resulting cumulative effect of a decrease in milk intake by the infant could affect infant body weight. Alcohol will return from breast milk in the breast to the blood supply over time without emptying the breasts. Milk quantity and quality may be compromised and the milk ejection reflex reduced if a mother drinks alcohol regularly or heavily (Liston 1998). One drink taken just before nursing has the net effect of decreasing milk intake by almost one-fourth during the nursing session (Schulte 1995). and breast milk. which apparently stimulates sucking initially. Emptying the breast (pumping and dumping) does not increase the speed of elimination of alcohol either from breast milk or from the body as a whole (Schulte 1995). At lower alcohol intakes. growth and development. it will take one hour and 40 minutes until the zero level in milk is reached. fluctuations in glucose levels. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . although the evidence is inconclusive (Little et al 2002). changes in lipid metabolism. blood and breast milk levels are similar (Giglia and Binns in press). and a reduced intake. The Institute of Medicine (1991) concluded that an excess of 0.

A review of studies reported that there was a reduced intake of alcohol during pregnancy and after birth a return to pre-pregnancy levels. A recent survey has indicated that about half the New Zealand population (women and men over 18 years of age) are either constrained (23 percent) or uninhibited (29 percent) binge drinkers (ALAC 2004). Where a pregnant woman is unable to abstain from drinking alcohol. Regional surveys of pregnant women in New Zealand during the 1990s (Parackal 2003. or exposed to the possibility of. If the baby has been exposed to alcohol in utero as well. breastfeeding may be difficult to establish. Recommendatons for pregnant and breastfeedng women Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. and at risk of nutritional deficiency. such as being dropped or rolled on during sleep. Parackal 2003. The consequences of alcohol exposure for the child and family should be clearly explained to pregnant women and to women contemplating. all possible assistance should be offered by the LMC. Ministry of Health 2004b. but those Maori and Pacific women who did drink were more likely to be binge drinkers (Caswell 1980. Ma ¯ori and Pacific women were less likely to drink than New Zealand European women. the immediate concern should be the safety of the baby. or at least to higher intakes than during pregnancy (Giglia and Binns in press). and the nutritional and developmental status of the baby should be closely monitored. A survey of midwives showed that 80 percent of adolescents reported consuming some alcohol during pregnancy (Parackal 2003). Watson and McDonald 1999. The mother and baby should be provided with as much assistance as possible. If a mother is consuming alcohol during breastfeeding. Habgood et al 2001. In the 2004 New Zealand Health Behaviours survey. The belief that stout is a good iron source for the nursing mother is also unfounded. The message from health practitioners to abstain from alcohol during the entire pregnancy is unequivocal and should be promoted by all health practitioners. LMCs need to reassure these women while maintaining a strong advocacy for abstinence (Koren et al 2003). Rates of consumption were similar throughout all regions of New Zealand (Parackal 2003). The baby may be at risk of accidents.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . ALAC 2004). Some women may have drunk some alcohol before realising that they were pregnant. Rates of heavy and binge drinking appeared to be around 10– 12 percent of the pregnant population (Parackal 2003. Watson and McDonald 1999). Counsell et al 1994) indicated that 30–40 percent of women consumed some alcohol during pregnancy. pregnancy. Adolescents are particularly at risk of drinking in pregnancy. including referral to appropriate agencies. ¯ Watson and McDonald 1999). Intakes of alcohol in pregnancy in New Zealand Recent surveys of usual rates of drinking in New Zealand indicate consistently that about 80–85 percent of all women drink some alcohol (Wylie et al 1996. the majority (68 percent) of pregnant women aged 16–39 reported they had stopped using alcohol (SHORE 2005).There is no good evidence that alcohol increases breast milk supply (Giglia and Binns in press).

7 2. The woman may need to express the breast milk for her comfort and to maintain milk supply.1 8. in that case. if it is not possible for the woman to abstain from alcohol. but wish to avoid exposing the baby to alcohol.Alcohol should be avoided during breastfeeding. Where the mother is alcohol dependent. health practitioners need to offer support and referral to appropriate agencies. allowing two to three hours to pass after drinking alcohol.5 1. particularly in the first month. About 25 percent of women of childbearing age smoke (Ministry of Health 2003d).1 2.. Cgarette smokng Background Smoking during pregnancy is a major health problem in New Zealand. they should be advised to limit themselves to one to two standard drinks occasionally (see Table 15).3 0. Smoking rates in New Zealand fell by Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . the alcohol-exposed milk should be discarded.1 15 37 Practcal advce • • • Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. Binges of alcohol should be avoided. Table : Standard drnks contaned n typcal servngs of alcohol A standard drink contains 10 g of alcohol. .1 1.2% alcohol Bottle of beer @ 5% alcohol Bottle of lite beer @ 2. Mothers who do choose to drink moderately and socially during breastfeeding.3 1. and.5% alcohol Bottle of beer @ 4% alcohol Bottle of wine @ 13% alcohol Bottle of sparkling wine @ 12% alcohol Bottle of wine @ 14% alcohol Bottle of spirits @ 37% alcohol Bottle of RTD* @ 5% alcohol Bottle of RTD* @ 8% alcohol Bottle of spirits @ 37. Type of alcoholc drnk Can of beer @ 4% alcohol Can of beer @ 4.4 7. However. can achieve this by waiting until maternal blood alcohol level drops. and although some women stop or reduce smoking when they become pregnant. Continue avoiding alcohol when breastfeeding. especially during the first month.5% alcohol Bottle of spirits @ 47% alcohol Source: ALAC 2005 *RTD = ready to drink Volume 330 ml 440 ml 330 ml 330 ml 750 ml 750 ml 750 ml 750 ml 50 ml 275 ml 335 ml 500 ml 1000 ml Number of standard drnks 1 1.7 7. a significant number continue to smoke throughout pregnancy (McLeod et al 2003). when it is important for sound breastfeeding patterns to be established (Giglia and Binns in press). An infant needing to be fed during this time can be given expressed breast milk that is free from alcohol (Ho et al 2001).

vitamin B12. and are less likely to take nutrient supplements (Cogswell et al 2003). McKenzie-Parnell et al 1993) and eat less fruit. In particular. including decreased birthweight. which may compromise uterine blood flow. The mechanism(s) by which smoking affects the outcome of pregnancy is/are not completely understood. and for respiratory infections in children (Schulte-Hobein et al 1992). which can cause foetal hypoxia and is implicated in sudden infant death syndrome (Haustein 1999). sudden infant death syndrome. forming carboxyhaemoglobin. Nicotine is present in milk at about one and a half to three times its concentration in maternal plasma. cadmium and thiocyanate. Special attention should be directed at preventing excessive weight gain for those who cease smoking (Ministry of Health 2003a). although it is not clear whether this presents a risk to infant health (Dahlstrom et al 1990). exposure to cigarette smoke is a major risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (Mitchell et al 1993). are among the highest in the world (Barnett et al 2004). Exposure to cigarette smoke in the womb has also been linked to subsequent symptoms of attention deficit disorders in exposed children (Linnet et al 2003). and pre-term delivery (Lambers and Clark 1996). If a woman  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . Carbon monoxide binds to haemoglobin. especially in Maori women. In particular. It is estimated that metabolic turnover of vitamin C in smokers is about 35 mg per day higher than non-smokers (Kallner et al 1981) or 0. Cigarette smoke is a source of free radicals and oxidative stress. Several studies show that smoking by mothers reduces breast milk volume significantly (Matheson and Rivrud 1989. but it is not clear whether this is related to decreased intake or increased utilisation. Women who smoke have lower nutrient intakes than non-smokers (Haste et al 1990. placental complications such as premature placental abruption. Smoking decreases appetite. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide are vasoconstrictors and may affect blood flow to placental and foetal tissues. Compared with non-smokers.about 10 percent in the 1990s but not across all ethnic groups. so vitamin C requirements are higher for pregnant women who smoke. Ex-smokers are recognised as a group at higher risk of obesity. all of which are potentially hazardous to the foetus. and is also associated with a slower weight gain of infants. because the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any risks to infants associated with the presence of nicotine in breast milk (Galtry 1995). Smokers may be more likely to consume alcohol and other substances that interact with nutrient metabolism. vitamin B6 and folate (Cogswell et al 2003). Women who smoke tend to breastfeed for a shorter duration (Amir 2001). ¯ Smoking is associated with poorer outcomes of pregnancy. vegetables and milk compared with female non-smokers (Wang and Roe 1994).8 mg of vitamin C per cigarette (Cross and Halliwell 1993). Smoking rates. potentially affecting the amount of food consumed by a pregnant woman. smokers have lower serum levels of beta-carotene. Vio et al 1991). young pregnant smokers are at risk of low micronutrient intakes (Mathews et al 2000). Nicotine can increase maternal blood pressure and heart rate. The health of infants is also compromised by environmental (second-hand) cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke also contains lead. Women who are unable to quit or reduce smoking should continue to breastfeed. increased early spontaneous abortion.

 Illct drugs and ‘party plls’ (restrcted substances) Background Illicit drugs are generally categorised as opioids ( for example heroin. and self-help manuals and advice from the LMC on intervention strategies (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability 2002). hallucinogens (for example MDMA (‘ecstasy’). Practcal advce • • Women should not smoke if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.continues to smoke. and by smoking outside. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) should be considered if the pregnant or breastfeeding woman is unable to quit (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability 2002). opium. codeine and a range of pharmaceutical drugs). learning disabilities. exposure of the infant to second-hand smoke should be minimised by not smoking while breastfeeding. The use of illicit drugs or ‘party pills’ is not advised if a woman is pregnant. metamphetamines. crack). cocaine. nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) Exchange Card providers. poor motor skills. birth defects. Illicit drug use can affect the mother’s own health and interfere with her ability to support the pregnancy (Wright and Walker 2001). growth restriction and small head size. she should minimise exposure of the infant to second-hand smoke by not smoking while breastfeeding. The majority of women who quit smoking during pregnancy will resume during the post-partum period (Levine and Marcus 2004) because they are often influenced by concerns about weight gain. including the recommended number of servings from the four major food groups (see Table 1). If a breastfeeding woman continues to smoke. particularly for reducing the effects of second-hand smoke. and to follow the Food and Nutrition Guideline Statements. • • • • . Women who are ceasing or reducing smoking may require expert support and advice from a registered dietitian about weight gain and energy intake in pregnancy. morphine. Parental smoking has also been associated with the development of allergy in genetically susceptible children (Arshad et al 1992). magic mushrooms) and cannabis. LSD. If a woman chooses to smoke during pregnancy.. impaired neurodevelopment. Most illicit drugs can cross the placenta and enter the foetal blood. behavioural problems and increased risk of infection and sudden infant Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . it is especially important for them to eat a variety of nutritious foods. The most serious consequences are pre-term birth and low birthweight. stimulants (for example amphetamines. Aukati Kai Paipa Smoking Cessation Services. Services available to aid smoking cessation include the free QUITLINE number 0800 778 778. Smoke Change programme. planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Interventions and health promotion to reduce smoking in pregnant and breastfeeding women should be targeted at the whole family. and by smoking outside.

premature labour and placental abruption. it is recommended that products containing the substances are not used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Many pregnant women who use illicit drugs use more than one substance (polydrug use) and are more likely to smoke tobacco and consume alcohol in pregnancy. for example. However. which causes restlessness. parents or partners who themselves abuse drugs or alcohol. vomiting and poor feeding. Learning difficulties may develop later and continue throughout early childhood. which causes irritability. If illicit drugs are taken late in pregnancy. 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . reduced self-confidence and low self-esteem. Women may be reluctant to seek help for drug abuse. They are also more likely to have poor nutrition. depression and post-natal depression. Not all women who use illicit drugs have health or social issues and they may consider themselves to be recreational drug users only. fearing they may be punished or that their children may be taken into care. vomiting and diarrhoea. They may also contain trifluorophenyl methylpiperazine (TFMPP). and heroin. for the preceding 12 months 43 percent of males and 27 percent of females aged 18–24 had used cannabis. Ma are more likely than any other ethnic group to smoke ¯ori cannabis regularly (Ministry of Health 2004b). Behaviour is affected. Women who inject drugs and share needles (or whose partners use intravenous drugs) are at risk of becoming infected with blood-borne viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Bishai and Koren 1999). such as a history of sexual abuse. sleeping and feeding difficulties. Women who use illicit drugs may have other social problems. It is also thought that cannabis and hallucinogens may be harmful to the breastfed infant.death syndrome (Spear et al 2002). The infants of women who continue to abuse illicit drugs after pregnancy are at increased risk of neglect. Several illicit drugs have been shown to have adverse effects on the breastfed infant (Liston 1998). low gestational weight gain and cardiovascular effects such as high blood pressure and pulse. risk of harm to the foetus or infant. newborn interaction may be reduced or infants may be hyperactive. suicide risk. physical abuse and poor nutrition. Males are significantly more likely to smoke cannabis regularly. In both males and females. The 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey found that 14. ‘Legal highs’ or ‘herbal highs’ (often known as ‘party pills’) are lower-risk restricted substances which contain benzylpiperazine (BZP). which cause irritability and poor sleeping patterns. They may also have mental health issues co-occurring with their drug use. There is no specific evidence to date that products containing BZP or TFMPP affect the foetus when a pregnant woman takes ‘party pills’. Use of illicit drugs can increase the risk of miscarriage. psychosis. such as tremors and muscle spasms. Cannabis is the third most popular recreational drug in New Zealand after alcohol and tobacco (excluding caffeine). In the 1998 National Drugs Survey. However. the newborn infant may itself be drug dependent and suffer withdrawal symptoms. the harmful effects of using illicit drugs still apply to those undertaking recreational use. Women may also fear violence from their partner. seizures.2 percent of all adults had used cannabis in the last year. These include amphetamines. cocaine.

the effect may be minimised if the mother takes the substance just after she has breastfed the infant or just before the infant is due to have a lengthy sleep. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . there should be a supervised gradual reduction in the dose to manage withdrawal. Benzodiazepines should only be taken with caution during breastfeeding. and cause problems in later life (Therapeutic Goods Administration 1999). Medications have been categorised to take into account the known harmful effects of medicines on the developing foetus.nz) should be consulted for specific information on prescribing medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. and should deal with issues sensitively. Appropriate therapeutic options should be available to all women. using appropriate referral agencies. Medications should only be taken if absolutely necessary. have unwanted effects around the time of birth. Anti-anxiety drugs. without exceeding the stated dose. With any substance that might transfer to breast milk. bromocriptine. and hence stop taking benzodiazepines. ergotamine. The medication should be used only as prescribed. Fewer than 1 percent had used tranquillisers and solvents in the previous 12 months (New Zealand Health Information Service 2001).. and the relative infant dose. The potential health risks of ceasing the medication should be weighed against the benefits of breastfeeding.govt. so LMCs should use accurate information as a basis for informed consent and rational decision-making. Cytotoxic medications. ethanol.Five percent of all respondents in the 1998 National Drugs Survey had used hallucinogens. but certain drugs are contraindicated during breastfeeding. the infant’s age and condition. 3 percent of all respondents had used stimulants. . Any medication not used correctly may have harmful effects for the foetus or woman. Most medications are safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants (Hale 2004). or be associated with the development of cancer in the infant (American Academy of Pediatrics 2001). cabergoline. including the potential to cause birth defects. and pseudoephedrine (Riordan 2005). and bioavailability of the drug. However. Pregnant women should ask when a medication is prescribed if it is safe to take during pregnancy. oestrogens. medsafe. Drugs that may reduce milk production include progestins. If the decision is made to breastfeed. the effect depends on the peak and half life. and 1 percent of all respondents had used one or more forms of opiates. such as Methotrexate. may affect immune suppression and growth. This reference and the Medsafe website (www. Medcatons and breast mplants Background Most medications cross the placenta. antidepressants and neuroleptic drugs may affect neurotransmitter function of the infant’s developing central nervous system. Practcal advce • • Women should avoid all illicit drugs and ‘party pills’ during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Health practitioners should appreciate that some drug users may be vulnerable. The mother should be advised to observe the infant and milk production and report any changes (Riordan 2005).

It is not clear whether silicone breast implants themselves have an adverse effect on the breastfeeding infant or whether any possible toxicity may be mediated via an immunological mechanism (American Academy of Pediatrics 2001). feverfew and ginko biloba and anticoagulants. fennel. tablets. and herbal soft drinks). garlic and goat’s rue have been used. they are seen as safe. marshmallow root. and the quality of the products is not monitored (American Dietetic Association 2002). there are serious concerns about their safety and efficacy. heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. Very few randomised clinical trials have examined the safety and efficacy of alternative therapies during pregnancy and breastfeeding. and radioisotopes (Kostka-Rokosz et al 2005). They may be consumed as the herb.Galactogogues work predominantly by promoting prolactin secretion to increase milk production. or added to a food (eg. They are available in many forms: fresh. herbal foods. herbicide and pesticide residues. endogenous plant toxins. St John’s Wort and Yohimbe and antidepressants. and reduced possible risks to the infant (da Silva et al 2001. They may also be available in combination in products marketed as fat burners. for example. Women who have breast implants can breastfeed.1. and little is known about contraindications. Gabay 2002). Potential adverse reactions may result from direct effects or from contaminants within the products. garlic. herbal products. muesli bars with spirulina. Use of galactogogues should not take the place of addressing a breastfeeding management problem. and only as prescribed. Medications should only be taken if necessary. Interactions between herbal preparations and medications have been noted between aloe and digoxin and diuretics. energisers or muscle builders. without exceeding the stated dose. phytomedicines. Practcal advce • • Pregnant women (including women planning pregnancy) and breastfeeding women should discuss medication use with their LMC. milk thistle. However. Ma Huang and beta blockers. Herbal preparatons and teas Products made from plants and that are used to reduce the risk or effect of disease are known as natural remedies or medicines. kava and sedatives. quality control and contamination. which may be the actual cause of insufficient milk supply. capsules. ginger. with 12 percent less than once a week and 17 percent  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . yoghurt with Echinacea. St John’s wort)..6). . and ginger and anticoagulants (Beuhler 2003). powders and teas. In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the use of plants for medicinal purposes (eg. Domperidone (Motilium) has replaced metoclopramide as the galactogogue of choice because there are fewer central side effects. potential adverse effects and interactions between herbal preparations and medications (Silvers and Taptiklis 2005). there are few studies on either the effectiveness or the safety of these herbs (see section 4. dried. Because herbal preparations are perceived as natural. functional foods or nutraceuticals. The NNS97 found that almost one-third of the population consumed other dietary supplements in the previous year. Various herbal galactogogues such as fenugreek. However. blessed thistle. liquid or solid extracts. and many do so successfully. ginseng and furodemide and digoxin. biologic toxins.

(Refer to Appendix 11 for ingredients in herbal teas that should be avoided. garlic. Several sources advise women to avoid ginger in pregnancy. If herbal teas are taken.) It is advisable to limit consumption of herbal teas to two servings per day and use filtered teabags (JADA 2002). Most women (62 percent) used both a vitamin or mineral supplement and a herbal preparation in pregnancy. If a herbal product is not critical to a woman’s health. especially when combining or substituting it with other foods or medicine. from the European/Other group. bran/fibre. brewer’s yeast. mineral and herbal use pre-conceptually and in the three trimesters of pregnancy. which could increase bleeding (JADA 2002). pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid unfamiliar substances and choose herbal teas made with ingredients that would be a normal part of their diet. Ginger (20 percent) and raspberry leaf (9 percent) were the most frequently used herbal preparations. oils (evening primrose. A list of herbs that may not be safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding is given in Appendix 11. then the woman should investigate the product thoroughly and buy high-quality products with informative and verifiable labelling. Data from the NNS97 were used to describe the characteristics of supplement users in New Zealand. However. At an Australian antenatal clinic. bee products. Adverse reactions should not be ignored. sports supplements and other. There are some questions about the absolute safety because of the effects on thromboxane synthetase. oils. The use of ginger in pregnancy is controversial. and German health authorities warn that medicinal amounts of ginger should not be taken for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) (Peirce 1999). including most herbal teas. and should be reported by the LMC to Medsafe or the Center for Adverse Reactions (CARM).at least once a week. spirulina and acidophilus) were the most frequently chosen (Russell et al 1999). such as mint. Garlic preparations. blackcurrant. Women relied on advice from friends and relatives in deciding to use herbal preparations (Maats and Crowther 2002). cod liver and halibut) and botanical products (herbal remedies. with women being higher users than men. The category ‘other dietary supplements’ included botanicals. and showed that they were usually female. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious in using most herbal or other natural remedies. 211 women were interviewed to assess vitamin. Folate (70 percent). and a 1 g daily dose of ginger supplement has been shown to be helpful in the management of NVP (Smith et al 2004). it should not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding as the safest way to avoid potential complications. Tiran (2003) concluded that the dose of ginger supplement should not exceed 1 g per day. If herbal preparations are used. The LMC should ask specifically about the use of herbal and non-traditional medications. but should work with the LMC to determine how best to achieve optimum health and always check with the LMC before taking a supplement. orange or lemon. These should preferably be purchased from reputable sources. such as supermarkets and other retail Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . iron (38 percent) and multivitamins (27 percent) were the most frequently used vitamin and mineral supplements. They should not self-diagnose any health condition. peppermint. well educated and relatively young (Smith et al 2005). three studies did not find any adverse effects arising from the use of ginger.

A formulated caffeinated beverage must contain between 145 and 320 mg of caffeine per litre. pregnant and breastfeeding women. cinnamon. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any risks associated with the presence of caffeine in breast milk. and should discuss their use with the LMC. and that the beverage is not recommended for children.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . occasionally. pregnancy loss. The infant metabolises and excretes caffeine slowly. The label on the beverage must contain advisory statements that the food contains caffeine. High doses of caffeine in pregnancy have been associated with increased risk of congenital abnormalities. Caffeine readily crosses the placenta to the foetus (Anonymous. and individuals sensitive to caffeine. Many over-the-counter medications such as cold and allergy tablets. glucuronolactone and inositol. Energy or smart drinks are defined in the Food Standards Code as formulated caffeinated beverages which are non-alcoholic. low birthweight and behavioural problems. The effects of caffeine may be synergistic with those of smoking and alcohol (Liston 1998). however. diuretics and stimulants also contain some caffeine. water-based flavoured beverages which contain caffeine and may contain carbohydrate. The usual range of human exposure to caffeine is significantly below the threshold that is thought to have adverse reproductive effects (Christian and Brent 2001). tea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not drink energy or smart drinks.outlets. High caffeine load in breast milk may lead to irritability and poor sleeping patterns and. both for pregnant and for breastfeeding women. Caffeine is transferred into breast milk. Herbal teas should be limited to two servings per day. amino acids. taurine. Decaffeinated coffee appears to have no effect on birthweight (Bracken et al 2003). cloves or other well-known ingredients. present in chocolate and beverages such as coffee. Moderate amounts of caffeine (< 5–6 mg per kg body weight spread throughout the day) from food and beverages seems safe. for the purpose of enhancing mental performance (FSANZ 2002). Women could also make their own drinks using juices. Caffene Background Caffeine is a mild central nervous system stimulant. Any adverse reactions should be reported. Other foods such as herbal substances may be added unless they are disallowed under other provisions of the Food Standards Code. . Consuming caffeine-containing beverages immediately after the baby has fed will limit the amount of caffeine in the next feed. and filtered tea bags should be used. headache medications. lemon rinds. energy drinks and cola.. Merck Research Laboratories 2004) and has also been found to stimulate metabolic rate (Acheson et al 1980). There are maximum limits on the amount of vitamins. including other foods. Practcal advce • • • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious in using herbal preparations and teas. increased bowel activity (American Academy of Pediatrics 2001). vitamins and other substances.

. which are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding vegan women calcium supplements for women who consume little or no milk and milk products iron. or four cups of plunger coffee. • .1). See Table 16 for average caffeine contents. Breastfeeding women should consider their caffeine intake if the infant is irritable or wakeful. or 400 g of plain chocolate. Note that 300 mg caffeine is roughly equivalent to one large long black.The UK Food Standards Agency advises pregnant women to limit their intake of caffeine to 300 mg per day. Standard servng 160 ml 130 ml 260ml 250 ml 250 ml 250 ml 250 ml 250 ml 355 ml 250 ml 100 g mg caffene 211 19 105 66 51 57 47 5 35 80 65 Practcal advce • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should limit caffeine consumption to 300 mg per day. including: • • • • vitamin B12 supplements. Supplements of other nutrients are recommended in some circumstances during pregnancy and breastfeeding.6. Table : Average caffene content of common foods and beverages Food/beverage Long black coffee Decaf long black coffee Cappuccino Plunger coffee Instant coffee Brewed tea leaves Tea made with tea bag Drinking chocolate Cola-type drinks Smart or energy drinks Chocolate bar Source: The truth about ‘energy’ drinks 2002. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . or six cups of tea. or three cappuccinos. or six cups of instant coffee. if indicated by monitoring of iron status vitamin D for covered women. Supplements and fortfied foods Background Supplements Routine multivitamin supplementation is not necessary during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Note that the caffeine content of drinks made in cafes or at home may vary from the values above. The only recommended supplement is folic acid tablets for all women before conception and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (see section 3.

The nutrients may also be included on the nutrition information panel (NIP). or to obtain nutritional equivalence for a substitute food (such as vitamin A fortification of margarine to the same level as in butter). consumers must read the labels to be sure they are choosing a fortified product. The addition of nutrients to a food must be identified in the ingredient list. folic acid and vitamin C. When they became pregnant. If a supplement or supplements is/are taken. A New Zealand regional study found that 63 percent of women took at least one type of dietary supplement during the year before they became pregnant. Fortified foods The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code specifies the nutrients that may be added and the foods that they may be added to (FSANZ 2002). The level of nutrient present as stated on the NIP does not take into account the bioavailability of the nutrient. supplement use declined to 33 percent at month four and 28 percent at month seven. iron and vitamin C. About half of all New Zealanders consume vitamin and mineral supplements. with particular attention paid to the level of vitamin A. Some supplements are marketed as being specifically for pregnant or breastfeeding women. which are either prescribed or bought over the counter. but the level of nutrients is not always optimal.  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . so labels should always be read very carefully.Taking supplements during pregnancy should be undertaken in consultation with the LMC to avoid toxicity and competition between nutrients (eg. not all milk substitutes are fortified to be nutritionally similar to cow’s milk. in that order (Watson and McDonald 1999). the total nutrient intake from all the supplements needs to be checked against the UL for pregnancy. if using salt margarine fortified with vitamins A and D soy milk or rice milk fortified with calcium. multivitamins. multivitamin and mineral combination. The need for supplements is dependent on the individual’s diet. with the most commonly taken supplements being folic acid. riboflavin and vitamin B12. depending on their individual circumstances. nutritional status and any increased requirements they may have. These are predominantly multivitamin and/or mineral supplements. Fortified foods that may be nutritionally useful in the diet of some pregnant and breastfeeding women include: • • • • • folic acid. iron and zinc). The most commonly taken supplements during pregnancy were iron. multivitamin and mineral mixtures. Allowed levels of nutrients in fortified foods are determined taking into account the potential for toxicity among high consumers. with the highest use reported by females aged 19–24 years (Russell et al 1999). and not all margarine is fortified with vitamin D. Some women may benefit from other nutrient supplements. The Food Standards Code also specifies the permitted forms of the nutrients and the levels that may be claimed. iron and calcium. Some nutrients are added to improve the dietary intakes of individuals (such as iodised salt and calcium-fortified milk).and iron-fortified breakfast cereals and wholegrain breads folic acid-fortified fruit juice iodised salt. in that order. vitamin A. Because most fortification is voluntary in New Zealand. but this is not required unless a claim is made. For example. antioxidants.

the toxicity from fortified foods is unlikely. with the exception of folic acid. and iron. Women at increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by an NTD should take a 5000 µg (5 mg) tablet of folic acid daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception. including fish oils. should take an 800 µg folic acid tablet daily for at least four weeks before and 12 weeks after conception as well as consuming foods rich in folate and folic acid-fortified foods. but does not take the place of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and when planning to become pregnant. Women who smoke. Supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be undertaken in consultation with the LMC in order to avoid toxicity and competition between nutrients (eg. as may women with multiple pregnancies. Vegan women should eat foods fortified with vitamin B12 and are likely to need vitamin B12 supplementation. The need for supplementation with other nutrients is dependent on the individual’s diet and nutritional status.If any foods fortified with vitamin A as retinol. to ensure an excessive dose is not consumed. use alcohol or drugs or have a poor diet may benefit from supplements. or who are in the early stages of pregnancy. iodised salt should be used. There is generally no need for healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women who are following the Food and Nutrition Guidelines (Table 1) to take vitamin or mineral supplements. but use of dietary supplements should be monitored. vitamin B12 for vegans. care must be taken that the total daily intake from all foods and supplements. the nutrient levels need to be checked in relation to the appropriate RDIs and ULs. • • • • • • Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . does not exceed the UL of 3000 µg per day because of the serious toxicity problem with vitamin A during pregnancy. Consumption of folate-fortified foods is recommended for all women of reproductive age. with particular attention paid to the level of vitamin A. When using salt. or nutritional supplements containing vitamin A as retinol are consumed. Overall. calcium and vitamin D if recommended. but does not take the place of folic acid supplementation advised during pregnancy and when planning to become pregnant. iron and calcium). Consumption of folate-rich foods is recommended for all women of reproductive age. • If supplements are taken. Practcal advce • Women planning pregnancy.

but tended to be too high in fat.. the National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability (1998) concluded that income is the single most important modifiable determinant of health and wellbeing. As food security status worsens. Defintons and background Food securty is an internationally recognised term that encompasses the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods. and nutrient inadequacies can have long-term health effects (see section 2. Adults who are anxious there is not enough food may try to avoid hunger by cutting the size of meals. vitamin A. In New Zealand. the New Zealand Network Against Food Poverty (2000) found that actual food costs were much higher than most low-income households had available after meeting their basic expenses such as for housing. Nutritional inadequacies are of significant concern for mothers and their infants during pregnancy and while breastfeeding because nutrient requirements increase during these periods. diet quality declines (Cristofar and Basiotis 1992) and eating patterns become more disordered (Kendall et al 1995). . power and transport. the responses to which provide a nationwide assessment of food poverty in New Zealand (Russell et al 1999). Low socioeconomic and income groups are food insecure more often and frequently have a higher risk for obesity (Ford et al 1994).. and the assured ability to acquire personally acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way (Russell et al 1999). Food securty . Food nsecurty is characterised by anxiety about not having enough food to eat. Similar lower nutrient intakes were found among pregnant women from low socioeconomic backgrounds (Watson 1996). including vegetables. consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger’ (FAO 1996). coronary heart disease (Brunner et al 1997).3). skipping meals or even going without food for one or more days (Klein 1996). The NNS97 also found that obesity was more likely in women from the more deprived rather than the least deprived areas (Russell et al 1999). In the NNS97. lean red meat. The Rome Declaration on World Food Security affirmed the ‘right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food. riboflavin. or an individual if living alone.. Ma and Pacific households were among those ¯ori that experienced the greatest income reductions between 1991 and 1993 (NHC 1998). folate. dietary fibre. Almost half of  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . running out of food. and having no money to purchase more (Hamilton et al 1997). Health consequences of food nsecurty The highest rates of illness and premature death are generally experienced by those less financially secure (National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability 1998). . food security was reported on behalf of a household. and milk and milk products. Impact of food nsecurty on populaton groups Maori and Pacific households are disproportionately represented in the two lowest income ¯ quintiles (Statistics New Zealand 1999). fruit.. In its report reviewing social policy and food security. New Zealand studies in 1997 found that the diets of women of low-income households were likely to be insufficient in a number of important food groups. Other lower intakes included zinc. The NNS97 included eight statements about access to food. iron and calcium (Parnell 1997. Russell et al 1999). and mortality from cancers (Sharp et al 1995).

which may result in purchasing foods high in fat and sugar. In addition.3. shigellosis 3 (Pikholz and Simmons 2004). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . such as camplylobacteriosis and salmonellosis. toxoplasmosis 82. .and water-borne llnesses Food.3.and water-borne illnesses that cause diarrhoea and vomiting from bacteria or a virus. Food. . pregnant and breastfeeding women and their families should be referred to the appropriate agencies to ensure the family is receiving all the assistance it is entitled to. salmonellosis 58. 1999). ¯ori Women living in Ma and Pacific households (31 percent and 32 percent. ... iron and calcium (Parnell 1997). Single-parent households were among those that experienced the greatest income reductions between 1991 and 1993 (NHC 1998). listeriosis 5. these families have been found to obtain more nutrients for the amount of money spent than people with higher incomes. 70 percent of mothers said they restricted their own meal size to feed their children and the study indicated these women were getting insufficient energy. health practitioners should be aware of and sensitive to the fact that inadequate diet may be a result of an inadequate income rather than ignorance or lack of education (Parnell et al 2001). Younger women (11 percent of those aged 19–24 years) reported using food banks most frequently of all groups (Russell et al 1999). Before giving advice about food to pregnant and breastfeeding women.3.. Listeria is specifically covered in section 4. Practcal advce • As necessary.2 and toxoplasmosis in 4. Households in these areas – as with all households – were making choices based on a wide range of needs. Food safety .Maori and Pacific peoples compared with a quarter of New Zealand European/Other groups ¯ reported that in their households the variety of foods they were able to eat was limited by lack of money. respectively) were ¯ori more likely to experience ‘stress because of not having enough money for food’ than were New Zealand European/Other groups. a child of a female sole parent is more likely to be in the low-income households and so will be at higher nutritional risk (Statistics New Zealand 1999). In a New Zealand study of households on government benefits. Ma and Pacific peoples were more likely to access food banks than other families. The NNS97 found that people in lower income areas were less likely to obtain the recommended servings of vegetables and fruit. A significant number of homes where the sole parent was female were in the lowest income groups (Statistics New Zealand 1998. Food choces and household socoeconomc status Although nutrient intakes are less than optimal among people with lower incomes. The estimates for the mean annual number of cases of food-borne illness among pregnant women in New Zealand for the period 1996–1999 (toxoplasmosis data estimated from 1995 births data) are: camplylobacteriosis 715. are not uncommon in New Zealand. yersiniosis 18. The limited food budget means that they need to obtain more energy (kJ) per dollar spent.

For further information. Bottled water could be used as an alternative. women should avoid unnecessary restrictions on their diet.and water-borne illness.Food handling and food safety during pregnancy are of extra importance because food-borne illness may cause miscarriage. giardia). In addition.and water-borne illness. especially when pregnant. Water from uncontrolled sources should be avoided (eg. Pregnant or breastfeeding women with symptoms of diarrhoea. Women and their families should purchase. Expressed breast milk should be handled with care to reduce the risk of food-borne illness in the infant. stillbirth. Bottled water may not contain fluoride. Pregnant women should drink potable water during pregnancy to avoid the risk of water-borne illness (eg. Pregnant women are advised not to eat raw eggs. – Use cooked or prepared foods that have been stored in the refrigerator within two days. rivers and private water tanks) unless it has been previously boiled. 0 0 Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . • Women should avoid eating raw eggs. see the Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0–2 years): A background paper (Ministry of Health 2008). so there is no cross-contamination. – Wash raw vegetables and fruit thoroughly. including foods from each of the four food groups. it must be prepared very carefully and as close as possible to feeding time to reduce the risk of food. about 70 C). this means any water consumed should be from a well-maintained and controlled supply system. then fluoride toothpaste should be used. premature birth. To ensure nutritional adequacy. or illness or death of the newborn infant. Although it is important to follow the food safety advice. so if it is used as the sole source of water. it is equally important that pregnant (and breastfeeding) women consume a varied diet. cook and store food to ensure food safety. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be made aware of food safety precautions that are recommended for reducing the risk from food. vomiting or flu-like illness should seek medical advice immediately. streams. – Keep cooked food and ready-to-eat foods separate from raw and unprocessed foods. These precautions are listed in the practical advice (below). – Wash your hands and utensils and chopping boards before using for a different food to avoid cross-contamination. – Eat freshly cooked foods as soon as possible after cooking. – Take special care to heat food thoroughly when using microwave ovens. If a powdered infant formula is used. avoiding some foods during pregnancy will reduce the risk of foodborne illness. – Reheat cooked food thoroughly so that it is steaming hot (ie. Practcal advce • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should follow these general food safety precautions. every day. – All foods should be safely handled. stored and protected from cross-contamination. In practice. prepare.

1.3. membranes and amniotic fluid. 0 0 Practcal advce • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should follow the food safety precautions given in section 4. pre-cooked meat products. Code 9007. Any leftovers should be removed from the can for storage in the fridge and eaten within two days. and can grow at fridge temperature. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) produces a resource Food Safety in Pregnancy.5 C to 50 C. brie and camembert). Listeria can multiply over a wide range of temperature from -1. If a pregnant woman develops listeriosis. If a powdered infant formula is used. . pâté. cold. it can cause disease (listeriosis) in pregnant women and newborn infants (Hof 2003). Pregnant women should avoid uncooked. Canned food should be eaten immediately after opening the can. it must be prepared very carefully and as close as possible to feeding time to reduce the risk of food-and water-borne illness. Lstera Background Listeria monocytogenes is widely distributed in the environment. smoked or pre-cooked fish or seafood products that are chilled or frozen (unless reheated thoroughly and eaten hot). Listeriosis develops as a result of infection with Listeria monocytogenes. cleaning refrigerators regularly and checking the temperature control. Other advice includes using perishable items within the sell-by date. If it is not treated promptly. which is also available from your local public health unit. and although it usually does not cause symptoms in healthy people. ham and other chilled.• • • • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink water from a well-maintained and controlled supply system. usually from food. hummus-based dips and spreads. • • Food safety information is available in the health education resource Food Safety: Avoiding listeria. Expressed breast milk should be handled with care to reduce the risk of food-borne illness in the infant. Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . and surface-ripened soft cheese (eg. causing intrauterine sepsis and foetal loss. stored salads and coleslaws. raw (unpasteurised) milk. listeriosis presents a serious threat to the foetus via infection of the placenta. it causes influenza-like symptoms and can result in premature labour and reduced foetal movements. It is important to note that the above-named foods are safe to eat if heated thoroughly to 0 steaming hot (over 70 C).. pre-cooked chicken. produced by the Ministry of Health and available from your local public health unit.

Incidence of transmission is highest in the third trimester. mercury and cadmum Background Lead and mercury are metals with toxic effects on the foetus (Dorea 2004). chorioretinitis and blindness. psychomotor or mental retardation. Transmission to the foetus occurs in about 40 percent of cases. or by eating raw or under-cooked contaminated meat (mainly pork or lamb) containing tissue cysts.. Symptoms may be present at birth or may develop later. If exposure is later in pregnancy. and foods exposed to contaminated soil and water wash hands with soap and water after exposure to cats. They are widespread in the environment and are found in water and the food chain. The brain and eye are most often affected and toxoplasmosis can lead to hydrocephalus. raw meat or unwashed vegetables. and mercury amalgam fillings contribute to the mercury load. Cats are hosts of toxoplasmosis. The diet is usually the main source of maternal exposure to both metals. Those exposed in the first weeks of pregnancy are most likely to have the worst outcomes (eg. intercranial calcification. Practcal advce Pregnant and breastfeeding women should: • • • • not eat raw or under-cooked meat – cook until the juices run clear (no blood present) avoid cross-contamination of other foods with raw or under-cooked meat protect against exposure to cat litter. Breast  Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper . contaminated soil. Toxoplasmoss Background Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Laboratory testing and treatment are available.. deafness and other neurological deficits. sand. A study screening for toxoplasmosis in pregnant women in Auckland showed that 2 percent of women tested showed signs of a recent infection (Morris and Croxson 2004). soil. Women should discuss queries about toxoplasmosis with a health practitioner. and use gloves when gardening. The rate of toxoplasmosis infection in pregnant women in New Zealand is relatively low (Moor et al 2000). the foetus can be severely damaged. but severity of infection is highest in the first trimester (Enkin et al 2000). and is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans and other mammals (Montoya and Liesenfeld 2004). Although toxoplasmosis is usually asymptomatic in pregnant women. epilepsy. outcomes will be less severe but still debilitating. although there is some lead in airborne particles. convulsions. Envronmental contamnants Lead. . or by drinking water or food contaminated with oocysts from the faeces of infected cats. Infection is acquired by eating food or water contaminated with oocysts shed by cats. stillbirth or brain damage)..

The level of lead in breast milk is much lower than in the blood because the translactational barrier is more effective than the transplacental barrier. may also have higher mercury levels because of mercury naturally occurring in the water. Relatively high intakes of calcium during pregnancy and breastfeeding may decrease the release of lead from the maternal bones (Hernandez-Avila et al 1997. longer-living fish such as shark (flake). Mercury Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and in industrial pollution. Freshwater fish from geothermal areas of New Zealand. swordfish. Current thinking is that it is better to avoid dental work involving mercury amalgam fillings when possible during pregnancy. such as trout. Lead poisoning in pregnancy causes maternal malaise and anaemia. Any level of foetal lead exposure can be detrimental to the developing central nervous system. and environmental exposure during home renovation (Gardella 2001). Lead exposure in the New Zealand diet is low relative to other developed countries (NZFSA 2004). Food and Nutrton Gudelnes for Healthy Pregnant and Breastfeedng Women: A background paper  . lead production or smelting. The cumulative effects of low levels of lead exposure in utero and after birth can also have similar effects (Gardella 2001). and cause learning deficits and other neurological problems (Dorea 2004). and usually occurs by ingestion of lead from soil. rather than from environmental contamination (Shannon 2003). The tuna species commonly used in canning and small fish that are canned (including sardines. Lead Sources of lead exposure include dietary contamination. exposure to stained-glass solder. It can delay the mental development of children exposed to it. Women who are breastfeeding should also avoid having mercury amalgam fillings inserted or removed. Mercury in water is taken up by aquatic organisms as monomethylmercury and is concentrated in fish at the top of the food chain (eg. the loss of a natural tooth). pilchards and herring) are generally short-lived species which accumulate only low amounts of mercury (NZFSA 2008). can damage the brain and developing nervous system of the foetus. there is no scientific evidence of any link between mercury amalgam filling use and birth defects or stillbirths. because mercury can be passed to the baby through breast milk (NHMRC 1999). Hernandez-Avila et al 2003). ray. Monomethylmercury. High lead exposure causes neurobehavioural effects in infants and children. barramundi. unless the effects of avoiding treatment could cause greater problems (eg. Mercury amalgam fillings may also contribute to the mercury load.milk levels of these heavy metals will generally be lower than the levels found in infant formula (Dorea 2004). It is rare. ling and southern bluefin tuna). larger. as before 1965 many house paints in New Zealand had a high lead level. Lead is preferentially taken up by bones. Old paint can be a source of lead. orange roughy. Inadequate intakes of iron and calcium enhance lead absorption and retention (Whitney and Rolfes 1999). clay or pottery due to pica. occupational exposure during car and airplane paint manufacturing. It accumulates in streams and the sea. Maternal mercury exposure is directly related to fish consumption. However. Lead freely crosses the placenta (Shannon 2003). if consumed regularly and in large enough amounts. gemfish.

and also has a lower level of mercury than maternal blood because the translactational barrier is more effective than the transplacental barrier. and it may be difficult for women to consume optimal amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (see section 3. orange roughy and ling. john dory. Eating Bluff oysters and queen scallops needs to be limited due to high cadmium concentrations. and fish such as trout caught in geothermal regions (mercury is produced from volcanic emissions) (NZFSA 2008). red cod. sardines. warehou and kahawai) are an excellent source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. eel. Practcal advce • For many of the commonly eaten fish in New Zealand there is little concern over the amounts eaten. orange roughy. Women with pica should avoid eating soil and clay during pregnancy. mackerel. ling. There are a small number of species where it is recommended to eat no more than one serving (150 g) per fortnight during pregnancy and not at all if consuming other types of fish or seafood. swordfish. school shark. and take care during home renovations. Breast milk has a significantly lower level of mercury than cow’s milk. albacore tuna. hapuka (groper). sardines. blue cod. This includes skipjack tuna. warehou. whitebait. These recommendations should not be interpreted as advice to avoid fish in pregnancy. especially in older houses. Some oily fish (canned tuna. school shark. salmon. There is a small number of fish for example. For example. salmon. gemfish. Breastfeeding women are at no greater level of risk from mercury in fish than other members of the population. albacore tuna. pigments and metal coatings.3) without eating oily fish. Pregnant women should limit their intake of Bluff oysters and queen scallops due to high cadmium concentrations (NZFSA 2008). ghost shark. warehou and flat fish like flounder. mackerel. tarakihi. hoki. skate. ribaldo and rig (spotted dogfish or lemonfish). These include salmon. cardinal fish. flat fish like flounder and mussels. kahawai. Cadmum Cadmium is a heavy metal that has many industrial uses including batteries. oreo dory. These include dogfish (apart from rig). mackerel. Consumption of these should be limited to three servings (each about 150 g) per week. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should ensure they have adequate intak