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Position Paper: Nutrition and Lifestyle

for a Heathy Pregnancy Outcome

Kelsey Dischler
The Position Paper

Authors: Sandra B. Proctor, PhD, RD/LD and

Christina G. Campbell, PhD, RD

Effective until December 31, 2018

The Academys Position for Pregnancy
A healthy weight gain should be established

Physical activity should be performed

Healthy lifestyle choices should be adopted

Take supplements

Handle food safely

Avoid harmful substances

Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weigh within the normal BMI range before

Being overweight during pregnancy may

cause diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease

Weight gain beyond the recommendations by

Institute of Medicine can cause
excess weight after delivery
Physical Activity
Physical activity benefits moms overall health

Moderately intense exercise does NOT increase

risk of miscarriage or premature delivery (for
low-risk pregnancy)

Exercise is shown to reduce excessive

weight gain during pregnancy

No information provided on how long

exercise sessions should be
Adopting healthy lifestyle choices
Healthy dietary patterns (including DASH and Mediterranean
diet) are linked to less instances of gestational diabetes

Maternal lifestyle and diet play a role in long-term health of

mom and baby

Inadequate nutrients causes increased chances of chronic

medical conditions for baby

Overnutrition can decrease mothers and babys health

Supplementation during Pregnancy
Iron and folic acid are very important

Iron protects baby from low birth weight and


Folic acid protects baby from neural

tube defects

Vitamin D, choline, calcium,

and iodine also discussed
Food Safety
Pregnant moms are at increased risk of
foodborne illnesses

Hormone changes lead to decreased immune

system function

Pregnant women should follow 2010

Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Avoidance of Harmful Substances
Alcohol should be avoided
o May result in neurological defects
o No current safe level!

Caffeine information is conflicting

o American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say
less than 200 mg caffeine per day
o Birth defects research says caffeine does not cause
miscarriages, prematurity, or birth defects
Role of the RDN
Care is important before, during, and after

Multiple gestations, disordered eating, and

chronic diseases should be referred to RDN for
medical nutrition therapy

RDN should asses weight gain, dietary habits,

and nutrition-related health problems
Agreement with the Position
The paper provides scientifically based

The position has 39 references

References from the Centers for Disease Control,

Institute of Medicine, and Pediatric journals

The information is also consistent with WIC

education materials provided
Campbell G, Christina. Procter B, Sandra. Position of the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and
Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome. J Acad Nutr
Diet. 2014;114:1099-1103.

Campbell G, Christina. Kaiser L, Lucia. Practice Paper of

the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and
Lifestyle of a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome. Eat Right
Web site. Available at:
Accessed March 3, 2017.