Some of the care activities outlined here are carried out mainly by physicians or nurse-midwives. Other care providers refer to the medical record for related information.

Ways to Use This Book

  • Look in Tab 1 to find forms and charts to assist with basic nutritional assessment.

  • Look in Tabs 2-5 to find current recommendations for basic nutritional care before, during, and after pregnancy The bold italics identify sample questions and statements, and the “Explanatory Information" gives the rationale. Use the checklists at the beginning of these tabs as a ready reference.

  • Read through Part II (Tabs 6-10) for useful background information.

Tips for Using This Book

Skim the book to spark ideas for improving nutritional care and to locate sections of special interest. Apply durable tape to the first tab in each section to make the tabs easier to use. Consider using the entire book as a step-by-step guide for integrating nutrition into health care.


This guidebook encourages health care providers to build on the woman's strengths and reinforce the positive aspects of her diet while working to change behaviors that increase health risks for either the woman or her baby Regardless of the setting, the aim is for health care or its providers to have the following characteristics:

  • care structured for easy access and continuity;

  • providers familiar with the cultural backgrounds and social circumstances of the patients they serve;

  • providers aware that their own culture influences their attitudes toward patients and the delivery of services;

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