CHART 3-1 Basic Nutritional Care Activities for Expectant and New Mothers

Basic nutritional care activities in support of pregnancy, lactation, and women's health are listed below. They are covered in more detail in Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation: An Implementation Guide. 6Physicians, physicians' assistants, midwives, nurses, nurse-practitioners, dietitians, and other primary care providers should all participate in integrating these activities into routine care.


• Weigh at each visit; measure height and estimate nonpregnant body mass index at the first visit.

• Monitor and interpret data such as hemoglobin level, blood pressure, and weight change.

• Collect data on attitudes, current dietary practices, cooking facilities, housing, and other factors pertinent to nutritional status.

• Consider the above information to identify women at risk of nutritional problems, that is, those who require more thorough assessment or intervention, or both.

Health Maintenance

• Provide information, education, or counseling concerning the following:

– diet and fluid intake, weight, managing gastrointestinal discomforts and other common nutrition-related problems, the safe and appropriate use of vitamin-mineral supplements, and avoiding or stopping the use of harmful substances;a

– adjusting dietary intake for relatively common situations such as prescribed bedrest or twin pregnancies;

– breastfeeding, considering the mother and infant as a unit.

• Recommend a low-dose (30 mg) iron supplement to all pregnant women beginning in the second trimester of pregnancy.11

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