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IV. Life Stages

Basal Energy Expenditure     Changes with age Changes with age: Infancy Changes with age: Years of growth Changes with age: Adolescence Changes with age: Pregnancy and Lactation Changes with age: Old Age     Previous Page Next Page

Changes with age: Pregnancy and Lactation

General principles:

  1. The critical issue is to provide adequate vitamins, minerals and calories to support normal growth of the fetus/baby and the placenta and uterus. In humans the developing brain is the major (60%) consumer of energy at birth; materials and energy for this prodigious growth must be supplied by and to the mother in order to assure the best possible outcome.
  2. Excellent nutrition should be in place at least 60 to 90 days prior to conception, and should continue throughout pregnancy. Numerous serious problems, from low birthweight to neural tube defects, can be prevented with adequate nutrition.

Specific nutritional concerns:

  1. Weight gain during pregnancy is important for all women, and should occur at an appropriate rate.
  2. Special nutritional concerns for pregnant women resemble those for adolescents:

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