Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Maternal Dietary Intake

  • Margaret D. Larkins-Pettigrew
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_488

Maternal dietary health is the corner stone for predicting the survival of mothers and their newborns. The mother’s pre-pregnancy weight is a key factor in predicting the survival of the mother and her newborn. Immigrant women are usually underweight and therefore are at increased risk for producing newborns that are at low birth weight and more vulnerable to infectious disease. Subsequent weight gain or loss during pregnancy may result if health choices are unavailable or if there are limited food sources.

The recommended dietary allowance for pregnant women consists of 3 servings of milk, 3 servings of fruit, 4 servings of vegetables, 6–12 servings from the bread group, and 3 protein portions. Folate supplementation is often needed to equal 600 micrograms (1,362 nanomoles) in addition to foods to reach the recommended intake of folate. Several small meals per day and a minimum of eight glasses of water are recommended.

Diets that lack dairy products or a variety of vegetables have...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Holvik, K., Meyer, H. E., Haug, E., & Brunvand, L. (2005). Prevalence and predictors of vitamin D deficiency in five immigrant groups living in Oslo, Norway: the Oslo Immigrant Health Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59, 57–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Morales, L., & Hayes-Bautista, D. (2000). Pica may be harmful to the fetus and mother [commentary]. The Western Journal of Medicine, 173(1), 25.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Sachan, A., Gupta, R., Das, V., Agarwal, A., Awashi, P., & Bhatia, V. (2005). High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women and their newborns in northern India. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81, 1060–1064.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. van der Meer, I. M., Karamali, N. S., Boeke, A. J. P., Middlekoop, B. J. C., Verhoeven, I., & Wuister, J. D. (2006). High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in pregnant non-Western women in The Hague, Netherlands. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84, 350–353.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Watkins, E. L., Larson, K., Harlan, C., & Young, S. (1990). A model program for providing health services for migrant farmworker mothers and children. Public Health Reports, 105(6), 567–575.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Tinker, A., & Ransom, E. (2002). Healthy mothers and healthy newborns: the vital link. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from http://prb.org/pdf/HealthyMothers_Eng.pdf
  2. Yeh, J., & Rahnema, F. (2006). Pica behavior during pregnancy and neonatal lead poisoning. Retrieved March 16, 2011, from http://www.med.ucla.edu/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=268

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret D. Larkins-Pettigrew
    • 1
  1. 1.University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s HospitalClevelandUSA