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BMJ. 1999 Aug 7;319(7206):339-43.

Influence of maternal nutrition on outcome of pregnancy: prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Division of Public Health and Primary Health Care, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oxford, PO Box 777, Oxford OX3 7LF. fmathews@ermine.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relations of maternal diet and smoking during pregnancy to placental and birth weights at term.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

District general hospital in the south of England.

PARTICIPANTS:

693 pregnant nulliparous white women with singleton pregnancies who were selected from antenatal booking clinics with stratified random sampling.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Birth and placental weights at term.

RESULTS:

Placental and birth weights were unrelated to the intake of any macronutrient. Early in pregnancy, vitamin C was the only micronutrient independently associated with birth weight after adjustment for maternal height and smoking. Each ln mg increase in vitamin C was associated with a 50.8 g (95% confidence interval 4.6 g to 97.0 g) increase in birth weight. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate were each associated with placental weight after adjustment for maternal characteristics. In simultaneous regression, however, vitamin C was the only nutrient predictive of placental weight: each ln mg increase in vitamin C was associated with a 3.2% (0.4 to 6.1) rise in placental weight. No nutrient late in pregnancy was associated with either placental or birth weight.

CONCLUSIONS:

Concern over the impact of maternal nutrition on the health of the infant has been premature. Maternal nutrition, at least in industrialised populations, seems to have only a small effect on placental and birth weights. Other possible determinants of fetal and placental growth should be investigated.

PMID:
10435950
PMCID:
PMC28185
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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