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Fam Pract. 2008 Dec;25 Suppl 1:i99-104. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmn077. Epub 2008 Oct 28.

Nutrition-related information-seeking behaviours of women trying to conceive and pregnant women: evidence for the life course perspective.

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Telematica Instituut, Interacting People, 7523 XC Enschede, The Netherlands.



To examine whether preconception and pregnancy could be an occasion triggering women's interest, search and need for both general and pregnancy-specific nutrition-related information, in order to: (i) provide a greater understanding of the life course perspective (in this case on nutrition behaviours and pregnancy) and (ii) to contribute to the rationale of nutrition interventions aimed at women of child-bearing age.


Data were collected in a cross-sectional study with the aid of a face-to-face interview. The sample consisted of four groups each of about 100 Dutch nulliparous women each: women trying to conceive and women in the first, second or third trimester of their first pregnancy.


Pregnant women were more interested in nutrition information than before preconception and before pregnancy, especially the first-trimester group. The frequency of search for nutrition information differed significantly between the groups: the first-trimester group searched for information most frequently. Women wanting to conceive and women in their third trimester of pregnancy found significantly more pregnancy-specific information topics than women in their first and second trimester of pregnancy. Women wanting to conceive had significantly higher needs for general and specific nutrition-related topics compared to pregnant women. Overall, the Internet, the midwife and books were the favourite information sources.


The study provided indications that preconception and pregnancy are moments in life that lead to an increased interest, need and search for particularly pregnancy-specific nutrition-related information. This should be borne in mind when healthy nutrition promotion activities are being developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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