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J Midwifery Womens Health. 2009 Jan-Feb;54(1):73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2008.07.013.

Nutrition and mental health in early pregnancy: a pilot study.

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University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, Austin, TX 78701-1499, USA.


A pilot study was conducted to explore the dietary quality and maternal psychosocial status during the early weeks of pregnancy in a convenience sample of women (N = 13) recruited from two Planned Parenthood Clinics. Women were between 19 and 31 years of age, having their first pregnancy, and were on average 7 weeks pregnant. Average caloric intake was 2653 kcal/day consisting of 34% fat. Six of the women had inadequate intake of calcium (x = 800 mg) and 11 had low iron intake (x = 20 mg). Dietary Quality Index-Pregnancy scores were below recommendations and six women had scores indicating a major depression. Dietary intakes of these low-income women early in pregnancy did not meet recommendations for pregnancy. Identifying factors that are related to poor dietary intake, such as low-income and the presence of depression, in early pregnancy may promote timely recognition of women in need of comprehensive monitoring throughout the pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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