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West J Med. 1984 Dec;141(6):807-15.

Maternal and fetal well-being.


Pregnancy outcomes can be improved by following modern recommendations for personal health maintenance. Adequate caloric intake, reflected by a weight gain of about 10 to 12.3 kg (22 to 27 lb) for women of average build, is associated with the lowest rate of perinatal mortality. Maternal dietary protein supplementation should generally be avoided because it may be associated with low-birth-weight pregnancies. Abstinence from social drugs offers the greatest positive opportunity to modify the health of a fetus. Serious perinatal infection can be prevented by preconception immunization (rubella), food hygiene (toxoplasmosis) and attention to the expression of virus in the mother (herpes simplex). Available data do not correlate exercise programs begun before pregnancy and continued during pregnancy with adverse fetal effects. Athletic capacity need not diminish postpartum. Most employment may safely continue until delivery. Routine recommendations for prolonged maternal disability leaves are not medically warranted.

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