Nutrition, Weight Gain and Exercise During Pregnancy Energy Balance and Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Perinatal Journal •
‹ntroduction During pregnancy, energy, nutrition and liquid requirements increase for an appropriate fetal, pla-cental and maternal tissue growth. A healthy nutrition during pregnancy increases the possibility of an on-term fetal development, an uncomplicated gestational period and labor, and a succesful lacta-tion period while it has a long-term benefit on the maternal health, reducing the risk for postpartum obesity. Nutrition during pregnancy is influenced by a variety of genetic, social,
... genetic, social, cultural, economic and personal factors. Therefore, it is very difficult to determine the direct impact of nutrition on the health during pregnancy. Furthermore, it has been seldomly possible to identify the effect of malnutrition directly on the gestational outcomes. Consequently, evidence for the effect of nutrition on the gestational outcomes is obtained by gathering the results from observational studies, laboratory studies, and experimental studies on food. The impact of inadequate or excess intake of a food on the pregnancy may vary depending on the exposure time or the volume. Furthermore, although metabolic changes during the pregnancy ensure maintanence of the nutrients required for fetal requirements, some pregnancies fail to achieve such adaptive changes. The underlying mechanism for these adaptive changes has not been clearly defined yet. 1 According to the "fetal origins hypothesis" proposed by Barker in 1998, fetal nutrition has a lifelong impact on the metabolism, and it forms an underlying basis for various adult chronic diseases. 2 During the last decade, several epidemiological data was obtained demonstrating that birth-weight is related with hypertension, glucose intolerance , type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and mortality. 3-6 We end up with the restricted fetal growth followed by postnatal catchup growth, resulting in obesity as the most risky pattern for adult chronic disease. However, further studies are needed in order to identify the influence of nutrition during pregnancy, gestational physiology, pla-cental factors and fetal metabolism on the birth weight as well as roles of genetic and enviromen-tal factors.