Longitudinal analysis of changes in energy intake and macronutrient composition during pregnancy and 6 weeks post-partum
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- Talai Rad, N., Ritterath, C., Siegmund, T. et al. Arch Gynecol Obstet (2011) 283: 185. doi:10.1007/s00404-009-1328-1
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This prospective study was carried out in order to investigate changes in nutritional intake during pregnancy with regard to caloric intake and macronutrient composition in normal-weight pregnant women.
Using food scales, 32 healthy pregnant women estimated their food intake over a period of 2 days at gestational week 16, 22, 30, 36 and, in addition, 6 weeks after delivery. The recorded food logs were analyzed with respect to caloric intake and macronutrient composition.
The women’s age was averaged 29.6 ± 4.5 years, and the mean pre-pregnancy BMI was 22.4 ± 2.5 kg/m2. Mean weight gain was 16.5 ± 4.5 kg. On average, birth took place during the 40th week of gestation, with the babies having a mean birth weight of 3,515 ± 406 g. Caloric intake during the gestation period and post-partum showed no statistically significant changes and added up 9,237 ± 1,876 kJ/day during the 16th week of gestation, 9,496 ± 2,437 kJ/day during the 22nd, 9,073 ± 1,863 kJ/day during the 30th, 9,525 ± 2,135 kJ/day during the 36th week and 8,445 ± 2,160 kJ/day 6 weeks after delivery. No significant changes were observed in the composition of macronutrients during the pregnancy. The daily composition of macronutrients was as follows: carbohydrates 281 ± 57 g/day (51.7%), fat 86 ± 16 g/day (35.8%) and protein 75 ± 13 g/day (13.9%). However, we observed a decrease in carbohydrate intake of 239 ± 72 g/day (48%) after birth.
Healthy pregnant women showed no significant changes in their caloric intake or nutritional profiles. Performed with an accurate measurement, this prospective study shows that healthy pregnant require neither increased caloric intake nor a change in macronutrient composition.