Nutrition in adolescent pregnancy

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2000 Jun;12(3):291-6. doi: 10.1097/00008480-200006000-00021.


Prevention of unintended adolescent pregnancy is a primary goal of the American Academy of Pediatrics and of many health providers. Nevertheless, many adolescents become pregnant every year in America. Pediatricians therefore should be aware of nutritional recommendations for pregnant adolescents to provide optimal care. The importance of nutrition during pregnancy is here reviewed from a pediatric perspective. Pregnancy, particularly during adolescence, is a time of extreme nutritional risk. The adolescents most likely to become pregnant are often those with inadequate nutritional status and unfavorable socio-economic background. There is increasing evidence of competition for nutrients between the growing pregnant adolescent and her fetus. Also, the prenatal environment has been implicated in the development of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes in both the mother and her offspring. Many adolescents have poor diet quality and poor knowledge of appropriate nutrition; these habits may not change during pregnancy. Current knowledge and recommendations regarding the intake of energy, calcium, and folate are discussed in detail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nutritional Requirements*
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / physiology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Risk Factors