Feasibility of a Food Delivery Intervention during Pregnancy in a Rural US Population: The PEAPOD Pilot Study

Nutrients. 2023 Feb 5;15(4):816. doi: 10.3390/nu15040816.


Pregnancy nutrition is important for maternal and child health and may affect the development of the infant gut microbiome. Our objective was to assess the feasibility of implementing a food-based intervention designed to increase fiber intake among pregnant women in a rural setting. Participants were enrolled (N = 27) mid-pregnancy from a prenatal care clinic in rural Michigan, randomized to intervention (N = 13) or usual care (N = 14), and followed to 6 weeks postpartum. The intervention was designed to be easily replicable and scalable by partnering with hospital foodservices and included non-perishable high fiber foods and recipes, as well as weekly delivery of salads, soup, and fresh fruit. Surveys, maternal blood, urine, and stool were collected at 24- and 36-weeks gestation and at 6 weeks postpartum. Infant stool was collected at 6 weeks. Participants were 100% White (7% Hispanic White, 7% Native American and White); 55% with education < 4-year college degree. Data on dietary intake and urinary trace elements are presented as evidence of feasibility of outcome measurement. Retention was high at 93%; 85% reported high satisfaction. The intervention described here can be replicated and used in larger, longer studies designed to assess the effects of pregnancy diet on the establishment of the infant gut microbiome and related health outcomes.

Keywords: fiber intake; gut microbiome; nutrition; pragmatic diet intervention; pregnancy biospecimen collection; pregnancy diet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diet*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Prenatal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena