A woman's prepregnant BMI and her total weight gain during pregnancy are important determinants of newborn weight. A woman's prepregnant BMI determines the total weight gain and the rate of weight gain per month recommended during her pregnancy. Both are under maternal control, but can be influenced by the health care provider. Both lend themselves to nutritional assessment, prophylactic recommendations, and therapeutic interventions in the preconceptional and prenatal periods. Nutritional advice during pregnancy includes a balanced daily diet containing approximately 35 kcal for each kilogram of optimal body weight plus 300 kcal. The food plan should be consistent with the women's food preferences if it is to be followed. Within this context, an appropriate diet is selected from protein-rich foods, whole-grain breads and cereals, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. Vitamin supplementation is not required in this patient. Of the minerals, only iron is recommended as a supplement, to maintain body stores and minimize the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia. Postpartum maintenance of balanced nutrition with the woman consuming at least 1,800 kcal daily will facilitate breast-feeding. Vitamin and mineral supplementation during lactation is not required routinely. A puerperal weight loss of no more than 0.9 kg (2 lb) a month will not affect nursing performance.