Both gestational weight gain and energy intake have been positively associated
with foetal growth, particularly in undernourished women. It is, however, important
to assess further which interventions that raise birth-weight also increase
survival and improve function.
There is epidemiological evidence of an association between maternal nutritional
status, both during and prior to pregnancy (pre-pregnancy weight and
weight gain during pregnancy), and birth weight and intrauterine growth retardation.
Dietary advice is unlikely to yield any major benefits for either the infant or
The limited available evidence suggests that protein/energy restriction of
pregnant women, who are overweight, is not beneficial.
Little information on the direct effects of maternal nutrition on foetal and
infant survival is available.