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May 8, 1948


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Harvard University. Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Nutrition (Mrs. Burke) and Professor of Maternal and Child Health (Dr. Stuart).

JAMA. 1948;137(2):119-128. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890360001001

The normal physiologic processes of the body are greatly altered during pregnancy and lactation, and additional demands are imposed on the maternal organism during each period. Digestion and absorption from the intestinal tract are frequently impaired, especially during the early months of pregnancy, and nutritional requirements are considerably elevated during the latter half of pregnancy and during lactation. It is not strange, therefore, that evidences of nutritional deficiencies are more likely to appear at these times, and it is obvious that the diets of pregnant and lactating women deserve special consideration. Since considerable evidence has accumulated in recent years which indicates that faulty nutrition during pregnancy may affect the pregnant woman or her fetus in ways not usually considered to be signs of malnutrition, someof the studies from which this evidence has come will be reviewed. They provide a background for understanding the special requirements of this period and the