The antenatal shared care model has become increasingly popular
among Australian women as the preferred mode of pregnancy care.
General practitioners are often asked by their pregnant women
patients about the nutrients needed during pregnancy.
This article discusses the role of various micronutrients and
trace elements needed in pregnancy, and provides daily intake
recommendations of these nutrients as a reference point.
Much attention has been given to micronutrients such as folate
and iron, but less regard to other trace elements that are also
important in pregnancy. Encouraging a balanced diet and ensuring
the adequacy of these micronutrients is essential for minimising
pregnancy complications. However, GPs should also be aware of the
maximum level of recommended intakes and any possible adverse
Micronutrients and trace elements have an important influence on the health of both mother and fetus. Deficiency of micronutrients during pregnancy may give rise to complications such as anaemia and hypertension, as well as impairing fetal function, development and growth.1,2 A recent meta-analysis evaluating the effects of antenatal multimicronutrient supplementation on pregnancy outcomes has revealed a significant reduced risk of low birth weight and improved birth weight in comparison to iron/folic acid supplementation only.3 (It should be noted that the majority of included studies were in low or middle income countries3.).
Download the PDF for the full article.