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Improving Nutrition in Pregnant Adolescents: Recommendations for Clinical Practitioners

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Publication Date
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PMC
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Pregnancy represents an ideal time for health promotion activities. Many women, including adolescents, are interested and willing to change health behaviors to improve the chance that they will deliver a healthy infant. This paper focuses on improving nutrition in pregnant adolescents. Seven recommendations are presented to help achieve this goal: 1) Focus on foods, not nutrients; 2) individualize and work within the pregnant adolescent's current eating habits; 3) consider the context of family and peer groups; 4) reward efforts; 5) make it easy; 6) focus on weight gain patterns for optimal birth outcomes; and 7) refer to a dietician, as needed. Use of these recommendations comprehensively addresses adolescent developmental needs to improve nutrition during pregnancy. These recommendations are not meant to be all-inclusive; rather, they are meant to serve as a guide for clinical management of nutrition for pregnant adolescents.

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