Maternal micronutrient consumption periconceptionally and during pregnancy: A prospective cohort study

Michelle Livock, Peter J Anderson, Sharon Lewis, Stephen Bowden, Evelyne Muggli, Jane Halliday

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To examine overall micronutrient intake periconceptionally and throughout pregnancy in a population-based cohort of Australian women. Design In a prospective cohort study, micronutrient dosages were extracted from self-reported maternal supplement use, recorded pre-conception, and for each trimester of pregnancy. A food frequency scale (DQESv2) captured usual maternal diet for gestational weeks 14-26. The influence of sociodemographic and lifestyle factors associated with supplement use was examined using logistic regression, and changes in micronutrient intakes prior to and throughout pregnancy were assessed using repeated-measures ANOVA analyses. Setting Metropolitan hospital sites in Melbourne, Australia. Subjects Women with a viable singleton pregnancy were recruited at less than 19 weeks' gestation (n 2146). Results Compared with non-users, women using supplements during pregnancy were more likely to have planned their pregnancy, be >25 years old, primiparous, Caucasian, non-smokers, have a tertiary education and be consuming a folate-rich diet. Intakes of folate, Fe and Zn were significantly lower in the periconceptional period, compared with other periods (P<0·001). Intakes below Recommended Daily Intake levels were common both periconceptionally and throughout pregnancy, with 19-46 % of women not meeting the Recommended Daily Intake for folate, 68-82 % for Fe and 17-36 % for Zn. Conversely, 15-19 % of women consumed beyond the recommended Upper Limit for folate and 11-24 % for Fe. Conclusions The study highlights the need for improved public health education on nutritional needs during pregnancy, especially among women with lower educational achievements and income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-304
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary supplements
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Pregnancy
  • Zinc

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