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A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence 13th Edition

A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence (13th Edition)

Book Edition13th Edition
Author(s)Martorell, Papalia
PublisherMcGraw-Hill, Inc.
Prenatal Development: Environmental Influences
checkpoint can You
Monitoring and Promoting Prenatal Development

Chapter 4, Prenatal Development: Environmental Influences, checkpoint can You, Exercise 4

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The addition of the following nutrients in the diet of an expectant woman during pregnancy is essential for the healthy development of the fetus.

  • Women usually require additional protein during pregnancy as it provides the nutrition necessary for forming antibodies and collagen. Collagen is useful in forming skin, bones, blood vessels, and other bodily tissues. Some foods high in protein include eggs, tofu, fish, and poultry. 
  • Carbohydrate provides glucose which is necessary for the healthy and rapid growth of the fetus. Low carbohydrate during pregnancy could affect the growth rate of the fetus. Some high carbohydrates food items are starchy vegetables such as potatoes, fruits, corn, and bread. 
  • Linoleic acid (Omega-6 and Omega-3) is important for the healthy formation of basic brain functions and the eyes. Further, consumption of these acids during pregnancy usually improves the sleeping patterns of infants. This can be derived from fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. 
  • Vitamin B, usually derived from fruits and vegetables, plays a significant role in manufacturing neurotransmitters. Less consumption of folic acid may lead to neural tube defects, that is, defects of the brain or spinal cord. It can be found in food such as leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and eggs. 
  • Iron is a necessary component as it is important for the development of the nervous system during the fetal stage. Women are often advised to take vitamin tablets that contain iron. Iron is also found in leafy vegetables such as spinach, dried seed, nuts, whole grain, and pulses such as lentils, soy, and peas. 

Verified Answer

During pregnancy, the need for nutrients increases to provide enough energy to the fetus and the mother. Lack of certain nutrients may lead to deficiencies in the infant and the mother. The following nutrients should be increased in an expectant woman's diet:


  • Proteins: It promotes the strengthening of the immune system to protect the woman and fetus. It also helps in the development of the organs, bones, and muscles of the fetus.
  • Carbohydrates: It provides energy to the mother and the fetus for its growth.
  • Essential fatty acids: It helps in the healthy formation of basic brain structure and functions.
  • Folate: It is necessary for balancing the production of neurotransmitters.
  • Iron: It contributes to the healthy development of the nervous system.
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