Home | Contact | Legal | Sitemap
Focus Module - Micronutrients in Pregnancy and Lactation   
You are here: Home › Early Nutrition eAcademy (ENeA) › Focus Module - Micronutrients in Pregnancy and Lactation › 

Focus Module "Micronutrients in Pregnancy and Lactation"

Good nutrition is fundamental for good health, and is especially important for women during pregnancy and the lactation period. Additional maternal energy requirements during pregnancy and lactation are only 10% higher than in the non-pregnant or non-lactating state. However, the requirement for some micronutrients increases considerably and may have profound consequences for fetal development.

In this module, critical micronutrients for pregnancy and lactation are discussed in detail. An overview of relevant nutrients is presented, including biological function, physiological requirements and consequences for optimal fetal and infant development.

This module has been accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) with 9 European CME credits (ECMEC) which is equivalent to a period of 540 minutes of qualification.

It has been accredited by the German Medical Association with 12 CME credits.

Unit 1: Folate And Other B Vitamins

Vitamins are dietary components which are normally required in small quantities to support normal cell metabolism, including cell signaling, motility, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Many of these vitamins and dietary components are involved in tissue growth, function and homeostasis, being essential in early life, enabling the fetus to develop and mature into a healthy neonate. Vitamins, such as the B vitamins, are essential and support every stage of maternal, placental, and fetal interaction to enable a healthy gestation with favorable outcomes for the mother and the infant.

Maternal micronutrients deficiencies before and during pregnancy have been linked to compromised conception and fertilization, length of gestation, fetal development and growth. Ultimately, micronutrients deficiencies may lead to pregnancy loss, preterm birth, small for gestation age neonates, birth defects, and long-term metabolic and developmental disturbances.

In this unit, the learner will gain knowledge about the B family vitamins and the critical nutrient choline with an overview of every single micronutrient including, function, absorption, metabolism, storage, and excretion; dietary sources; inadequate intake and deficiency; and excess intake. Additionally, for every micronutrient presented, its relevance for pregnancy and lactation will be discussed. RDA's or AI's for the general women population, for pregnant women and lactation women are given for all micronutrients. When RDA's differ from global and/or countries recommendations, these will be discussed accordingly. 

Unit 2: Other Vitamins

Vitamins are dietary components which are normally required in small quantities to support normal cell metabolism, including cell signaling, motility, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Many of these vitamins are involved in tissue growth, function and homeostasis, being essential in early life, enabling the fetus to develop and mature into a healthy neonate.

Maternal vitamin deficiencies before and during pregnancy have been linked to compromised conception and fertilization, length of gestation, fetal development and growth. Ultimately, vitamin deficiencies may lead to pregnancy loss, preterm birth, small for gestation age neonates, birth defects, and long-term metabolic and developmental disturbances.

In this unit, the learner will gain knowledge about other vitamins (namely: A, C, D, E, and K) with an overview of every single vitamin including, function, absorption, metabolism, storage, and excretion; dietary sources; inadequate intake and deficiency; and excess intake. Additionally, for every vitamin, its relevance for pregnancy and lactation will be discussed. RDAs or AIs for the general women population, for pregnant women and lactation women are given for all vitamins. When RDAs differ from global and/or countries recommendations, these will be discussed accordingly. 

Unit 3: Minerals, Trace Elements, and Clinical Considerations

Minerals and trace elements are nutrients essential to normal human physiological function. They may function as enzymatic cofactors, components of the skeletal system, constituents of organic compounds, anti-oxidants, etc. During preconception, pregnancy and lactation maternal deficiencies of mineral and trace elements have been associated with adverse outcomes, such as endemic cretinism due to iodine deficiency and maternal anemia due to iron deficiency.

In this unit, the learner will gain knowledge on minerals and trace elements that are relevant during pregnancy and the lactation period. The first two lessons will give an overview of iron and iodine including: function, absorption, metabolism, storage, and excretion; dietary sources; inadequate intake and deficiency; and excess intake, and their relevance for pregnancy and lactation with recommendations and counselling. Other relevant minerals and trace elements and their relevance for pregnancy and lactation will be discussed in lesson 3. Finally, in lesson 4, practical considerations about micronutrients assessment, risk factors for deficiency, and considerations about supplementations and the use of multiple micronutrients supplements will be discussed.