Dietary Interventions for Healthy Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review of Tools to Promote a Healthy Antenatal Dietary Intake

Beulen, Yvette H.; Super, Sabina; Vries, Jeanne H.M. de; Koelen, Maria A.; Feskens, Edith J.M.; Wagemakers, Annemarie


Maternal nutrition is essential for the development and lifelong health of the offspring. Antenatal care provides unique opportunities for nutrition communication, and health promotion tools (e.g., guidelines, instruments, packages, or resources) might help to overcome several concurrent barriers. We conducted a systematic literature review to map tools that are available for the promotion of a healthy dietary intake in healthy pregnant women in Western countries, and to identify what makes these tools feasible and effective for these women and their healthcare providers. Seventeen studies were included, evaluating tools with various delivery modes, content, and providers. Nine studies employed multiple, complementary delivery methods and almost all studies (n = 14) tailored the content to varying degrees, based on the individual characteristics and lifestyle behaviors of the participants. We found that the feasibility of a tool was dependent on practical issues, time investment, and providers' motivation, skills, and knowledge, while the effectiveness was related more to the type of provider and the content. Most effective interventions were provided by dietitians and nutritionists, and were highly tailored. Based on the results of this review, we believe that custom tools that are sensitive to inequalities are needed to support all women in obtaining or maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy.