Nutrition in Pregnancy

Development before birth is now known to be a critical time period in establishing later life chronic disease risk. Nutrition plays a vital role in this development, but specific guidelines detailing nutritional needs of pregnant women are lacking.

This issue crosses multiple disciplines. Obstetricians, family medicine practitioners, dieticians, epidemiologists and developmental physiologists each understand a piece of the issue, but rarely have the opportunity to work together.

The Moore Institute is working to spur those conversations. In May 2019, the Moore Institute hosted the first Nutrition in Pregnancy Conference in Washington, D.C. The meeting gathered leading scientists, clinicians, dieticians and nutrition advocates.

Talks covered current research in the unique needs of women before and during pregnancy and lactation, and how those nutritional needs impact the lifelong health of the mother and her offspring.

Next steps

  • A working group is developing a consensus document that will be published in fall 2019.
  • Plans are being made to host a second conference in 2021.
  • A nutrition in pregnancy coalition is being developed to share information on the latest research and develop collaborative projects.

More information

If you would like to be part of the coalition, or get updates about the planning for the next conference, email for details.

Graphic of woman throughout stages of pregnancy.

2019 conference details

Topic Speaker
Welcome Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., OHSU
Evidence that maternal nutrition matters Barbara Abrams, Dr.P.H., R.D., UC berkeley
Offspring consequences: maternal diet and pregnancy outcomes Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., OHSU
Nutritional requirements of the fetus William Hay, M.D., University of Colorado
Paving the way for optimal outcomes - preconception targets to improve women's nutrition Nancy Krebs, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P., University of Colorado
Micronutrient requirements during gestation Usha Ramakrishnan, M.S., Ph.D., Emory University
Physiology of Pregnancy: Metabolic Adjustments Patrick Catalano, M.D., Tufts University
Introduction: gestational weight gain - critical issues Patrick Catalano, M.D., Tufts University
Panel discussion: Gestational weight gain: a critical appraisal of the Institute of Medicine guidelines Emily Oken, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard; Barbara Abrams, Dr.P.H., UC Berkeley; Patrick Catalano, M.D., Tufts; Romy Gaillard, Ph.D., Erasmus University, The Netherlands; Leanne Redman, Ph.D., FTOS, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Animal models of adolescent nutrition during pregnancy Jacqueline Wallace, Ph.D., D.Sc., University of Aberdeen, Scotland
An overview of the sociology of the adolescent Jennifer Barber, Ph.D., University of Michigan
A comparison of dietart patten and outcomes between adolescent and adult pregnant women Hora Soltani, Ph.D., M.Med.Sci., Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Impact of maternal nutrition on human milk Nicole Marshall, M.D., OHSU
Nutrition for preterm infants based on fetal nutrition William Hay, M.D., University of Colorado
Human milk as a biological system Daniel Raiten, Ph.D., NICHD
Impact of nutrition and over-nutrition in pregnancy Kelle Moley, M.D., March of Dimes
Nutrition therapy for gestational diabetes and beyond Teri Hernandez, Ph.D., University of Colorado
Pregnancy post bariatric-metabolic surgery Jonathan Purnell, M.D., OHSU
Maternal diet and offspring skeletal development Kartik Shankar, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Double burden of malnutrition in pregnancy and fetal outcomes: a tale of two generations Ranjan Yajnik, M.D., F.R.C.P., King Edward Memorial and Research Centre, India
Nutrition and preeclampsia James Roberts, M.D., Magee-Women’s Research Institute
Environmental exposure and diet Emily Oken, M.D., M.P.H., Harvard
Fad diets during pregnancy Diane Stadler, Ph.D., R.D., OHSU
Maternal modification of the microbiome and effect on offspring Jed Friedman, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
Dietary patterns and maternal health and birth outcomes: systematic review results Kripa Raghavan, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., M.Sc., Center for Nutrition and Policy Promotion, USDA
Programmatic action and research priorities to impact women's nutrition to improve nutrition Parul Christian, Dr.P.H., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
What should dietary guidelines include? Alison Steiber, Ph.D., R.D.N., Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Summary of what we have learned and what we need to study Andrew Bremer, M.D., Ph.D., NICHD

Rachel Drake, M.D., Ph.D. Student

Scarlett Hopkins, R.N., M.A., Instructor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Perinatology Division

Leslie Myatt, Ph.D., Bob and Charlee Moore Endowed Professor, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Associate Director for Women's Health, Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness

Christie Naze, R.D., C.D.E., Clinical Dietitian Specialist, Center for Women's Health

Jonathan Purnell, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Division of Endocrinology; Associate Director for Clinical Research, Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition &Wellness

Lisa Rhuman, Director of Operations, Center for Developmental Health, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness

Joanne Rogovoy, Director of Maternal & Child Health, March of Dimes Oregon

Diane Stadler, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., Associate Professor of Medicine; Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine, Director, Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition & Dietetic Internship; Director Curriculum Development, Lao American Nutrition Institute; Associate Director for Nutrition, Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., M. Lowell Edwards Chair, Professor Medicine, Director, Center for Developmental Health, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness

Amy Valent, D.O., Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., M. Lowell Edwards Chair, Professor Medicine, Director, Center for Developmental Health, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition &Wellness, Oregon Health & Science University

Linda Barbour, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P., Professor of Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Divisions of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes and Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Medical Director OB Diabetes and High Risk OB Clinics; Co-Director Colorado Program for Nutrition and Healthy Development, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Patrick Catalano, M.D., Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology;Vice Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mother Infant Research Institute, Tufts University School of Medicine 

Nicole Marshall, M.D., M.C.R., F.A.C.O.G, Assistant Professor, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

Emily Oken, M.D., M.P.H., Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Lisa Rhuman Director of Operations, Center for Developmental Health, Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition &Wellness, Oregon Health & Science University

Roberto Romero M.D., Chief, Perinatology Research Branch; Director, Division of Obstetrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Intramural Division, NICHD, NIH, DHHS

Ranjan Yajnik, M.D., F.R.C.P., Director, Diabetes Unit King Edward Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Pune India