Nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle in pregnancy influence maternal and child health.

The "Healthy start - Young Family Network" supported by the German Government with the national action plan IN FORM developed recommendations on nutrition in pregnancy.

• Energy needs increase by only ≈10 % by the end of pregnancy whereas micronutrient needs increase much more.
• Normal weight should preferably be achieved before pregnancy.

Dietary recommendations follow those for the general population.
• Folic acid supplements (400 µg/day) should be started before pregnancy and continue for at least the first trimester.
• Iodine rich foods and salt and an iodine supplement (100-150 µg/day) are recommended.
• Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids should be provided with ≥ 1 weekly portion of oily sea fish, or a DHA-supplement if regular fish consumption is avoided.
• Vitamin D supplementation is advisable unless there is regular exposure to sunlight.

Health care professions should lead parents to health-promoting lifestyles.

Subjects of part 2 of the article are practice recommendations on nutrition in pregnancy, especially vegetarian diets, recommendations on micronutrient supplementation, risk reduction of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and physical activity in pregnancy.