A prenatal nutritionist is trained to provide information to pregnant women about the proper diet and nutrition required for a healthy pregnancy. Nutritionists also provide information about infant nutrition after the babies are born, including information about breastfeeding and the foods that mothers should eat to ensure optimum health for themselves and their infants. Prenatal nutritionists counsel moms who have concerns about food allergies, follow special diets, or struggle with weight problems during the pregnancy. They evaluate the health records of the moms they work with and dietary assessments that nutritionists provide to them. Once they compile the data they need to evaluate the diets of their expecting moms, prenatal nutritionists make recommendations on how to modify the moms’ diets to provide the best nutrition possible for the moms and their babies.
A registered dietitian may also work as a prenatal nutritionist in order to help pregnant women plan a healthy pregnancy and birth. Many prenatal nutritionists are certified dietitians who also provide nutritional counseling to other individuals and groups, which means their certification may not be directly related to the pregnancy nutrition counseling they offer. Some nutritionists specialize in the foods and beverages they recommend, such as organic or natural and whole foods. Others specialize in nutrition challenges that mothers face while pregnant, such as problems with retaining water and dehydration. For example, a prenatal nutritionist may primarily work with moms who struggle with gaining more than the recommended amount of weight throughout their pregnancies.
One of the main services that prenatal nutritionists can offer their clients is to be ready and available to answer questions. The job of the nutritionist is often to offer medically sound answers to clients, either when asked or at another time after they conduct research. For example, moms often want to know whether it’s safe to eat certain types of seafood and how often. The answer to that question may have a direct impact on their health during the pregnancy and on the baby’s health. Many moms rely on the recommendations they receive from their prenatal nutritionists to eat or refrain from eating certain foods and to drink certain beverages.
A prenatal nutritionist doesn’t stop working with her clients as soon as the baby is born. Many of her clients rely on her services to help with a safe and speedy recovery. Expecting mothers can also work with their nutritionist to receive nutrition counseling for their infants. For example, nutritionists provide dietary recommendations to moms who are breastfeeding in order to ensure that the infants receive property nutrition and that the moms have enough caloric intake to produce milk.