Dairy in pregnancy: advice, physiology, and evidence

Chenery-Morris, Samantha and Divers, Joanne (2021) Dairy in pregnancy: advice, physiology, and evidence. Practising Midwife, 24 (10). ISSN 1461-3123

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Dairy is the collective term for food products made from the mammary secretions of animals (generally cows) and includes such food items as milk, cream, butter and cheese. These items are typically associated with sources of fat, protein, calcium and vitamin D in the human diet as well as less commonly known minerals such as iodine, magnesium, vitamin B12, zinc and riboflavin. Dairy products are also not one homogenous food group. Cheese and yoghurt may confer health benefits due to their fermentation process, digestibility, and lower lactose content. However, unlike coffee and our previous paper, dairy products are not as universally consumed. Additionally, there are well known recommendations to avoid certain dairy foods in pregnancy.

Furthermore, what constitutes dairy and how the nutrients typically found in dairy make their way into our diets is changing. Cow’s milk allergy in children in developed nations sits around 2-3% making it the most common food allergy amongst children. In addition, studies suggest that the ability to digest lactose beyond childhood is variable across populations and that upwards of 70% of the global population may be unable to digest dairy for this reason. Changing attitudes to dairy from environmental, health and ethical perspectives have also contributed to decreases in consumption of dairy products; the UK saw a decrease in dairy consumption of 16% in between 2000 and 20182. This article will explore some of the nutritional components of dairy and their specific importance in both pregnancy and breastfeeding. It will also examine some of the headlines, guidelines and underpinning evidence pertaining to dairy consumption for pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, including those who cannot or choose not to eat dairy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pregnancy, diet, dairy, nutrition
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Health Studies
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2021 13:54
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2022 12:05
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1956

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