This guideline covers the nutrition of pregnant women, including women who are planning to become pregnant, mothers and other carers of children aged under 5 and their children. In particular, it aims to address disparities in the nutrition of low‑income and other disadvantaged groups compared with the general population.

It does not give detailed advice on what constitutes a healthy diet.

In November 2014, recommendation 3 was replaced by NICE’s guideline on vitamin D: supplement use in specific populations groups.

NICE has also produced guidelines on antenatal care, diabetes in pregnancy, intrapartum care and postnatal care.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • NHS and other professionals involved in the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and pre‑school children
  • People providing pre-school childcare
  • Other relevant public, community, voluntary and private sector organisations
  • Members of the public

Is this guideline up to date?

December 2017: We have checked this guideline and are updating it. See the guideline in development page for progress on the update. For more information, see the surveillance decision.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.