Recommendation 3 in this guideline has been replaced by NICE's guideline on vitamin D: supplement use in specific population groups.

The Department of Health (DH) asked NICE to produce public health guidance to improve the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children in low‑income households. In particular, this guidance addresses disparities in the nutrition of low‑income and other disadvantaged groups compared with the general population.

The guidance is for NHS and other professionals who have a direct or indirect role in – and responsibility for – the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and pre‑school children. This includes midwives, health visitors, dietitians and pharmacists. It also includes those working in local authorities and the community, voluntary and private sectors. In addition, it will be of interest to members of the public.

The guidance complements and supports, but does not replace, NICE clinical guidelines on: antenatal care, diabetes in pregnancy, intrapartum care and postnatal care. It does not give detailed advice on what constitutes a healthy diet. For current dietary advice visit NHS Live Well.

The Programme Development Group (PDG) has considered the reviews of the evidence, an economic appraisal, stakeholder comments and the results of fieldwork in developing these recommendations.

Details of membership of the PDG are given in appendix A. The methods used to develop the guidance are summarised in appendix B. Supporting documents used in the preparation of this document are listed in appendix E. Full details of the evidence collated, including fieldwork data and activities, are available, along with a list of the stakeholders involved and their comments.