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Prenatal Nutritionist and Dietitian

What Is A Prenatal Nutritionist?

A prenatal nutritionist works with expecting mothers to provide optimal nutrition during the pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post-childbirth periods. A prenatal nutritionist may also work with new mothers on optimal nutrition for breastfeeding and post childbirth health and diet.

Expecting mothers turn to prenatal nutritionists if they are concerned about being under or overweight during the pregnancy, are unable to eat or stop eating, have special dietary needs or food allergies or may be low in vital nutrients. According to USDA, an expecting mother's weight gain generally occurs gradually throughout the pregnancy, totaling between 25 to 35 pounds at the time of birth for single pregnancies, and can play a large role in the health of a baby after birth. A prenatal nutritionist specializes in finding the appropriate weight gain to give the baby the healthiest possible time in the womb and the vital nutrients both the baby and mother need.

Prenatal Nutritionist Careers & Job Duties

pregnant women using prenatal nutritionist advice

A prenatal nutritionist may start by first analyzing and assessing a new mother's current health and diet. This analysis can include present diet and levels of elements including protein, folic acids, vitamins and other micronutrients including calcium and iron. Food intake can then be analyzed and recommendations for the consumption of breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and water and other fluids will be made, in addition to any nutritional supplements or multivitamins that may be necessary.

A prenatal nutritionist can work in many of the same ways as a regular nutritionist or dietitian, and in similar locations. According to the BLS, a majority of nutritionists are employed by hospitals and clinics, this can include prenatal nutritionists. As a result of monitor the diet of the mother before during and shortly after the pregnancy, a prenatal nutritionist can end up seeing their patients more often than other types of nutritionists. As a result, prenatal nutritionists may be better suited to opening own practice - the third most common avenue for employment according to the BLS. Prenatal nutritionists can work closely with other health care professionals including nurses, doctors of obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), and other public health specialists.

Prenatal Nutritionist Salary

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary or outlook data specifically for prenatal nutritionists, the BLS does provide data for all nutritionist types. The following data may be of use in determining the salary of a prenatal nutritionist in your area.

CareerBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Dietetic Technicians$17,960$25,620$43,960
Dietitians and Nutritionists$33,980$55,920$78,720
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$31,300$41,920$58,020
*This data is sourced from the 2013 BLS employment report (BLS.gov)

Sources:
Dietitians and Nutritionists, Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
Health & Nutrition Information for Pregnant & Breastfeeding Women, United States Department of Agriculture,
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html
Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy, United States Department of Agriculture,
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-breastfeeding/pregnancy-nutritional-needs.html
Prenatal Nutrition, Sutter Health CPMC,
http://www.cpmc.org/services/pregnancy/information/prenatal_nutrition.html

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