I received a question regarding maternal nutrition and the effects it has on your baby--
Of course every pregnancy is going to be different, and women have so many different outcomes based on their nutrition during pregnancy. It's not just the health on the outside that should be looked at, ("He was fine"), but how that affects him in the long run. Maternal nutrition during pregnancy can exert long-lasting effects on the health of the offspring. So just because he's "fine" now, does not mean he won't experience gestational diabetes at an earlier age, for example.
Nutritional deficiencies (or a bad diet) during pregnancy can lead to preterm labor, and also have affects on your baby that maybe someone wouldn't associate with their nutrition. For example, cleft palate, anemia, growth retardation, asthma, ADHD, behavioral problems, learning delays.
Other studies have reported that the ‘healthy’ or ‘health-conscious’ pattern in pregnant women is positively associated with higher educational levels, fewer financial difficulties, older age and less smoking. The ‘fast food’ lifestyle shows a positive association with smoking, which has its own set of health effects.
It is thought that there are critical periods during pregnancy and infancy where nutritional programming occurs. This seems to be especially true for some chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. An example of nutritional programming is the development of the baby's brain. It is crucial to take in enough omega 3 fatty acids during this period especially, to aid in the correct development of the brain.
So while all the focus is typically on the health of the baby right away, you can't discount what is does to the child/individual for their future health. "There appears to be strong evidence that a balanced diet and a healthy weight during pregnancy programs many aspects of good health in infancy and beyond."