Prospective parents generally aspire to give their child the best start in ife and, if their babies are born healthy, this good health is more likely to continue into adulthood (Barker, 2003). There is no better way to facilitate this than being in an optimum state of health prior to conception and throughout pregnancy (Hunt, 2004). For many years it has been recognized that maternal environment and adequate nutrition are imperative for the development of the fetus and the wellbeing of the mother (Tiran, 2004a). Over the past decade, evidence has been accumulating showing that insufficient maternal nutrition can result in low birth weight, which increases risk of chronic non-communicable disease in later life [AQ1 What are these?] (Barker, 2003; Taylor 2002). This article is part of a literature review for a Bsc dissertation that seeks to appraise some general aspects of nutrition during pregnancy and, specifically, the effects that folic acid and iron can have on the mother and fetus.