Apart from containing our detailed Briefing Paper, this virtual issue highlights changes to dietary recommendations that have occurred since its publication, such as the revised advice on alcohol, caffeine and peanut consumption during pregnancy. This issue also reports on current recommendations for nutritional supplementation during pregnancy (e.g. vitamin D, folic acid) in the UK and across Europe; describes advice relating to weight changes and weight management during pregnancy; and discusses the relationship between maternal diet/weight gain during pregnancy and the risk of small for gestational age (low birth weight) babies. It also provides overviews of the way in which dietary recommendations for pregnant and lactating women are derived; the implications of birth spacing upon maternal and child nutritional status, the nutritional status of pregnant adolescents and the importance of a healthy diet during pregnancy on the long-term health of offspring in later life. It is hoped that bringing all of this information together will help all those supporting pregnant women to provide up-to-date and consistent advice.