This overview of multiple micronutrients during pregnancy and lactation emphasizes two relatively neglected issues. The first is that maternal micronutrient status in the periconceptional period, and throughout pregnancy and lactation, should be viewed as a continuum. The second issue is that multiple micronutrient deficiencies occur simultaneously when diets are poor during pregnancy and lactation, resulting in poor maternal, newborn and infant health outcomes. While the optimal mode of meeting recommended micronutrient intakes is an adequate diet, in some situations supplementation is also important. There is a need for information on the optimal formulation of micronutrient supplements for pregnant women, and the need to recognize the continuation of these supplements during lactation.