Pregnant and lactating women are most vulnerable to malnutrition.
Recent studies found that only about one-third (32%) of women gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy and most women gained weight outside the recommendations (21% too little, 48% too much). Gaining less than the recommended amount of weight in pregnancy is associated with delivering a baby who is too small. Some babies born too small may have difficulty starting breastfeeding, may be at increased risk for illness, and may experience developmental delays. Maternal malnutrition increases the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes including obstructed labor, premature or low-birth-weight babies and postpartum hemorrhage.
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, and Iodine have been linked to severe risks including pre-eclampsia, anemia, neurological issues, and even miscarriage. Iron and Calcium deficiencies have also been identified as key contributors to maternal death.
Find out more at: motherchildnutrition.org
Quick Tip to Staying Healthy
It's important to know your calorie needs! In general, the first trimester does not require any extra calories. Typically, women need about 340 additional calories per day during the second trimester and about 450 additional calories per day during the third trimester. Also, remember to limit added sugars and solid fats found in foods like soft drinks, desserts, fried foods, whole milk, and fatty meats.
More information available at: www.cdc.gov
Infant and Child Malnutrition
Infant and young child feeding is a key area to improve child survival and promote healthy growth and development. The first 2 years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and fosters better development overall.
Find out more about child malnutrition at www.who.int