first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 16, 2017January 2, 2018By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ensuring proper nutrition is key to optimizing the health of pregnant women, mothers and newborns. Both undernutrition and overnutrition are major drivers of poor maternal health outcomes in low-, middle- and high-income countries. Undernutrition in pregnancy can lead to micronutrient deficiencies that compromise maternal health. Iron deficiency anemia, for example, affects one out of every two pregnant women in developing countries and contributes to 20% of global maternal deaths. Overnutrition can also cause a cascade of poor maternal and newborn health outcomes.As the world undergoes a “nutrition transition”—in which urbanization and rising income contribute to increased high-calorie food consumption and less-active lifestyles—more women are developing noncommunicable diseases such as obesity. Pregnant women who are overweight or obese may face increased risks of numerous complications, including gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, cesarean sections, stillbirths, preterm births and others.Depending on the context, interventions to improve maternal nutrition should aim to provide adequate dietary intake and supplementation in pregnancy and take into account the many contributing lifestyle factors for women at risk of overweight and obesity.In recognition of World Food Day, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) has rounded-up resources related to nutrition and maternal health.Featured resourcesMaternal and child nutrition seriesThe Lancet | June 2013Maternal obesity seriesThe Lancet | October 2016Nutrition and the continuum of care: Pre-conception to the post-natal periodAdvancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series | July 2014Maternal undernutrition: Evidence, links and solutionsAdvancing Dialogue on Maternal Health Series | December 2010Key papersPriority interventions to improve maternal and child diets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South AsiaMaternal and Child Nutrition | October 2017Impact of maternal under nutrition on obstetric outcomesJournal of Endocrinological Investigation | January 2015Maternal and child undernutrition: Global and regional exposures and health consequencesThe Lancet | January 2008Maternal nutrition: Opportunities in the prevention of gestational diabetesNutrition Reviews | January 2017Magnitude and determinants of malnutrition among pregnant women in eastern Ethiopia: Evidence from rural, community-based settingMaternal & Child Nutrition | July 2014Maternal and child nutrition: Building momentum for impactThe Lancet | June 2013Socio-economic and demographic factors influencing nutritional status among early childbearing young mothers in BangladeshBMC Women’s Health | August 2016Adolescent pregnancy, nutrition, and health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries: What we know and what we don’t knowBJOG | December 2015Reports and guidelinesEssential nutrition actions: Improving maternal, newborn, infant and young child health and nutritionWorld Health Organization | 2013PMNCH knowledge summary #18: NutritionPartnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health | 2012Role of nutrition in preventing child and maternal deathsUSAID | 2014Tracking progress on child and maternal nutritionUNICEF | November 2009—Are you a researcher, program implementer or policymaker working on a project related to nutrition and maternal health? We want to hear from you!Subscribe to receive new posts from the MHTF blog.Share this:last_img read more