Consultation on maternal nutrition

27–28 June 2016, Riga, Latvia

The nutritional well-being of women when they conceive is critical. Evidence has shown that poor nutritional conditions before and during pregnancy can have short-term effects, such as influencing the duration and outcome of pregnancy. But nutrition during fetal development and early in life can also have longer-lasting effects, particularly an increased risk for noncommunicable diseases. Thus, a mother's nutritional status has a significant impact not only on her infant but also throughout her child's life.

In line with the call for strong action against the double burden of malnutrition, identified by the UN Decade of Nutrition as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2, 3 and 12, Member States will convene to discuss maternal nutrition in a consultation in Riga, Latvia, on 27–28 June. During this consultation, they will review current practices and identify policies to improve nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Additionally, the WHO Regional Office for Europe will launch the report "Good maternal nutrition: the best start in life", under the auspices of the Minister of Health of Latvia.

Objectives of the meeting:

The consultation will bring together national experts involved in developing policies and programmes on preconception care, the care of women during pregnancy and the postpartum period and nutrition. They will:

  • present and discuss the report "Good maternal nutrition: the best start in life", prepared by the WHO Regional Office for Europe;
  • discuss the experience of Latvia in developing national guidance on nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding based on WHO guidance; and
  • make recommendations for further improvement of nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding in countries that have prioritized this area of work in their health policies.

The consultation was made possible by funding from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.