NUTRITION CORNER: Filipino pregnant women have high nutrition needs

Reference:  Charina A. Javier, FNRI Digest


One of the pressing targets of the Millenium Development Goals which the Philippines has committed to achieve along with other nations is the improvement in maternal health.

Pregnant women who were below the 95th percentile based on weigh-for-height cut-off points are considered nutritionally-at-risk.

In 2005, there was a prevalence rate of 28.4% of nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women in the country and it was down only to 26.3 percent in 2008. The government has targetted to reduce to 20.9 percent of nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women by 2010.

Pregnant women have high nutritional needs. A pregnant woman not only has to satisfy her own nutritional requirements but also of the growing fetus in her womb.

Her nutritional status before and during pregnancy determines the nutritional status of her infant at birth and months and years after that.

Poor nutrition among pregnant women results to low birth weight babies and may experience difficult labor and major complications such as severe hemorrhages, infections, high blood pressure and abscesses of the breasts, among others.

There is a need to have a more intensified nutrition program for pregnant women as they bear children which will become our leaders in the next generation.(Reference:  Charina A. Javier, FNRI Digest)