Early start - Maternal and child nutrition

The overall goal of this research project is to improve the dietary intake of low socioeconomic status (SES) pregnant women and their children for a healthy and successful start of life.

In about 1 out of 3 newborns, birth weight is either too low or high; this counts for 11.000 children each year in the regions of Gelderland and Utrecht. A healthy dietary intake during pregnancy can prevent an unhealthy birthweight. Breastfeeding of children is preferred, as children fed by bottles more often suffer from health problems. However, little is known about the effect of maternal dietary intake on the quality of breastmilk and the health of the baby.

In this project, an integral strategy will be further developed, implemented and evaluated jointly with all stakeholders, i.e. Midwives, dieticians, health professionals and pregnant and lactating women and their partners. The strategy will include a special focus on the empowerment of pregnant and lactating women and their partners. The integral strategy will be implemented in at least ten municipalities with the aim to reach 1000 pregnant women. The integral strategy will be evaluated by use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. In addition, a similar strategy will be set up for lactating women.

The project is part of the “Regio Deal Foodvalley”, part 2: "Nutrition and Health, from early start to the old day”

The project builds on the Power4pregnancy project.