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© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1151/Noorani

Proper nutrition for adolescent girls and pregnant women is important for the health and survival prospects of both mothers and newborns. The undernutrition of young women increases the health risks for both them and their babies. Programmes that strive to improve maternal health are paying more attention to improving the nutrition of girls and women.

Increased food intake and supplementation with folic acid and iron are being encouraged during pre-pregnancy and pregnancy. Dietary diversification, the use of iodized salt and deworming also support the health of pregnant women and mothers. Vitamin A supplementation is recommended for postpartum women. Improved feeding practices for newborns, especially early and exclusive breastfeeding, helps protect them against disease.

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