Nutritional awareness among pregnant women in Latvia

Marija Kolosova, Med. Anna Miskova


Background: Women's eating habits affect not only the course of pregnancy but also the later life's metabolic health of their off springs. In 2016 Latvian guidelines on healthy nutrition during preconception period, pregnancy and lactation were published. The aim of this study was to analyze the level of nutritional awareness among pregnant women in Latvia.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in Riga Maternity Hospital. 110 pregnant women receiving antenatal care participated in the survey.

Results: 64.5% of respondents received recommendations on proper nutrition from health care professionals during pregnancy, whereas only 20.9% were informed in the preconception period. 68.7% of participants, who received information about the principles of healthy nutrition, considered them to be sufficient. The majority of women got the recommendations from gynecologists-obstetricians- 4.9%. 39.1% of women used non-evidence-based sources when searching for the information about healthy nutrition. 34.5% of all pregnant women had at least one health or social risk factor, which required individualized diet planning, however, 26.3% of them did not receive any recommendations at all. 28.7% of respondents started pregnancy with abnormal Body Mass Index (BMI).

Conclusions: Women should be advised to make diet corrections before pregnancy, therefore more consultations in preconception period are needed. Additional educational sources providing information about healthy nutrition should be considered.


Educational intervention, Guidelines on healthy nutrition, Nutrition, Pregnancy

Full Text:



WHO. Global Health Observatory data repository: All NCDs, Deaths per 100 000; Data by country. Available at . Accessed 20 November 2016.

WHO. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014. Available at Accessed 20 November 2016.

Hale WA, Joubert JD, Kalula S. Aging Populations and Chronic Illness. In: Markle WH, Fisher MA, Smego RA. Understanding Global Health. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill;2014. Available at Accessed 20 November 2016.

WHO. European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020. Available at Accessed 20 November 2016.

Smith CJ, Ryckman KK. Epigenetic and developmental influences on the risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obestet. 2015;8:295-302.

WHO. Good Maternal Nutrition. The best start in life, 2016. Available at Accessed 20 November 2016.

Latvian guidelines on healthy nutrition during pregnancy. 2016. Available at: Accessed 10 September 2016.

Luo XD, Dong X, Zhou J. Effects of nutritional management intervention on gestational weight gain and perinatal outcome. SMJ. 2014;35(10):1267-70.

Girard AW, Olude O. Nutrition Education and Counselling Provided during Pregnancy: Effects on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Outcomes. Pediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2012;26:191-204.

Ota E, Hori H, Mori R, Tobe-Gai R, Farrar D. Antenatal dietary education and supplementation to increase energy and protein intake. Cochrane Database Sys Rev. 2015.

Malta MB, Carvalhaes MA, Takito MY, Tonete VL, Barros AJ, Parada CM et al. Educational intervention regarding diet and physical activity for pregnant women: changes in knowledge and practices among health professionals. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016;16:175.

Agricola E, Pandolfi E, Gonfiantini MV, Gesualdo F, Romano M, Carloni E, et al. A cohort study of a tailored web intervention for preconception care. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2014;14:33.

United States Department of Agriculture. Choose My Available at Accessed 20 November 2016.