Working Group on Adolescent, Pre-conception and Maternal Nutrition

chaired by Professor Mark Hanson












Members 2015-2018:

Professor Mark Hanson, UK – Chair 

Dr Ronald Ma, Hong Kong – Co-Chair

Professor Chittaranjan Purandare - Ex officio, India

Dr Irene Cetin, Italy

Dr Ricardo Fescina, Uruguay

Dr Torvid Kiserud, Norway

Dr Bert Koletzko, Germany

Dr Fionnuala McAuliffe, Ireland

Dr Shane Norris, South Africa

Dr Emily Oken, USA

Dr Lucilla Poston, UK

Dr Chittaranjan Yajnik, India


Adolescent, Preconception and Maternal Nutrition Initiative and Working Group

Duration: Adolescent, Preconception and Maternal Nutrition (APMN) initiative 2014-2015; Adolescent, Preconception and Maternal Nutrition Working Group 2015-2018

Donor: Abbott Nutrition

Project contact:

Background: Adolescent, preconception, and maternal nutrition represent a major public health issue that affects not only the health of adolescents and women, but also that of future generations. Good health and nutrition before conception are key to a mother’s ability to meet the nutrient demands of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and are vital to the healthy development of her embryo, fetus, infant, and child. The continuum of poor maternal health and poor infant and childhood development which is caused by poor nutrition contributes substantially to the global burden of disease and disability, ranging from pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and obstructed labour, to future non-communicable diseases in both mother and offspring, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Addressing malnutrition in women before and during pregnancy is therefore essential in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases and achieving global Sustainable Development Goals. In 2015 FIGO published evidence-based recommendations on nutrition for healthcare professionals working with adolescent, pre-pregnant and pregnant women.  

Moving its work forward, the FIGO Working Group will endeavour to disseminate and implement the recommendations by designing and developing project activities and providing technical expertise and oversight to them. The Working Group will deliver targeted activities mainly in the areas of Advocacy and Capacity Building and Training.

Overall aim: Increase awareness of the impact of women’s nutrition on themselves and future generations by:

  • enabling greater attention to be paid to the links between maternal malnutrition and increased risk of later non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the mother and offspring as a core component to meeting global health goals
  • advocating for action to improve nutrition among adolescent girls and women of reproductive age
  • advocating for public health measures to improve nutritional education, particularly of adolescents and young wome
  • advocating for greater access to preconception services for women of reproductive age to assist with planning and preparation for healthy pregnancies and healthy children.


Successes: Since the initiative started in 2014, we have had the following successes:

  • Assembled international group of experts to create guidance on adolescent, preconception and maternal nutrition
  • Produced the first comprehensive international guidelines on adolescent, preconception and maternal nutrition for health care professionals
  • Submitted a successful application to FIGO to become an official Working Group
  • Disseminated the nutrition recommendations at numerous meetings and conferences
  • Developed and disseminated further tools and materials to guide health care professionals on adolescent, preconception and maternal nutrition
  • Worked with Ministries of Health in Chile and Ethiopia to reach a consensus on addressing adolescent, preconception and maternal nutrition
  • Worked with FIGO Regional Ambassadors to disseminate and implement good nutrition practices in 15 countries  
  • Agreed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chilean Ministry of Health (MINSAL) and our Chilean OBGYN member society (Sociedad Chilena de Obstetrica y Ginecologia) which commits them to working towards FIGO’s nutrition recommendations  


Upcoming events:

Presenting at the FIGO World Congress, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 2018 


FIGO’s APMN materials:

Please feel free to access and share our APMN materials.

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Recommendations on Adolescent, Preconception, and Maternal Nutrition: 'Think Nutrition First' (2015)

Infographics from the above document: English version (2015) / French version / Spanish version / Chinese version

One page advocacy document - key arguments and practical solutions for policy makers with regards to improving women’s nutrition

Videos from the FIGO World Congress 2015 on Adolesecent, Preconception and Maternal Nutrition

Slideset: Adolescent Preconception and Maternal Nutrition (2017)

‘Nutritional checklist – practical tool for health care professionals to assess women’s nutritional status before and during pregnancy’