Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health – The United Nations is driving the move to improve the health of women and children around the world and is making the push to build a collective resolve to ensure universal access to essential health services and proven, life-saving interventions as work is done to strengthen health systems. The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health meets this challenge head on. It sets out the key areas where action is urgently required to enhance financing, strengthen policy and improve service delivery.

Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding – The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding aims to revitalize efforts to promote, protect and support appropriate infant and young child feeding. It builds upon past initiatives, in particular the Innocenti Declaration and the Baby-friendly Hospital initiative and addresses the needs of all children including those living in difficult circumstances, such as infants of mothers living with HIV, low-birth-weight infants and infants in emergency situations.

Nutritional Support for the Infant’s Immune System – Newborn babies possess a functional but immature immune system as a defense against a world teeming with microorganisms. Breast milk contains a number of biological, active compounds that support the infant’s immune system. These include secretory immunoglobulin against enteric pathogens, as well as numerous other immunological, active ingredients. A number of these ingredients can be used as supplements for infant formulas based on cow’s milk. Here, the strength of evidence regarding the immune-stimulating effects of selected minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, pre- and probiotics, and nucleotides is reviewed. An assessment of how these ingredients are used in infant-formula products currently available on the market is also presented.

Milk fortified with iron or supplementation to improve nutritional status of pregnant women: An intervention trial from rural Vietnam – Anemia is still the major nutritional problem among pregnant women in Southeast Asia. The objective of this study was to measure hemoglobin status and reduction of underweight in a group of pregnant women who received iron-fortified or nonfortified milk and another group who received iron supplements (tablets) or placebo.

Supplementation with a mixture of complex lipids derived from milk to growing rats results in improvements in parameters related to growth and cognition – Alterations in nutritional factors during early development can exert long-term effects on growth, neural function, and associated behaviors. The lipid component of milk provides a critical nutritional source for generating both energy and essential nutrients for the growth of the newborn. The present study, therefore, investigated the hypothesis that nutritional supplementation with a complex milk lipid (CML) preparation, derived from the milk fat globule membrane rich in phospholipids and gangliosides from young rats, has beneficial effects on learning behavior and postnatal growth and development.

Influence of dietary gangliosides on neonatal brain development – Gangliosides are sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipids. Gangliosides are found in human milk; understanding of the potential role of gangliosides in infant development is emerging, with suggested roles in the brain and gut. Ganglioside accretion in the developing brain is highest in utero and in early neonatal life, during the periods of dendritic branching and new synapse formation.

Folic acid fortified milk increase blood folate and lowers homocysteine concentration in women of childbearing age – Daily consumption of 400ug folic acid prior to conception and during early pregnancy is recommended for the prevention of neural tube defects (NTD). Strategies to increase folic acid consumption include supplements and fortified foods.

Red cell folate and predicted neural tube defect rate in three Asian cities – Periconceptional folic acid reduces neural tube defect (NTD) risk. Red blood cell folate concentration is inversely associated with NTD risk. In many countries there is a lack of information on NTD rates. Red cell folate status in women of childbearing age may be a surrogate for NTD rates and may be helpful in identifying countries or regions most likely to benefit from improved folate status.

Folate and vitamin B12 status of women of reproductive age living in Hanoi City and Hai Duong Province of Vietnam – Folic acid taken during the periconceptional period reduces the risk of neural tube defects (NTD) and possibly other adverse pregnancy outcomes(1–3). Several countries have introduced mandatory folic acid fortification to reduce NTD rates.

Dietary and blood folate status of Malaysian women of childbearing age – The protective role of folic acid taken during the periconceptual period in reducing the occurrence of neural
tube defects (NTD) has been well documented by epidemiological evidence, randomized controlled trials and ntervention studies. Much of the evidence is derived from western populations while similar data on Asian
subjects is relatively nascent.

Supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Bifidobacterium lactis probotics in pregnancy increases cord blood interferon-y and breast milk transforming growth factor-B and immunoglobin: A detection – This study explored the effects of maternal probiotic supplementation on immune markers in cord blood (CB) and breast milk.

Folic Acid and Homocysteine Metabolic Defects and the Risk of Placental Abruption, Pre-eclampsia and Spontaneous Pregnancy Loss: A Systematic Review – Placental infarction or abruption, recurrent pregnancy loss and pre-eclampsia are thought to arise due to defects within the placental vascular bed. Deficiencies of Vitamin B12 and folate, or other abnormalities within the methionine-homocysteine pathway have been implicated in the development of such placental diseases. We conducted a systematic literature review to quantify the risk of placental disease in the presence of these metabolic defects.

Mother, infant, and household factors associated with the type of food infants receive in developing countries – Current recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF state that mothers should exclusively breastfeed infants for the first 6months of life and should provide complementary foods and sustained breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. Despite these recommendations, recent evidence suggests that in developing countries as many as 22% of mothers may feed their infants solid foods prior to 6months of age. Even if solid foods are introduced at the proper time, mothers may either select foods lacking essential nutrients or not provide enough complementary foods to make up a nutrient deficit.

Postpartum Dietary Intakes and Food Taboos Among Chinese Women Attending Maternal and Child Health Clinics and Maternity Hospital, Kuala Lumpur – Traditionally, Chinese women adhere to special dietary practices during the month following childbirth. This paper discusses the dietary practices and food taboos practised by Chinese women in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 134 Chinese mothers of children below one year were recruited from three Maternal and Child Health Clinics and Maternity Hospital, Kuala Lumpur.