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Revision of the dietary guidelines for pregnant and breastfeeding women

The HCSP updates the dietary guidelines of the National Nutrition and Health Programme for pregnant and breastfeeding women. These new dietary guidelines will be used by Santé publique France to develop public health messaging towards the general public. Nutritional issues in pregnant and breastfeeding women are very similar to those of the general adult population, and a balanced diet even before pregnancy is crucial to prevent a certain number of foetal and maternal conditions, some of which can develop at the early stages of pregnancy, and even before the pregnancy is known. Thus, information on folate supplementation - to be initiated before conception - should be widely disseminated to young women. Similarly, information on the teratogenic role of alcohol consumption and impact of microbial agents exposure during pregnancy should be disseminated to all women of childbearing age. However, a balance needs to be struck between providing adequate information on microbial and toxicological risks and the risk of increasing anxiety in pregnant women at a vulnerable period of their life. While health care providers are one of the primary sources of information during pregnancy and the immediate post-partum period, due to the sensitivity of pregnant women to health information during this period, it is important that the messages from the different sources of information available to women are reliable and consistent.

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