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Maternal Nutrition and Birth Outcomes: effect of balanced protein-energy supplementation

The nutritional status of a woman before and during pregnancy is important for a healthy pregnancy outcome. Maternal malnutrition is a key contributor to poor fetal growth, low birthweight (LBW) and short- and long-term infant morbidity and mortality. This review summarised the evidence on association of maternal nutrition with birth outcomes along with review of effects of balanced protein-energy supplementation during pregnancy. A literature search was conducted with only intervention studies considered for inclusion. Pooled analysis showed a positive impact of balanced protein-energy supplementation on birthweight compared with control. This effect was more pronounced in undernourished women compared with adequately nourished women. In conclusion, balanced protein-energy supplementation is an effective intervention to reduce the prevalence of LBW and small-for-gestational-age births, especially in undernourished women.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd Imdad et al. December 2012
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