Maternal Nutrition & Maternal and Child Health

Undernourished pregnant women have higher reproductive risks, including death during or following childbirth. Many women suffer from a combination of chronic energy deficiency, poor weight gain in pregnancy, anemia, and other micronutrient deficiencies, as well as infections such as HIV and malaria. These along with inadequate obstetric care contribute to high rates of maternal mortality and poor birth outcomes. Undernutrition in pregnant women is directly linked to intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), which results in low birth weight, pre-maturity, and low nutrient stores in infants. Maternal undernutrition also diminishes a woman’s productivity, causing repercussions for herself, her family, her community, and the broader society.