Maternal nutrition and birth outcomes: effect of balanced protein-energy supplementation

This review summarises the evidence for the impact of maternal protein-energy supplementation on birth outcomes such as birth weight, size for gestational age and risk for stillbirth. The data shows a positive mean increase of 73g on birth weight, with the effect more pronounced in women who were undernourished. It also shows a 32 per cent decrease in the risk of LBW, 34 per cent reduction in the risk of SGA and 38 per cent decrease in the risk of still birth. The authors conclude that balanced protein-energy supplementation is an effective intervention to reduce the risk of LBW & SGA births, especially in undernourished mothers. This supports the Lancet recommendation that protein-energy supplementation is recommended in certain contexts, i.e. where the proportion of undernourished women is high.

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