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Maternal Nutrition

For many years it has been known that the height of the mother is closely related to birth weight and pregnancy outcome, such as perinatal mortality and stunting due to chronic malnutrition during childhood. Mothers who enter pregnancy with sound reproductive physiology, and who have not suffered ill health or nutritional deprivation in childhood will have larger and healthier infants than mothers who do not have such advantages. Several studies provide evidence for the relationship between adult size reproductive efficiency and socio economic status. In general, the baby of a short woman is lighter and has less vitality and has lower survival than that of a tall woman.

Mothers are often the key care taking persons of the children in the household, community and country. They themselves have to be healthy and need the time, the knowledge and the right environment to carry out their duties.

Studies in the U.S. conducted by the national institute of Health, have shown that mothers who weigh more than 68 kg at conception or who gain more than 12.5 kg in weight during pregnancy tend to have larger and healthier babies with a lower prenatal mortality as compared to mothers who weigh less than or gain less than weight than above.

The major micro nutrient deficiencies of public health importance in Ethiopia are iodine deficiency disorder, vitamin A deficiency and iron deficiency anemia. Other deficiencies, mainly related to thiamine, vitamin C and fluoride are also observed sporadically in some parts of the country. There is however, little or no information related to the sporadic deficiency disease.

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Maternal Nutrition