Signs and Effects of Malnutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very special time for women. They need the best and optimum care during those nine months to ensure a hale and hearty mother and baby. Malnutrition during pregnancy can be quite harmful.

Maternal malnutrition during pregnancy can affect the wellbeing and development of the baby. Malnutrition is when the baby and in this case, the mother do not receive adequate nourishment during pregnancy. It means the baby, in the mother’s womb does not get enough nutrients to grow. It could lead to a...


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...smaller baby, affect the baby’s organs and cause overall medical problems. Effects of malnutrition include a small sized baby. It also causes a weakened immune system, low stamina levels, higher susceptibility to diseases and a shorter stature. A malnourished baby can often carry the effects of malnutrition through its life. There have been studies that have shown cognitive development and low IQ in babies is linked to malnutrition in the womb. The effects of malnutrition are not only passed on during the pregnancy stage. They can also be passed on during the lactation stage. In fact three stages on which growth depends on the nutrition received are gestation, lactation and early childhood.

When a woman gets pregnant it is important to consult a nutritionist if you do not know how to completely include and change your diet. Exercise and staying fit also becomes very important for the mother and for the baby’s healthy development. A woman should put on about 25 to 30 pounds in the course of her pregnancy. Before she gets pregnant, she should try and achieve her optimum body weight. Babies born underweight are 40 times more likely to die than a healthy baby. If the woman is fat or obese, she should try and lose the excess weight before conceiving. It is not advisable to diet once you are pregnant.

Nutrition is very important as with good nutrition the uterus becomes strong to develop a healthy placenta. Placenta is the source of all nutrition for the baby. If the placenta does not develop properly, the baby will always suffer from less nutrition.

Signs of malnutrition during pregnancy are higher in poorer countries where mothers are unable to receive proper care due to constrained economic means. Women who suffer from malnutrition often have anemia and giving birth to a child for such mothers is a mortal risk with a high percentage of complications like preterm labor, obstructed labor, birth defects and postpartum hemorrhaging.

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