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Improving Birth Outcomes with Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation

Improving Birth Outcomes with Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation

By Saima Ahmed, M.Sc., NYAS Staff

Adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals is critical for a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) struggle to meet the increased dietary demands for a healthy pregnancy through diet alone. Inadequate nutritional intake frequently leads to poor maternal health and adverse birth outcomes, such as: maternal mortality, preeclampsia, insufficient gestational weight gain, stunting, low birth weight (LBW), small for gestational age (SGA), and neonatal mortality. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends iron-folic acid supplements (IFA) as the routine standard of care in antenatal care programs. However, strong evidence is now available demonstrating the superiority of multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) over IFA. To help countries determine if they should transition from IFA to MMS in antenatal care, the New York Academy of Sciences assembled a task force. Charged with taking a closer look at MMS, the task force considered several factors, including benefits, risks, and cost-effectiveness. On June 25, 2019, the task force’s findings were published in a special issue of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Full eBriefing by Saima Ahmed: