Evaluating Association of Maternal Nutritional Status With Neonatal Birth Weight in Term Pregnancies: A Cross-Sectional Study With Unexpected Outcomes

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Cureus. 2021 Aug 31;13(8):e17621. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17621. eCollection 2021 Aug.

ABSTRACT

Introduction Birth weight is described as the primary determinant of the chances of survival among newborns. Low birth weight (LBW) is considered to be a major public health issue, especially among developing countries where poor maternal nutritional status is identified as a cause of both long and short-term adverse consequences. In developing countries, the majority of the LBW infants are born at term but are affected by intrauterine growth restriction, which might have begun early in the pregnancy period. We conducted this study in order to determine the possible effects of the poor nutritional status of mothers on the birth weight of their newborns. However, in disparity to the previous literature, our study evaluated unpredictable results. Methods This is a cross-sectional study that was conducted at two tertiary care teaching hospitals from November 2020 to April 2021 in order to determine the possible effects of the poor nutritional status of mothers on the birth weight of their newborns. 156 women both primigravida and multigravida of ages between 15 and 50 years and those who delivered low birth weight (LBW) babies of either gender at term (37-40 weeks of gestation) were included. For all mothers who delivered LBW (<2500 g) at term, their mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) was measured by inelastic tape. Mothers with MUAC less than 21 cm were considered malnourished. Results A total of 156 study participants were included in the study, with majority (n=112, %=71.8%) of them between the ages of 20 and 30 years. The mean age of all included participants was calculated to be 25.96±4.54 years (ranging from 18 to 38 years). Prevalence of maternal malnutrition was observed in 41 (26.3%) of the included women who delivered LBW babies, in contrast to high prevalence rates in previous literature. Conclusions In contrast to the previous literature, our study has shown that the nutritional status of mothers has no significant impact on the weight of neonates and the majority of neonates in our study were not severely low weight.

PMID:34650840 | PMC:PMC8489543 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.17621