Maternal Fertility and Nutrition in Relation to Early Chidhood Survival
Maternal nutrition has been accepted for a long time as in some way having an influence on the foetus. The importance of maternal nutrition also for the immediate postnatal life of a child has, to a certain extent, been recognized. In both instances, however, the mechanisms through which this maternal nutrition or lack of good nutrition during pregnancy and the immediate post-natal period act have not been completely clarafied. For a time, the fetus was considered a very good parasite. Opinion no longer holds that such is the case. Increasingly, the evidence is accumulating that, although the fetus is to a great extent a parasite, it is not a very complete parasite, and therefore is unable, given shortages of nutrients in the mother, to arrive with its full complement of nutrients or even to arrive with a full weight. Low birth weight has itself now been associated to a great extent with maternal nutritional influences. Thus, what happens during pregnancy, especially during the latter part of pregnancy, is of considerable importance for the early beginnings of a child. These early beginnings which were not considered to be of such great consequence in later life, are beginning also to appear as having a very important relationship to what happens to the child during the rest of its life, as measured by most development parameters.
KeywordsPregnancy Outcome Iodine Deficiency Maternal Nutrition Fertile Period Maternal Malnutrition
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