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Maternal nutrition does not affect size of babies in industrialised countries

(Influence of maternal nutrition on outcome of pregnancy: prospective cohort study)

Concern over the impact of maternal nutrition on the health of an infant has been premature, say researchers in this week's BMJ. Fiona Mathews and colleagues from the University of Oxford report that maternal nutrition, at least in industrialised populations, seems to have only a small effect on placental and birth weights of babies.

In their study of 693 first time mothers in the south of England, Mathews et al found that in early pregnancy Vitamin C was the only nutrient which affected placental and birth weight, but the authors cast doubt over whether this relation has any clinical significance.

They conclude that among relatively well nourished women in industrialised countries, maternal nutrition seems to have only a marginal impact on infant and placental size and therefore other causes of variation in the size of new-born babies should be investigated.


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Contact: Jill Shepherd
jshepherd@bma.org.uk
44-171-383-6529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
6-Aug-1999


Page: 1

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