Maternal health in India much worse than previously thought, new study finds
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
More than 40 percent of women in India are underweight when they begin pregnancy, according to a new study published by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. On average, these women gain only 15 pounds throughout pregnancy – just half of the recommended amount.
The findings – featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) – are a concern as body mass and weight gain during pregnancy are important indicators of maternal health. Babies born to undernourished mothers are more likely to be underweight, a characteristic influencing height, cognition and productivity across a lifetime.