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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1975 Jun 1;122(3):332-6.

Effect of folic acid supplement on birth weights of infants.

Abstract

Earlier observations from this Institute have indicated that the infants born to mothers receiving folic acid supplements in addition to iron during pregnancy were heavier than those born to mothers receiving iron alone. Since birth weights are influenced by maternal factors like height and parity, a trial was carried on in matched controls with iron and iron and folic acid during the last 12 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. Simultaneously, placental function was also assessed. The effect of the folic acid supplements was more marked on first born children. Incidence of small-for-dates births was half in the iron and folate-supplemented group as compared with the iron-supplemented group. The heights of mothers did not make any difference on the effect of folate supplement. The improvement in the birth weights seem to have been brought about by increase in placental size, cell number, and protein content in the folate supplement group. In view of multivariant deficiency and practical problems in implementing food supplement programs to expectant mothers, supplements of folate and iron to expectant mothers in large scale may bring about an improvement in the incidence of pregnancy anemia and also reduce the infant morbidity and mortality rate due to the high incidence of low-birth weight babies.

PMID:
1130456
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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