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Food Nutr Bull. 2012 Sep;33(3):194-201.

Effects of third trimester counseling on pregnancy weight gain, birthweight, and breastfeeding among urban poor women in Bangladesh.

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Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, House 473, Road 31, DOHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka.



Maternal malnutrition and poor gestational weight gain are the most important causes of low birth weight and high rates of newborn mortality.


To assess the effects of nutrition counseling in the third trimester of pregnancy on maternal weight gain, birth weight of newborn, and breastfeeding practices.


This was a longitudinal experimental study with nutrition intervention for a period of 3 months. One hundred fifteen women (57 in the intervention group and 58 in the comparison group) who were visiting the Maternal and Child Health Training Institute at 6 months of pregnancy were randomly selected. The intervention group was given nutrition education twice in the first month and once a month for the next 2 months before delivery; the comparison group received routine hospital advice on food intake, immunization, personal hygiene, and breastfeeding. The women were weighed monthly up to delivery, the newborn infants' birth weights were measured within 24 hours after delivery, and breastfeeding practices were observed 1 month after delivery.


Women in the intervention group gained 1.73 kg more weight during the third trimester than women in the comparison group (5.61 vs. 3.88 kg, p < 0.001). The mean birthweight of babies of women in the intervention group was 0.44 kg greater than that of babies of women in the comparison group (2.86 vs. 2.42 kg, p < 0.001). In the intervention group, 10.5% of babies were born with low birthweight, compared with 48.3% of the babies of women in the comparison group (p < 0.001). In the intervention group, 75.4% of mothers initiated breastfeeding within 1 hour after birth, compared with 34.5% of mothers in the comparison group (p < 0.001).


Nutrition education only during the third trimester improved weight gain during pregnancy, reduced 78% of low birth weight, and improved breastfeeding practices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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