BACKGROUND: Nutritional insults and conditions during fetal life and infancy influence subsequent growth and body composition of children.
OBJECTIVES: Effects of maternal food and micronutrient supplementation and exclusive breastfeeding counseling on growth of offspring aged 0-54 months and their body composition at 54 months of age were studied.
METHODS: In the MINIMat trial (ISRCTN16581394) in Matlab, Bangladesh, pregnant women were randomized to early (around 9 weeks) or usual invitation (around 20 weeks) to food supplementation and to one of the three daily micronutrient supplements: 30-mg Fe and 400-µg folic acid (Fe30F), 60-mg Fe and 400-µg folic acid (Fe60F), and multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS). The supplements were also randomized to exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) counseling or to usual health messages.
RESULTS: No differences in background characteristics were observed among the intervention groups. There was also no differential effect of prenatal interventions on birthweight or birthlength. Early food supplementation reduced the level of stunting from early infancy up to 54 months of age among boys (average difference - 6.5% units, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7-11.3, p=0.01) but not among girls (average difference - 2.4% units, 95% CI -2.2-7.0, p=0.31). MMS resulted in more stunting compared to standard Fe60F (average difference - 4.8% units, 95% CI 0.8-8.9, p=0.02). Breastfeeding counseling prolonged the duration of EBF (difference - 35 days, 95% CI 30.6-39.5, p<0.001). Neither pregnancy interventions nor breastfeeding counseling influenced the body composition of children at 54 months of age.
CONCLUSION: Early food supplementation during pregnancy reduced the occurrence of stunting among boys aged 0-54 months, while prenatal MMS increased the proportion of stunting. Food and micronutrient supplementation or EBF intervention did not affect body composition of offspring at 54 months of age. The effects of prenatal interventions on postnatal growth suggest programming effects in early fetal life.
2013. Vol. 6, 22476