Effects of Food Supplementation During Pregnancy on Maternal Weight Gain, Hemoglobin Levels and Pregnancy Outcomes in Iran

  • Jafar Sadegh Tabrizi
  • Arezoo Asghari
  • Fatollah Pourali
  • Hamideh Kousha
  • Leila NikniazEmail author


Objectives In this study, the effects of food supplementation during pregnancy on maternal weight gain, hemoglobin (Hb) levels, and pregnancy outcomes were evaluated. Methods In this randomized controlled trial, we recruited 1360 pregnant women with a gestational age of 10 weeks who had BMI < 18.5 and hemoglobin < 10.5/dL from rural areas of the east Azerbaijan province in Iran. Rural areas were randomly assigned into two groups: food-supplemented and control areas. In food-supplemented areas the food supplement was provided (1500 kcal/d) from 10 weeks of pregnancy through to the end. Information on demographic data were collected and anthropometric and Hb measurements were taken using standard instruments. Results The average weight gain was 9.1 ± 1.8 kg and 7.9 ± 1.6 kg in supplemented and control groups respectively, which was significantly different (p = 0.001). Also, a significant time × treatment interaction in maternal average weight gain (p = 0.001) was observed. The mean Hb decreased from 12 mg/dl and 12.1 mg/dl in week 10 to 11.9 mg/dl and 11.7 mg/dl in week 20 in the supplemented and control groups respectively, which was significant only for the control group. Between-group comparisons revealed significant differences in the rates of low birth weight (LBW) infants (p = 0.001) and preterm births (p = 0.013). Conclusion for practice Food supplementation significantly reduced the prevalence of poor maternal weight gain, infants with low birth weight, and preterm births compared to no intervention.


Food supplementation Pregnancy Maternal weight gain Hemoglobin Low birth weight 



The authors wish to thank the Tabriz Health services management research center and the East Azarbaijan health province at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for their financial support. This study would not have been possible without the help and participation of the health centers.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jafar Sadegh Tabrizi
    • 1
  • Arezoo Asghari
    • 2
  • Fatollah Pourali
    • 2
  • Hamideh Kousha
    • 2
  • Leila Nikniaz
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Tabriz Health Services Management Research Center, Faculty of Management and Medical InformaticsTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  2. 2.Nutrition Improvement GroupTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  3. 3.Tabriz Health Services Management Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

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