Malnutrition Among Pregnant Women Essay

713 Words3 Pages
Malnutrition is a threat to global health, survival and economic development especially in low and middle income countries. It occurs in two forms, under-nutrition or over-nutrition. Undernutrition in childhood characterized by stunting, wasting, fetal growth restriction, deficiencies in vitamin A and zinc and suboptimal breastfeeding, causes 3 million children deaths globally, representing 45% of all childhood mortality . A key obstacle in reducing the high levels of undernutrition among children is suboptimal nutrition in pregnant and lactating women. In Kenya, women’s nutritional needs during pregnancy have not received much attention and yet, acute malnutrition in pregnant women is a major cause of low birth weight, pre-mature births and…show more content…
Maternal malnutrition adversely affects the division and replication of cells as early as the embryo stage, impairing foetal development in the later stages of pregnancy. Moreover, cells that require a great supply of nutrients and possess high metabolic demands, such as stem cells which result to lymphocytes and blood cells are the first to be affected by malnutrition . The normal proliferation and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been shown to delay in protein malnourished pregnant rats . Hematopoietic and lymphoid organs are particularly affected by malnutrition resulting in malnourished individuals being more susceptible to infections. The placenta plays a vital role in foetal development by providing nutrition and further supporting immunological tolerance. Gestational malnutrition affects placental development by altering expression of genes related to cell growth and metabolism, apoptosis and epigenetic control . Thus, defects of early placental development can result in pregnancy-related disorders, such as preeclampsia or foetal growth restriction . Mechanisms responsible for pregnancy-related disorders remain poorly understood however studies are employing stem cells including placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells to investigate disorders such as preterm births. Umbilical cord-derived MSCs were recently found to enhance the migration and proliferation of trophoblast cells indicating their

More about Malnutrition Among Pregnant Women Essay

Open Document