Impact of Nutritional Deficiency on Pregnancy

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Impact of Nutritional Deficiency on Pregnancy

Table : Impact of Nutritional Deficiency on Pregnancy


Impact of deficiency on the



Energy and protein

  • Abortion
  • Complications during delivery
  • Ketosis
  • May not gain enough weight to have normal lactation
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Premature infant
  • Low birth weight infant
  • Less brain cells

Linoleic Acid

  • Retarded foetal growth


  • Muscular cramps
  • Repeated pregnancy with poor diet can result in osteomalacia
  • During lactation breast milk may be deficient in calcium
  • Calcification of bones and teeth is decreased
  • Underweight due to the decreased foetal bone growth.


  • Born with less stores of iron and susceptible to anaemia.


  • Goitre
  • Increased risk of miscarriage and still birth
  • Chance of getting goitre
  • Cretinism


  • Foetal mortality
  • Foetal malformations including central nervous system and terato-genecity
  • Reduced intra uterine growth rate
  • Low birth weight
  • Preterm baby

Vitamin A

  • Mortality
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Decreased levels in foetus so more susceptible far Vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin D

  • Decreased calcium absorption
  • Calcium metabolism of foetus is affected

Vitamin K

  • Decreased prothrombin synthesis
  • Increased loss of blood during delivery
  • Increased risk of neonatal haemorrhage

Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin

  • Deficiency symptoms

Folic acid

  • Megaloblastic anaemia
  • Abruptio placentae
  • Pregnancy induced hypertension
  • Foetal malformation
  • Neural tube defects spinabifida congenital abnormalities like harelip, cleft palate, hydrocephalus
  • Low birth weight

Vitamin B 12

  • Premature baby

Vitamin C

  • Premature rupture of foetal membrane
  • Increased neonatal death rate
Last modified: Friday, 4 May 2012, 5:34 AM