Advanced Biomedical Research and Innovation

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SGA or LGA: Impact of maternal nutritional status

Maternal health status is a key determinant of fetal growth. Maternal malnutrition refers to deficiency, excess or imbalance in maternal intake of energy and/or nutrients. Maternal malnutrition in child bearing age is a global health problem. Maternal and fetal wellbeing is directly coupled. Optimal fetal growth is influenced by a number of factors. However, maternal nutritional status has lion’s share among these factors as it ensures continuous nutrients supply to developing fetuses. These factors by an intricate mechanism control fetal metabolic signaling pathways and guide “fetal programming”. Although fetal genome plays an important role in optimal fetal growth potential, but current data favors maternal nutritional status as a major determinant of fetal growth. Maternal nutritional status influenced by maternal body composition and maternal dietary intake, governs nutrients rich blood flow to the uterus, placenta and fetal genes. Fetal growth is the measure of its nutritional status. Optimal nutritional status depends on adequate placental supply of nutrients. Any divergence can lead to fetal malnutrition. It can be assessed in utero by using specialized charts. Any deviation in growth trajectory leads to either small sized (SGA) or large sized (LGA) baby depending on maternal nutrients supply. In fact, fetus adapts to maternal malnutrition either through catabolism or anabolism leading to SGA or LGA respectively

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