e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Multiple micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy

Micronutrients are only needed in very small quantities but are essential for normal physiological function, growth and development. Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine and folate are particularly common among during pregnancy, due to increased nutrient requirements of the mother and developing fetus. These deficiencies can negatively impact the health of the mother, her pregnancy, as well as the health of the newborn baby.

The most current evidence shows that giving multiple micronutrient supplements to pregnant women may reduce the risk of low birth weight and of small size for gestational age, compared with iron and folic acid supplementation alone. However, further research is needed to assess the comparative advantage of replacing of iron and folate supplementation with multiple micronutrient supplementation.

WHO recommendations

Further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available


Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

27 July 2015 13:49 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee