e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Zinc supplementation during pregnancy

The central role of zinc in cell division, protein synthesis and growth means that an adequate supply of zinc is especially important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, zinc and other micronutrient deficiencies are common due to increased nutrient requirements of the mother and the developing fetus. These deficiencies can negatively impact pregnancy outcomes including the health of the mother and newborn infant.

The available evidence suggests that zinc supplementation during pregnancy may help to reduce preterm births in low-income settings, but does not prevent other suboptimal pregnancy outcomes including low-birth-weight or pre-eclampsia.

WHO recommendations

Zinc supplementation for pregnant women is only recommended in the context of rigorous research.

WHO documents

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

15 June 2017 14:53 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee


Implementation of this intervention is not recommended