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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Bangladesh Priorities: Pregnancy Supplements, Rose

Jonathan Rose, a research advisor with the South Asian Institute of Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies, looks at how nutrition could also help pregnant women. Providing nutrients to the mother can be a very advantageous proposition. 

Energy and protein supplements decrease the chances of stillbirth and undersized-infants. Calcium reduces pre-eclampsia during birth, which can be fatal for mothers. And iron and folic acid can lower anemia for mothers, a cause of maternal deaths, and also reduce infant birth defects. In addition, all three supplements fight a troubling issue: low birth weight. Newborns with low birth weight face significantly higher rates of infant mortality, are more likely to suffer complications or chronic disease later in life, and are predisposed to stunting.


Strategy Takas of benefits per taka spent
Iron and folic acid in pregnancy 27
Balanced protein energy in pregnancy 17
Calcium in pregnancy 12

Giving pregnant women energy and protein could yield great benefits, especially for fighting low birth weight. But the supplement is logistically challenging and costly to