Maternal Short Stature and Neonatal Stunting: An Inter-Generational Cycle Of Malnutrition
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Maternal body size before pregnancy as a predictor of pregnancy outcome has been investigated in several publications. Most of the stunted children were delivered by stunted mother. This research was aimed to analyze whether maternal body size before pregnancy has an important contribution to neonatal stunting. A prospective cohort study was conducted in Probolinggo Regency, East Java. A number of 420 women were enrolled in this study. Among those women, 194 women were pregnant and 107 newborns were completely observed. Maternal body size was measured before pregnancy including body weight, height, and Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC). Newborn’s birth length was measured less than 24 hours after birth. Short stature is defined as an height less than 145 cm, low body weight is defined as a body weight less than 40 kg, neonatal stunting is defined as a birth length less than 48 cm. Result indicated that 12.9% of women had short stature (<145 cm), 16.2% had low body weight (< 40 kg), and 25% had MUAC of <23.5 cm. Data was statistically analyzed by using independent t test. Among the observed pregnant women (107 women), 16.8% had short stature and 19.6% had low body weight. Maternal short stature, but not maternal low body weight and chronic energy deficiency, was correlated with birth length (p= 0.03 and 0.119; 0.653 respectively). Mothers with short stature (height < 145 cm) had a propensity to deliver low birth length babies, but there was insignificant correlation between the birth length and the maternal body weight. The result indicated that a stunted mother would likely to bring forth a stunted baby which reflected the inter-generation malnutrition from mothers to their babies.