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Maternal focused interventions to improve infant feeding and nutrition: a review of the evidence. MSc project.

Author: Victoria von Salmuth
Year: 2019
Resource type: Report

Background

Despite increasing knowledge, education and efforts to scale up nutritional interventions, malnutrition remains a large global health burden for maternal and child health. Women's nutrition plays a crucial role in optimizing pregnancy outcome and influencing maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes. There is a need for a multi- sectorial approach which addresses the immediate as well as the underlining root causes of malnutrition.

Methods

A systematic literature review on the effectiveness on maternal nutritional-sensitive interventions on infant outcomes in LIMCs using five databases with a 10-year date restriction was conducted. Infant outcomes of interest included anthropometric scores, birthweight, infant mortality, breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices. Additionally, maternal outcomes such as maternal mortality and mental health were evaluated. A narrative synthesis of the extracted data was presented. The quality of reviews was assessed using the GRADE criteria.

Results

A total of 20 systematic reviews was included out of 1562 initial hits. The reviews synthesized evidence on a range of nutritional interventions including, education interventions on breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, WASH interventions, women empowerment, conditional cash transfer as well as agriculture, relaxation therapy and mobile delivery technologies across LIMCs. The effectiveness of the interventions on infant outcome varied. Education and women empowerment as well as combination of interventions were identified as the recurrent topics across all interventions.

Conclusion

Several interventions proved to be effectives on improving single infant outcome measures, including education on breastfeeding promotion and complementary feeding as well as women empowerment programs. A variety of interventions such as CCTs, WASH and agricultural interventions were assessed separately, lacking quality combination of interventions and implementation of nutrition intervention packages. Better integration of nutrition sensitive interventions and better collaboration between different stakeholders could improve effectiveness of the respective programs as well as making them more cost effective.

 

This research was carried out as a final project for the MSc Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is available at: https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/research/library-archive-open-research-services/resources/msc-project-reports

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Victoria von Salmuth (2019). Maternal focused interventions to improve infant feeding and nutrition: a review of the evidence. MSc project.. www.ennonline.net/maternal-focused-interventions-to-improve-infant-feeding-and-nutrition-review-of-evidence-msc-project

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