Effects of prenatal micronutrient supplementation on complications of labor and delivery and puerperal morbidity in rural Nepal

Parul S Christian, Subarna K. Khatry, Steven C. LeClerq, Sanu Maiya Dali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To examine the effect of supplemental prenatal folic acid, folic acid-iron, folic acid-iron-zinc, and multiple micronutrients on maternal morbidity in rural Nepal. Methods: A cluster-randomized double-masked controlled trial of pregnant women who received daily supplements from early pregnancy through 3 months post partum as per the treatment allocation. Women were interviewed at birth about labor and delivery complications and for 9 days post partum to obtain 24-hour histories of morbidity. Results: A total of 3986 (97.3%) women completed an interview regarding labor and delivery; morbidity history was available for 3564 (87.0%) women. Folic acid-iron reduced the risk of postpartum hemorrhage (relative risk [RR] 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35-0.98). Risk of dysfunctional labor increased with multiple micronutrient supplementation (RR 1.28; 95% CI, 1.01-1.60), although preterm premature rupture of membrane decreased (RR 0.40; 95% CI, 0.21-0.79). Puerperal sepsis was lower in those receiving folic acid-iron, folic acid-iron-zinc, and multiple micronutrients compared with controls (P <0.05). Conclusion: Prenatal folic acid-iron supplementation reduced the risk of obstetric complications in this South Asian setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009



  • Labor and delivery complications
  • Maternal morbidity
  • Micronutrients
  • Nepal
  • Prenatal supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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