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This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study of pregnant mothers who delivered in four randomly selected health facilities in urban Abeokuta, Nigeria. The study examined the influence of maternal nutritional status on newborn birth weight and particularly low birth weight (LBW). Five hundred and twelve pregnant mothers booked for antenatal care and were attending antenatal clinics were recruited for the study as they became available. Complete physical examination, clinical profile along with weight, biochemical and haematological measurements were carried out. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test. The mean weight gain of the pregnant mothers in this study was 7.78 ± 1.01 kg. Weight gain in pregnancy, maternal haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, serum cholesterol and serum albumin were all found to be significant for LBW (p<0.001). Maternal nutritional status impacted significantly on newborn birth weight as poorly nourished mothers were observed to produce a higher percentage of LBW babies when compared to those who were better nourished.
Maternal nutritional status, low birth weight, antenatal care, maternal haemoglobin