e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Multiple micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy

Micronutrients are only needed in very small quantities but are essential for normal physiological function, growth and development. Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine and folate are particularly common among during pregnancy, due to increased nutrient requirements of the mother and developing fetus. These deficiencies can negatively impact the health of the mother, her pregnancy, as well as the health of the newborn baby.

The most current evidence shows that giving multiple micronutrient supplements to pregnant women may reduce the risk of low birth weight and of small size for gestational age, compared with iron and folic acid supplementation alone.

WHO recommendations

The WHO guideline containing recommendations relevant to this intervention is planned for release in 2016.

WHO documents

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available



Related Cochrane reviews
Other related systematic reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

24 August 2016 16:59 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Global targets

Implementation of this intervention may contribute to the achievement of the following targets:

Global nutrition targets

Target 1: 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted

Target 2: 50% reduction of anaemia in women of reproductive age

Target 3: 30% reduction in low birth weight

Target 6: Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%