Background: Anemia during pregnancy is a leading nutritional disorder with serious short and long term consequences to both the mother and fetus.Objective: The objective was to investigate the association between dietary diversity during pregnancy with maternal anemia, low-birth weight (LBW), preterm delivery and still birth (SB) in rural Ethiopia
Design: We conducted a prospective cohort study that enrolled 432 pregnant women in their second antenatal care visit (24-28 gestational weeks) of which 374 finished the follow up. Using individual dietary diversity scores (IDDS), subjects were categorized into “inadequate” (IDDS <4) and "adequate" (IDDS=4) groups and followed until delivery. Primary outcomes were maternal anemia, birth weight, still birth and term delivery. Attrition rate was balanced across the groups.
Results: The incidence for maternal anemia increased from 28.6% to 32.4% during the follow-up period. The incidence of LBW, preterm and still birth were 9.1%, 13.6% and 4.5%, respectively. Relative to mothers in the adequate group, those in the inadequate group had twice more risk of anemia (RR : 2.29; 95% CI 1.62 , 3.24) and Low birth weight babies (RR : 2.06 ; 95% CI 1.0 3, 4.11). The risk of giving birth to pre-term baby across the same groups increased over fourfold (RR : 4.61 ; 95% CI 2.31, 9.19), but that for still birth remained the same across the groups (RR : 2.71; 95% CI 0.88, 8.36) .
Adequate IDDS during pregnancy is associated with reduced risk of anemia, LBW, still birth and preterm deliveries, and thus should be promoted in such setting