Micronutrient deficiencies in mother and child affect approximately half of the world’s population. These conditions comprise intrauterine growth restriction, protein-energy malnutrition, and chronic energy deficit of women, low birth weight, and micronutrient deficiencies in children. Maternal nutrient consumptions play a crucial role during pregnancy and have a significant impact on birth outcomes and fetal growth of children. Insufficient maternal dietary intake is related to growth failure during gestation. A deficiency in protein and inadequate intake of micronutrients leads to Poor fetal growth that is harmful during pregnancy.
One of the micronutrients essential for maternal is ‘Zinc’. Mousa et al. (2019) stated that Zinc is very important in maintaining the complete structure of the bio-membrane for RNA and DNA synthesis and a crucial micronutrient for fatty acid metabolism during pregnancy. In 2016, WHO published that 80% of pregnant mothers worldwide have insufficient zinc intake due to low-zinc diets, increased demand, and the consumption of foods that interfere with zinc absorption. Wang et al. (2015) informed that zinc deficiency in pregnant women will increase the risk of low-birth-weight infants. Zinc deficiency also affects the metabolism of growth hormone and can be an inhibitory factor in growth regulation. Symptoms of zinc deficiency that can be found are retarded bone development, failed growth, and weight loss. According to Nanbakhsh and Tabrizi (2017), underweight neonate’s mother had lower serum zinc levels than mothers of normal birth weight neonates, and lower maternal serum zinc levels were positively associated with lower birth weight.
Zinc is an essential element that cannot be produced by the body. There are no zinc deposits in the body and their availability depends on maternal dietary intake. Zinc deficiency can be prevented by adequate consumption of zinc.
Wilson et al. (2016) revealed that there may be a relationship between maternal dietary zinc intake and infant birth weight and the development of severe preeclampsia (PE). They further stated that the low maternal zinc status of pregnant women and birth outcomes is likely to have a relationship with maternal zinc intake during pregnancy. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition published research conducted by Lili Rohmawati et al. (2020) to assess the maternal zinc intake and its correlation with maternal serum zinc levels and neonatal birth parameters. The researchers found a significant positive linear correlation of maternal zinc intake with maternal serum zinc levels and neonatal birth weight and length.