Strengthening Maternal Nutrition within Antenatal Care in India: Key findings from implementation research

03 Aug 22
Topic(s): Maternal nutrition
Location: India
Language(s): English
Audience: Health and service providers, Policy makers and legislators, Program designers and implementers
Organization: Alive & Thrive
Programs: Strategic use of data
Downloadable PDF(s)

In India, despite national policy guidance based on global antenatal care (ANC) guidelines, some of the most critical maternal nutrition services do not reach the majority of pregnant women. In Uttar Pradesh, only 42 percent of pregnant women completed four ANC visits, and 10 percent consumed the recommended 180 tablets of IFA during pregnancy (IIPS, 2019-21). Between 2017-2019, Alive and Thrive (A&T) provided technical assistance to the Government of India (GOI) to strengthen the delivery and uptake of ANC services while carrying out implementation research to better understand how to effectively integrate proven maternal nutrition interventions. These efforts informed the GOI’s design of maternal nutrition program guidelines and identified a feasible package of maternal nutrition interventions—including iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation, calcium supplementation, counseling on maternal diet, weight measurement, and counseling on breastfeeding—to incorporate into the government’s community-based ANC platform. This brief shares the results of the implementation research conducted in Uttar Pradesh.