Maternal nutrition practices in Uttar Pradesh, India: role of key influential demand and supply factors

May 7, 2019

Despite strong policy and program commitment, essential maternal nutrition services are not reaching enough women in many countries. This paper examined multi‐factorial determinants (personal, family, community, and health services) associated with maternal nutrition practices in Uttar Pradesh, India. Data were from a household survey of pregnant (n=667) and recently delivered women (n=1,835). During pregnancy, women consumed 28 IFA and 8 calcium tablets, 18 percent consumed a diverse diet, and 17% were weighed ≥3 times. Nutrition knowledge was associated with consumption of a diverse diet, IFA, calcium, and weight monitoring. Beliefs and self‐efficacy were associated with IFA and calcium consumption, while family support and adequate health services were also associated with better nutrition practices. Strengthening existing program operations and increasing demand for services has the potential to result in large improvements in maternal nutrition practices from current baseline levels, but may not be sufficient to meet WHO‐recommended levels without creating an enabling environment including improvements in education and income levels to support behavior change.