Pregnant women who take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement give birth to bigger, healthier babies, according to a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. From early pregnancy through 12 weeks postpartum, almost 45,000 women were given supplements containing either 15 vitamins and minerals or just iron and folic acid alone. Infant mortality through six months, length of pregnancy, and birth weights were measured. Results showed that those women given the multis were 15% less likely to give birth prematurely. The babies born to this group were 12% less likely to be born at low-birth-weights and 11% less likely to be stillborn. They also were heavier than babies born to women who received only iron and folic acid.
West K, Shamim A, Mehra S, et al: Effect of maternal multiple micronutrient vs iron-folic acid supplementation on infant mortality and adverse birth outcomes in rural Bangladesh. Journal of the American Medical Association 2014;312:2649-2658.