Jaelyn is in her 6th month of pregnancy. Her diet is poor because she rarely pays attention to her food choices, and she eats a limited variety of foods that she likes. According to her doctor, Jaelyn is “chronically undernourished.” Based on this information, Jaelyn is likely to ________.
- give birth at least four weeks earlier than expected
- deliver a baby who has no serious health problems
- give birth to a high-birth-weight baby
- deliver a baby with type 1 diabetes
Jaelyn is likely to give birth at least four weeks earlier than expected.
Chronic undernutrition during pregnancy is associated with a range of poor outcomes for both the mother and the baby. One of these potential outcomes is preterm birth, defined as giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation (UNICEF, 2019).
Maternal undernutrition can lead to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), which is a condition where the fetus does not grow as expected. This can result in low birth weight, not high birth weight, and increase the risk of preterm birth (Black et al., 2013).
While poor nutrition can increase the risk of gestational diabetes in the mother, it does not directly cause type 1 diabetes in the baby. And while it is possible for a chronically undernourished mother to deliver a baby with no serious health problems, the risk of such issues is significantly increased.
Therefore, given Jaelyn’s chronic undernutrition, she is most likely to give birth at least four weeks earlier than expected.
Black, R. E., Victora, C. G., Walker, S. P., Bhutta, Z. A., Christian, P., de Onis, M., Ezzati, M., Grantham-McGregor, S., Katz, J., Martorell, R., & Uauy, R. (2013). Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet, 382(9890), 427-451. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60937-X
UNICEF (2019). The State of the World’s Children 2019. UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/reports/state-of-worlds-children-2019