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BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material: A2zNotes Presents study material Long Question Answer Notes Pdf by the Latest BCom Syllabus. A Collection of Question-Answers compiled and Edited by A2zNotes Well Experienced Authors Based on Latest BCom Curriculum. Here in this post, we will provide you with BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material, Long Questions Answers, and Notes in Pdf for BCom 1st Year.

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BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material
BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

Nutrition is important before and during pregnancy and is one of the most influential non-genetic factors in foetal development. In developing countries, more than 200 million children under five years fail to reach their potential in cognitive and social development due to:

  • Poverty
  • Poor Health
  • Nutrition and Care Deficit.

Other factors that compromise overall development during pregnancy and after birth are parent’s behaviour, dietary deficiencies, chronic infections, exclusive breastfeeding and inadequate feeding practices. According to UNICEF, a third of children younger than 5 years in developing countries have growth retardation or stunting. Stunting is a result of chronic malnutrition and is caused by poor nutrition and infection. Stunting is also associated with lethargy, lower levels of play and poor attention.


The first 1,000 days refers to a child’s life from the moment they are conceived until they have reached 2 years of age (24 months). This is a time when their brain, body and immune system grows and develops significantly.

Research shows that a pregnant mother’s health, nutrition and stress levels can influence the future of her baby. After the baby is born, their own physical environment, nutrition and relationships can have a lifelong impact on their health and wellbeing.

In their first 1,000 days, babies need:

  • Healthy Food
  • Loving Relationships
  • Safety and Security
  • Time to Play
  • A Healthy Environment; including in the Womb
  1. Your baby’s brain in the first 1,000 days

A baby’s brain develops more quickly during the first 1,000 days than at any other time of life. The way the brain moulds and adapts to its environment contributes to the sort of person the baby will grow into.

The right diet (nutrition) during pregnancy and in early childhood will help the baby in learning physical skills and emotions will develop properly,

Being hungry or exposed to stress or abuse during this time can have lifelong effect on a child’s development. Since the brain is closely linked to the rest of the body, an unsafe or unhealthy environment in the first 1,000 days can affect a child’s physical health in later life too.

  1. Good Nutrition in the first 1,000 days

Receiving good nutrition in the womb and through early life is essential for a child’s future health. Research has shown that what a mother eats, her weight and her lifestyle habits can influence how the baby’s metabolism, immune system and organs develop. Poor nutrition during pregnancy and early life can lead to obesity, heart disease and stroke later. Iron, iodine, and zinc are most important for a child. Any deficiency of these nutrients during the first 1,000 days can cause irreversible damage.

To give your baby the best possible start in life, it’s important to eat a healthy diet while you’re pregnant and to breastfeed for at least 6 months if possible. Once your baby starts solids, you can help them develop healthy eating habits for life.

Both low and high birth weights may lead to physiological and/or metabolic adaptations in vital organs, and may result in disruptions in normal growth and development. Low birth weight is known to have important effects on a child’s growth, development and health status later in life. Stunting, greater susceptibility to infections, lower cognitive performance, and increased risk of adiposity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension happen more in low-birth-weight children in the long term.

Higher birth weight has been shown to be associated with higher obesity, diabetes, and cancer risk in adult life. Therefore, prevention of both low and high birth weights through nutrition and health intervention is important during pregnancy.

  1. Effects of stress and trauma in the first 1,000 days

Research has shown that if a mother is under a lot of stress while pregnant this can affect the baby’s nervous system and growth. This can lead to health problems later in life, including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Stress caused by violence in the home can affect babies. Parents who are experiencing family (domestic) violence may not be able to form a loving attachment with their baby.

Of course, often stress and trauma are unavoidable. It’s not your fault and help is available. If you are experiencing a very stressful situation when you’re pregnant or have a young child, speak to your doctor or child health nurse.

  1. Safety and security in the first 1,000 days

Loving, secure relationships are vital for a child’s development. It’s through their relationships that babies learn to think, understand, communicate, show emotions and behave. Relationships affect how they see the world and how they fit into society.

Playing, singing, reading and talking to your baby are all important ways to help them to feel safe and loved.

  1. Poverty during the first 1,000 days

There is a link between poverty in infancy and adverse health and well being outcomes later in life. Poor nutrition in the first 1,000 days can cause irreversible damage to a child’s growing brain. This may be partly because the stress on parents caused by financial hardship can prevent them from providing the level of care their baby needs.

If you are experiencing poverty, there are things you can do to help your baby build resilience in the first 1,000 days:

Ask for help and accepting practical support. Learn about government-funded financial benefits for families.

Manage your own stress by avoiding fighting or using drugs or alcohol to cope.

Make your baby feel secure and loved.

Do fun, low-cost activities together as a family.

  1. Breastfeeding

Another important issue in the first 1000 days that is related to nutrition is breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life and then continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods for up to age 2.

  1. Complementary Feeding

Complementary feeding practices are important to prevent obesity later in life. Six months of age is the optimal time to begin adequate complementary feeding. Early repeated exposure to a wide variety of healthy foods and repeated exposure to the same food for up to eight times may facilitate the acceptance of new foods; especially vegetables.

Infants that maintain daily variety in their diet accept new flavors more easily than infants that follow a monotonous diet. This underlines the importance of introducing a variety of foods in early childhood. Repeated early exposure to different foods could affect children’s food preferences later in life.

  1. Hygiene

Another important thing to ensure during the 1,000 days is hygiene. It is important that the mother prevents infections because if she gets ill, the child will also be impacted. Handwashing with soap is the most cost-effective way to ensure hygiene and prevention of infections. As many as two million children die every year globally due to diarrhoea caused because of lack of hygiene and half of these deaths can be avoided simply by hand washing.

  1. Immunisation

The mother must be vaccinated during pregnancy so that any kind of infections are not transmitted to the child. The child must be vaccinated after birth to prevent deadly diseases like smallpox, tetanus, diarrhoea, respiratory pneumonia and others. 10. Epigenetics

Epigenetic modifications of the expression of genes occur through several mechanisms including DNA, A range of environmental stressors have epigenetic effects that are associated with diseases. Some of these stressors include tobacco consumptions, smoke-related diseases, air pollution effects on immunity and inflammatory responses, endocrine disrupting compounds and others.


Prenatal Period

Prenatal development, also called antenatal development, in humans is the process encompassing the period from the formation of an embryo, through the development of a fetus, to birth.

The human body, like that of most animals, develops from a single cell produced by the union of a male and a female gamete (or sex cell). This union marks the beginning of the prenatal period, which in humans encompasses three distinct stages:

(1) The pre-embryonic stage, the first two weeks of development, which is a period of cell division and initial differentiation (cell maturation),

(2) The embryonic period, or period of organogenesis, which lasts from the third to the eighth week of development

(3) The foetal period, which is characterized by the maturation of tissues and organs and rapid growth of the body. The prenatal period ends with parturition and is followed by a long postnatal period.

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

Prenatal Nutrition (0-280 days) Additional Nutrients

Maternal nutrition plays a critical role in fetal growth and development. A quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished, with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m (Source: NFHS 4 2015-16). It is well known that an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition.

This cycle can be compounded further in young mothers, especially adolescent girls who begin child-bearing before they have grown and developed enough. When mothers take only short intervals between pregnancies and have many children, this can exacerbate nutrition deficits, which are then passed on to their children.

Foetal stunting is largely caused by the mother’s inadequate nutrition before conception and in the first trimester.

The major reason for stagnant levels of undernutrition among Indian children is because of a failure so far to adequately prevent undernutrition when it happens most in the womb, which is caused by poor nutrition of women before and during pregnancy.

The 5 Essential Nutrition Interventions for Mothers include:

  1. Improving the quantity and nutrient level of food consumed in the household: This primarily includes improving access to generalized household food ration through public distribution system. Also providing access to supplementary foods under the integrated child development services scheme. To impart knowledge to improve the local diet, production and household behaviours through nutrition and health education.
  2. Preventing micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia: This is done by providing Iron Folic Acid Supplementation, Pre- and peri-conceptual folic acid supplementation, Universal access to iodized salt, Malaria prevention and treatment in malaria-endemic areas, Access to knowledge and support to stop use of tobacco products during pregnancy. Maternal calcium supplementation and Maternal vitamin A supplementation is also done.
  3. Increasing women’s access to basic nutrition and health services: By providing early registration of pregnancy and quality of antenatal check-up, with emphasis on pregnancy weight gain monitoring, screening and special care of at-risk mothers.
  4. Improving access to water and sanitation education and facilities: By providing sanitation and hygiene education, including menstrual hygiene.
  5. Empowering women to prevent pregnancies too early and too often: By ensuring marriage at/after legal age of 18 through awareness and ensuring a girl completes secondary education. Also preventing maternal depletion by delaying first pregnancy and repeated pregnancies through family planning, reproductive health information, incentives and services.

Also promoting community support system for women, skill development, economic empowerment as part of maternity entitlement. Providing community support system for women to support decision making, confidence building, skill development and economic empowerment.

Nutrition (Prenatal Stage)

Prenatal stage (0-280 days): The development of the spine, skull and brain starts in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid is a critical vitamin that helps in preventing spina bifida, neural tube defects and other life-threatening birth defects. For the neurological development of the foetus, protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with iron are vital.

Official data shows that only 30% of mothers consumed iron and folic acid for 100 days or more during pregnancy. Studies have shown anaemic mothers have children with lower mental development scores.

On the other hand, improper eating patterns in expectant mothers can also cause childhood obesity. Mothers who have high pre-pregnancy BMI and excessive gestational weight gain are a case in point. Therefore, the right kind of nutrition should be recommended rather than following the age-old advice that an expectant mother needs to eat for two people.


Good nutrition during pregnancy and early childhood plays a foundational role in enabling a child to grow, learn and thrive. In a real sense, nutrition provides the fuel that drives a child’s early development. During the first 1,000 days, the brain grows more quickly than at any other time in a person’s life and a child needs the right nutrients at the right time to ensure her brain’s rapid development.

There are three crucial stages in the first 1,000 days: pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood. At each stage during the 1,000 day window, the developing brain is vulnerable to poor nutrition either through the absence of key nutrients required for proper cognitive functioning and neural connections and/or through the toxic stress experienced by a young child whose family has experienced prolonged or acute adversity caused by food insecurity.

The effects of poor nutrition on a child’s brain development can be profound and long-lasting which is why it is critical to understand how to ensure children get the nutrition they need to thrive throughout their first 1,000 days.

The “First 1000 Days” refers to the period that begins with pregnancy planning and goes up to when the child reaches her second birthday. Each day of this journey is special and influences the way she develops, grows and learns not just now, but for her entire life. It begins with conception as a single cell and continues through the embryonic, foetal and postnatal periods, including infancy and toddlerhood, through a process of rapid, complex and dramatic development & differentiation.

The government of India is implementing strategic, evidence-based interventions with a life-cycle approach for ensuring nutrition in the first 1,000 days by:

  • Ensuring in-womb nutritional care,
  • Promotion of infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in the first two years.

Practices in first two years of life

  • Initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth: Mother’s first yellow milk is vital for baby’s nutrition and protection against infection.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of life: Critical for growth and development in addition to emotional bonding and protective immunity from diseases.
  • Timely introduction of complementary feeding at six months of age: Gradual introduction of solid food in addition to milk-feeding when most babies have acquired skills to start complementary feeding.
  • Age appropriate foods for children from six months to two years: The quality, quantity, frequency of appropriate foods and hygiene, especially hand washing practices are crucial factors.
  • After infancy, babies start exercising increasing autonomy in selection of foods: Wide choice of nutritious foods need to be offered to respect their autonomy and to encourage self-feeding behaviour.

Conception & Healthy Pregnancy

Nutritional status of a woman before becoming pregnant determines early development of the baby. Knowing whether your nutritional status is appropriate is the first step in ensuring your future baby’s health. It’s also very important to control existing health conditions like asthma & particularly type 2 diabetes, before and during pregnancy, to improve the odds of a healthy birth.

What should you do?

  1. Ask your doctor to check if you’re deficient in any particular nutrient. e.g. Iron, Vitamin A, Folic acid.
  2. With your doctor’s help, aim to get any existing health conditions under control. If you have type 2 diabetes, aim for optimum blood glucose control before conception and maintain it throughout pregnancy.
  3. Important lifestyle changes you should aim for: regular exercises, quit smoking, avoid alcohol, get adequate sleep and reduce stress.

For lot of reasons, it is a good idea to reach a healthy, ideal weight before you become pregnant-for both you and your baby.

Women who are obese before pregnancy are at double the risk of stillbirths and death of new-borns, compared with women of normal weight whereas under-weight women have increased chance of delivering a low birth weight baby.

Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is important for all women before and during pregnancy as it helps in spine & brain development of the baby,

For a healthy pregnancy, a Folic acid supplement is recommended both before you become pregnant & for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine your pre-pregnancy body weight status.

BMI = [BMI Weight (kg)] / [Height (m) x Height (m)]

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material


During pregnancy, your eating habits affect your baby. Your baby depends in good nutrition for growth & development. Making healthy food choices and having a balanced diet during pregnancy will help prepare your baby for lifelong health.

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

BCom 1st Year Growth of Child and Prenatal Nutrition Notes Study Material

Should I still take a prenatal vitamin if I eat these foods?

Even If you eat a balanced diet, you can still miss out on essential nutrients. A prenatal vitamin, ideally started 3 months before you get pregnant, is recommended to make sure you get all the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Some medical professionals recommend women still take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding.

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