(May, 2013) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
awarded an $11 million grant to Michael Hambidge, MD,
and Nancy Krebs, MD,
to research the impact of maternal nutrition before and during the early stages of pregnancy.
The grant allows the researchers to study the impact of starting women on a daily nutrition supplement at least three weeks before conception rather than 12 weeks after gestation. Babies born to each group will be compared to those born to women in a control group who receive the same home visits, education and support for hygiene and nutrition but do not receive the supplement.
The grant, which runs five years, was announced in December 2012 and supports research in Guatemala, India, Pakistan and Zambia.
“The challenge to improve the nutritional health of women before they become pregnant is very daunting, but the beneficial payoff is potentially profound,” says Krebs.