APPROACH: The Maternal and Infant Cohort (MAI) is a research project started by the Hirabai Cowasji Jehangir Medical Research Institute (HCJMRI) in 2020. MAI follows pregnant women from early gestation to postpartum. The study aims to investigate trends in gestational weight gain among Indian women, identify determinants of gestational weight gain, and understand the impact of gestational weight gain on maternal and neonatal outcomes.

CONTEXT: This is one of the few studies being conducted in the global south among socially disadvantaged rural Indian population (low-middle income setting) in a longitudinal study design to assess the effects of parental anthropometry on intrauterine growth and neonatal outcomes. One of the cornerstones of the current study is the gender-dependent relationship of parental nutritional status and growth of the neonates.

COHORT: Thus far, 175 pregnant women were enrolled as participants and data have been collected at five time points during clinical visits. The cohort is divided into three groups based on the location of the women in and around the city of Pune in India: urban, urban slum, and rural. 

PROCESS: The MAI cohort is part of HCJMRI’s efforts to understand the health status of mothers and infants in India. The study aims to investigate the impact of parental socioeconomic status, anthropometry as well as maternal pregnancy weight gain on foetal-neonatal weight and length. The cohort will provide valuable insights into the relationship between parental and infant health, and how it can be improved. The geographic diversity of the households is a key component of understanding these complex mechanisms.