Every baby in the womb eats what its mother does, or more accurately derives its essential nutrients from her. Thus, even mild maternal malnutrition can impair fetal development. The consequences are serious, profound, last a lifetime and yet happen silently. In India a large number of women are undernourished when they conceive; the situation gets worse as the pregnancy progresses. Studies show that malnourished women are more likely bear malnourished children who either die early or grow into sickly adolescents and adults.