AWARENESS OF GOOD NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY AMONG WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON PHARMACY
This research work was designed to examine the awareness of good nutrition during pregnancy among women of childbearing age. Six (6) research questions were formulated and questionnaires were administered to one hundred (100) respondents in order to gather data for the research. Results showed that the pregnant women are aware of the importance of good nutrition to a child bearing mother. It was discovered that the level of education among child bearing age mother does affect their level of food intake in the area of study. The result also revealed that poor food intake can lead to malformation of the unborn child. Some recommendations were made by the researcher which includes the following: Health workers should embark on a proper sensitization of pregnant women on the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy.
Government should sponsor giggles that centers on the usefulness of good nutrition among child bearing age mothers during pregnancy.
Seminars and workshops should be organized regularly for the pregnant women to educate them on the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy.
Pregnant mothers should be encouraged to eat food rich in vitamins by the health workers/officials.
Child bearing age mothers should be empowered by government financially to improve their health living.
Based on the findings of the present study, it can be concluded that pregnant women had low level of nutritional knowledge level in the study area.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
All human beings need a balanced amount of nutrients for proper functioning of the body system. Nutrition is a fundamental pillar of human life, health and development throughout the entire life span (World Bank, 2006). Proper food and good nutrition are essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, performance and productivity, health and wellbeing. However, the nutrition requirement varies with respect to age, gender and during physiological changes such as pregnancy. Pregnancy is such a critical phase in a woman’s life, when the expecting mother needs optimal nutrients of superior qualities to support the developing fetus. Naturally, the urge to eat more is experienced by nearly all pregnant women.
Pregnancy is considered to be a delightful experience for the expectant mother. Evidences manifested that adequate intake of nutrition is a key component for individual’s health and well-being, particularly during pregnancy. It is well documented that inadequate maternal nutrition results in increased risks of short term consequences such as; Intra Uterine Growth Restriction(IUGR), low birth weight, preterm birth, prenatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Moreover, excessive intake of nutrients during pregnancy can lead to some pregnancy complications (such as, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, macrosomia, distocia and higher prevalence of cesarean section).