Influence of material gestational weight gain on infant birth weight among women attending antenatal care at Thika District Hospital in Centra Kenya
Gitonga, Susan Kanyua
MetadataShow full item record
Influence of Maternal gestational Weight Gain on Infant Birth Weight Gestational weight gain in Thika District Hospitatl is mainly infuenced by maternal dietary intake, age, income, education level and supplement use. Low birth weight is associated with increased occurrence of mental retardation, birth defects, growth problems, blindness, autism and celebral palsy. The primary objective of the study was to determine pregnancy weight gain of women attending antenatal clinic in Thika district hospital and establish its relationship with the birth weight of their infants. The secondary objectives were to analyse demographic characteristics and their influence on maternal gestational weight gain and to determine other factors affecting the birth weight of the infant, in particular the mothers' nutritional status and the socio-cultural factors. To achieve these objectives, it was hypothesized that, there is a relationship between pregnancy weight gain, other obstetric factors with the birth weight of the infant. Other factors affecting infants' birth weight were hypothesized as the socio-cultural, nutritional and demographic factors. A descriptive survey was used to gather both qualitative and quantitative data from the district hospital. Non-probability sampling was used to select the sample for the study. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 149 pregnant women. This figure represents 10% of all the pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic in the year 2003. This included pregnant women at their third trimester who regularly attended antenatal clinic and delivered at the hospital. Mothers with complications during pregnancy, chronic illnesses and whose children had obvious congenital defects were excluded. A researcher-administered questionnaire was used to collect demographic characteristics, obstetric information, and dietary information during pregnancy and anthropometrics data of the pregnant women and infants weight at birth. Data were analyzed using the statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) and the food UK 0.7 meter software. Spearman rho correlation was used to establish the co-relation between infant birth weight and maternal weight gain during the third trimester as well as the mother's energy intake 24 hours prior to the study. Krusal Walis on the other hand was used to establish the relationship between infant birth weight and the other variables. The findings of the study indicate that maternal gestational weight gain positively affects the birth weight of the infant at 0.05 level of significance. Of the other factors that influenced the infants' weight at birth were; mothers height, dietary intake and supplement use. The respondents first visit to the clinic, mother's income, age and education level and alcohol use during pregnancy were not proven significant. In this study 12.7% of the infants were of low birth weight. Based on the findings, a number of recommendations were finally suggested. They include need to use nutritious foods and regular assessment of the dietary intake of the pregnant mother, the need for the doctors/health care givers to closely monitor the maternal weight gain during the second and third trimesters. Early detection of poor maternal weight gain would enable doctors/health caregivers to initiate interventions that would have positive effects on the infants weight. As such, the issue of low birth weight infants should become a priority to policy makers.