THE EFFECTS OF SOCIO ECONOMIC FACTORS ON THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING ANTE NATAL CLINIC IN AMUKPE COMMUNITY, SAPELE,L.G.A
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Background of the Study
Nigeria still has an extremely high maternal mortality ratio 704 per 1000000 live births implying that with about 2.4 million live births annually, some 170000 Nigerian women die as a result of complication associated with pregnancy and child birth (Adelakan, Alimi, Anyawale and Afonja, 2005).Women are more likely to suffer from nutritional deficiency than men for several reasons, including their reproductive biology, low social status, poverty and lack of education. In addition, socio-cultural traditions and disparities in household work patterns can also increase women’s chance of being malnourished (Ransom IE, Elder KL, 2003).
During pregnancy a woman needs good nutritional status for a healthy outcome. Women who have a poor nutritional status at conception are at higher risk of disease and death; their health depends greatly on the availability of food, and they may be unable to cope with their increased nutrient needs during pregnancy in situations of food insecurity. Women’s nutrient needs increase during pregnancy and lactation. Some of the increased nutrient requirements protect maternal health while others affect birth outcome and infant health. If their requirements are not met, the consequences can be serious for women and their infants (Freedom from Hunger, 2003). Under nutrition and poor health from preventable causes disproportionately affect the well-being of millions of people in the developing world. Factors at individual, household and community level, or a combination of these factors, may contribute to poor nutrition and health status (Ronsmans C, Collin S, Filippi V, 2008). In particular, malnutrition among women is likely to have a major impact on their own health as well as their children’s health. More than 3.5 million women and children under age five in developing countries die each year due to the underlying cause of under nutrition (Ronsmans et al, 2008).
Poverty influences to a great extent the nutritional status of women especially pregnant women. According to Adelakaan e tal (2005), data on mother’s energy intake indicated poverty levels higher than presented in the world bank poverty assessment (world Bank, 2003).
A study in Ibadan by Maclean (2002) on pregnancy and food taboos, it was discovered that pregnant women were warned not to eat large plantains with cleft so as not to have babies with rigid skulls. In Ile-Ife, many traditional healers discourage pregnant women from eating snails or okra soup, as these would harm the babies. Chiwuzie and Okolocha, (2007) discovered that many pregnant women were advised not take milk and egg during their pregnancy that it lead to their babies growing up to be a thief.
Thus the researcher is keen to determine the effects of socio economic factors on the nutritional status of pregnant women attending Ante natal clinic in Amukpe community, Sapele,L.G.A
Statement of problem
Maternal complications during pregnancy has been of the major challenge faced by most pregnant women as a result of poor nutrition, thus most pregnant women are posed with various risks and complications during pregnancy. The condition may be caused by a variety of reasons. The affluent society that we are a part of is very concerned with the thinness of women; thus, many women starve themselves or undergo feed diets to maintain this image. Some women suffer from psychological eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. Age will influence the woman’s dietary practices; if the pregnant woman is an adolescent, she will probably consume many “Fast foods” which will not provide adequate nutrients and the eating of native chalk and drink of alcohol. Thus the researcher is keen on determining the socio economic factors and effect on the nutritional status of pregnant women attending Ante natal clinic in Amukpe community, Sapele,L.G.A.