Food frequency Patterns during pregnancy is associated with increased infant size at birth
Dr. Nainy Singh
In India, teenage pregnancy is an important public-health problem. It is defined as an underage girl (age < 19 years) becoming pregnant. The most common cause of teenage pregnancy is early marriages and lack of contraceptive use, adolescent sexual behaviour, sexual abuse and indirect causes like poverty and low education. The present study therefore planned with the objective to assess the nutritional status and food frequency pattern among pregnant mothers to determine maternal food consumption patterns and its risk of low birth weight. Hundred adolescent mothers aged between 17-19 years in Jaipur were included. Dietary consumption pattern was assessed using semi quantitative food frequency pattern and 24 hour recall method. Respondents were undernourished (Mean BMI 19.53+/-2.42 kg/m2) in their 2nd and 3rd trimester. This clearly showed that these adolescent girls had a very low BMI prior to pregnancy. Maternal diets were predominantly cereal based, lacked variety and deficit, when compared to RDA. Significantly high risk for LBW was seen in families, family size > 5, those with low income (< Rs. 5000/-). Additionally, significantly risk for LBW was seen for lower consumption pattern and no consumption of milk. Birth weight of the baby was also associated with consumption milk p=0.1, which provide best quality protein. Findings clearly show that the entire health and nutritional factors are inter-related. Good maternal nutrition coupled with regular ANCs, practicing the health and nutrition advice, good weight gain during pregnancy and institutional delivery, in a way can lead to healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.