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Research Article Open Access
Adequate nutrition is an important factor for health and well-being of the mother and child during and after pregnancy. However, studies on the influence of the Nigeria’s national dietary food guidelines on health and nutritional status of pregnant women, especially, in poor-settings are sparse. The study assessed knowledge, attitude and practice of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG) among pregnant women in urban slum of Lagos state. A total of 430 consenting pregnant women attending five selected Primary Health Care Centres in AjeromiIfelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State volunteered for this cross-sectional study. A pretested, intervieweradministered questionnaire was used as the survey instrument. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of study showed that, the mean age of the respondents was 27.9 ± 5.2 years. The respondents were mostly married (82.2%), with secondary level education (58.0%), unemployed (61.6%) and with an estimated monthly income of approximately 33 American dollars per household (42.2%). A majority (95.1%) of the respondents have had advice on nutrition during pregnancy, obtained through antenatal clinic attendance (93.3%). Rates on adequate knowledge and positive attitude towards FBDG were 55.8% and 61.2% respectively. Rates for high, medium and low dietary diversity levels were 57.7%, 33.5%, and 8.8%. There was a significant association between level of dietary diversity and employment status (p<0.05). Less than half (43.5%) of the respondents had good practice of the FBDG. Financial constraints (68.1%) and cultural belief and norms (61.5%) were major factors limiting adequate nutrition during pregnancy and compliance with dietary guidelines. The study concluded that, Nigerian pregnant women living in urban slum of Lagos state have above average knowledge of the nutrition information and positive attitude towards dietary guideline, as contained in the Nigerian food based dietary guideline. Unemployed pregnant women had a higher dietary diversity compared with their employed counterparts. Financial constraint and cultural belief and norms were factors that act against compliance to dietary guidelines. It is therefore, recommended that national food based dietary guidelines education be incorporated into routine of antenatal care in Nigeria. Some practical suggestions to ensure the implementation of the Food Based Dietary guidelines include providing Healthcare workers at the Antenatal clinics training and resource materials to educate pregnant women attending antenatal clinics on the Food Based Dietary Guidelines. Also, every pregnant woman should get a free copy of a pictorial version of the Food Based Dietary Guideline.
General Care Taken for Mother and Child