The effect of maternal dietary diversity on infant outcome of Pregnant women

  • M Saaka
Keywords: Pregnancy, Ghana, dietary diversity, preterm delivery, low birth weight


Objective: Little is known regarding the utility of dietary diversity score (DDS) in predicting poor outcomes of pregnancy including preterm delivery, and low birth weight (LBW). This analytical cross-sectional study investigated the association of maternal dietary diversity scores and pregnancy outcomes of urban Ghanaian women. The main aim was to explore the relationship between dietary diversity, as measured by DDS and infant weight at birth.
Methods: The study population comprised 524 pregnant women who were recruited for the study and they delivered singleton infants. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data including educational status, age, antenatal visits, maternal occupation, household wealth index, dietary diversity of the mother, maternal weight in each trimester, Sulphadoxine pyrimethamine (SP) uptake, gravidity status, blood pressure (BP), haemoglobin concentration (Hb), malarial infection, gestational age at first ante-natal care and at delivery, gestational weight gain, gender of baby, and weight of the baby.
Results: The results of this study show that, even in the presence of strong predictors (that is, poor family financial status, preterm delivery), maternal dietary diversity score (IDDS) was a significant independent predictor for mean birth weight and LBW. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) showed there was a significant difference in adjusted mean birth weight between women on low and high diversified diets , F (1, 415) = 8.935, p = 0.003. The results of this study also showed that maternal IDDS was associated with reduced risk of LBW (Adjusted OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.22–0.85, p = 0.014). However, IDDS was not an important predictor of preterm delivery.
Conclusion: In nutritional deprived populations, maternal diet in the third trimester appears to be an important determinant of LBW and that DDS can serve as useful predictive indicator of maternal nutrition during pregnancy and the likelihood of delivering LBW babies.

Keywords: Pregnancy, Ghana, dietary diversity, preterm delivery, low birth weight


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eISSN: 0856-8960