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Birth Weight of Newborns in Relation to Nutritional Status of Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic at the Nkawie Government Hospital in Atwima Nwabiagya District, Ghana.
The desire to achieve the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 has stimulated several investiga-tions related to pregnancy and birth outcome. Gestational weight gain and haemoglobin levels of pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in the Nkawie Government Hospital were assessed to ascertain their appropriateness, and effect on the birth weight of the newborns. The study was ob-servational and prospective; involving 150 singleton pregnant women aged 15-49 years, in their second trimester, with risk-free pregnancy selected through systematic random sampling. Struc-tured questionnaire and records from maternal health clinics on body weight changes and haemo-globin levels were used for the assessment. Birth weights of babies born to the women were ob-tained from the hospital records. The study period was from July to October, 2012. Mean weight gains during second and third trimesters were 2.2± 2.1kg and 2.9± 2.2kg, respectively, with 91.2% and 95.3%, respectively unable to gain the recommended weight. Mean haemoglobin levels at first, second and third trimesters were 10.4± 1.8g/dl; 6.1± 1.6g/dl; and 9.9± 1g/dl, respectively. Mean birth weight was 2.9± 0.5kg. The respective correlation coefficients and p-values between weight gain during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and birth weight which were 0.01 (p = 0.69) and 0.02 (p = 0.36) indicating a weak positive correlation. Birth weight is positively corre-lated with gestational haemoglobin levels at first and third trimester and infant birth weight with a correlation coefficient of 0.10 (p= 0.008) and 0.13 (p= 0.004), respectively. In this study, weight gain during the second and third trimester of pregnancy was not associated with birth weight. However, birth weight was associated with maternal haemoglobin levels in the first and third tri-mesters of pregnancy. Intensification of health education efforts to improve maternal nutrition at ANC (Ante natal clinic) is recommended.