An investigation into the factors affecting the course and outcome of pregnancy in a low income population
Robinson, Lucy Ciganek
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This study investigated the effect of nutrition counseling upon the course and outcome of pregnancy in women from a low income prenatal clinic. Nutrition-related factors that may impinge upon the course and outcome of pregnancy, i.e., prepregnancy weight as a measure of nutriture, weight gain during pregnancy, and outcome of pregnancy as measured by infant birth weight were examined. Clinic records of 99 subjects were examined for the following: (1) prepregnancy weight, (2) total weight gain during pregnancy, (3) maternal age at birth, (4) gravida, (5) parity, (6) ethnicity, and (7) infant birth weight. Control and experimental groups were determined based upon whether a subject received nutrition counseling during the course of pregnancy. Three factors were correlated: prepregnancy weight, total weight gain, and infant birth weight. Differences in total weight gain and infant birth weight between the control and experimental groups were analyzed to determine the effect of nutritional counseling. No statistically significant results were obtained. However, unexpected differences between ethnic groups were observed. Caucasians had the highest prepregnancy weight and infant birth weight in the ethnic groups studied. Blacks with a higher prepregnancy weight produced infants with a higher birth weight. For Hispanics, the average prepregnancy weight and total weight gain was lower than for Caucasians; however, the average infant birth weight was the same. Extremely low inadequate weight gain and infant birth weight figures were not observed in this low income population.