THE KNOWLEDGE TOWARD OBESITY AND GESTATIONAL WEIGHT GAIN OF PREGNANT WOMEN IN DUHOK CITY
The extensiveness of overweight and obesity among pregnant women is a growing public health concern in the developed countries, as it related to adverse pregnancy outcomes. This problem is considered by World Health Organization as a major health challenges. This study aimed to assess the pregnant women’s knowledge toward obesity, gestational weight gain, and the safe method to prevent this gain.
A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted for 400 pregnant women who attended the antenatal care units in eight of Primary Health Care Centers, from 1st of August to the 20th of October 2016. They have been directly interviewed by a structured questionnaire to identify their knowledge regarding their weight and Body Mass Index category, their ideas toward the complications of excessive weight gain during pregnancy, and the safe preventive effective management. A bit less than half of the sample (46.3%) were within normal weight, and 208(52%) of participants were overweight or obese, while 137 (36.8%) of them believed that they were overweight and obese. The difference weight gain between first and third trimester of pregnancy was (10.7 Kg), and (91.3 %) agreed that the physical activities and the advices about them were the main ways to prevent the excess weight gain.
The majority of pregnant women had limited knowledge about obesity or overweight, excessive gestational weight gain and their adverse effects during pregnancy. The effective media, professional healthcare and providing health education programs are required to improve the level of this knowledge
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