Evaluation of the Nutritional Behavior of Women in First Trimester of Pregnancy and Its Relationship with Some Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Whom Referred to Health Centers in Karaj

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

2 M.Sc. of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Nutrition Epidemiology, Nutritional Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Medical Education Research Center, Faculty of Health and Nutrition, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

5 M.Sc. Student of Nursing, Student Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Introduction: Nutrition during pregnancy is a key factor influencing mother’s health, as well as the growth and development of her fetus. As limited studies have been conducted in this field, we aimed to determine the nutritional behaviors of women in the first trimester of pregnancy and its relationship with some socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 103 pregnant women in 8-14 weeks who referred to four public health centers of Karaj in 2011. Data were collected by a self-made questionnaire consisted of 21 questions about nutritional behavior. Data were analyzed by using statistical SPSS software version 13. Logistic and linear regression statistical tests were used to determine the association between some socio-demographic characteristics and nutritional behaviors. P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: About half of the women (53.4%) were nulliparous and 71 women (69%) of them stated that they have not received any nutritional education during pregnancy. The Mean ± SD total score of nutritional behavior was 32.0±17.2 and behavior score in dealing with complications during pregnancy was 18.5±8.2 from possible range of 0-100 points. Nutritional behavior of 57 person (55%) and 84 person (88%) in dealing with complications during pregnancy were weak (score less than 33). A quarter of pregnant women had not taken folic acid in this period. There were a significant relationship between total nutritional behavior score with educational level (p=0.020) and average monthly household income (p=0.017). So between number of pregnancy and taking of folic acid (p=0.023), the average family income and the optimal reception of meat and beans, and milk and dairy (p=0.001, 0.014 respectively) relationship were significant.
Conclusion: Nutritional behavior in most of pregnant women, especially those with lower income and education level, was weak. Inadequate intake of meat and cereal as well as milk and dairy products was more common among those with lower income.


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