*Amadi, Joy A.C1., Asinobi, Chinagoro. O1., Afam-Anene, Olivia C1., Elo-Ilo, Jacinta. C2., Akujuobi, Chidinma.I1., Oly-Alawuba, N., and Iwuoha, Stephanie. C.1
1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Imo State University P.M.B. 2000, Owerri, Nigeria. 2Department of Pediatrics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus P.M.B.5001, Anambra State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding author email:[email protected] +2347030987007
Background: Deficiencies in micronutrients are prevalent and may occur among women of child bearing age. This may be as a result of inadequate dietary intake and nutritional status before and during pregnancy. Objective: This study assessed the impact of micronutrients supplementation during pregnancy on birth weight of infants in Umuna, Orlu Local Government Area, Imo State, Nigeria. Methodology: A retrospective cross-sectional study design was adopted. Mothers and infants from 0-6 months old constituted the study population. Two hundred and twenty-two mother-child pairs were recruited from two health centers in Umuna. A structured and validated questionnaire was used to collect information on micronutrient supplementation, dietary pattern using food consumption frequency and birth weight. The data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.0.
Results: The result showed that 59.5% of the mothers were between 26-35 years. Married women were 98.2%, 54.1% were traders, 66.7% had secondary education, 76.1% had less than 3 children and 85.1% earned between ₦5,000-₦20,000 monthly. About 89% attended antenatal visit, 61.7% commenced micronutrient supplementation in second trimester while none had prenatal supplementation. Folic acid (98.2%), Vitamin C (94.6%) and vitamin B complex (83.8%) were the supplements taken once daily by the mothers while ferrous sulphate (83.8%) and multivitamin (82%) were taken 3 times daily. Less than half (23.9%) of the mothers gave birth to macrosomic (>4.0kg) babies while 9.0% gave birth to low weight (<2.5kg) babies. The result also showed that the mothers were not taking Omega 3, Zinc, Vitamin A and Calcium supplements. There was a significant (P<0.05) difference between supplement intake and birth weight.
Conclusion: Multiple micronutrient supplementations in pregnant women may help in improving the birth weight of infants. Therefore, nutrition education on the importance of micronutrients supplementation before and during pregnancy should be taught to women of child bearing age.
Keywords: Birth weight, Micronutrients Supplement, Pregnant women