Dietary pattern and nutritional status among lactating women in North Karnataka

Antoney Unni Xavier, Amgiasvasanth A. M.


Background: Women from low-income settings are considered as nutritionally vulnerable. This risk is augmented during pregnancy and lactation as food nutrient requirement increases. Lactating mothers are subjected to nutritional stresses which are further exaggerated by frequent pregnancies resulting in high maternal mortality and health risk for children. Attainment of millennium development goals (MDG) by our country is largely dependent on the health of mothers and children, which in turn is influenced by diet. Objective of this study was to assess the nutritional status and associated factors of lactating women. To assess diet pattern of lactating women

Methods: Cross-sectional study carried out for a period of three month by house to house visit in the urban field practice area of SDMCMSH, Dharwad. Taking prevalence of malnutrition among lactating mothers (15-49 years) as 50, sample size was calculated to be 100 using n=4pq/d×d. Data analysed using the IBMSPSS 20.0.

Results: Majority of mothers were housewives and in the age group of 20-25 year. >80% of the participants did not take additional meals during lactation. >60% of women from low socioeconomic state were malnourished and >55% of women from high socioeconomic state but working is malnourished.

Conclusions: Dietary intakes of the lactating women are insufficient compared to national recommendations. Low socioeconomic condition and working status of mother are important predictors of malnourishment. Effective nutritional education of families and communities is recommended to improve dietary practices and result in adequate nutrition. 


Diet, Lactating mothers, Nutrition

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