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Maternal Under-Nutrition: A Concept Paper

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1106183, PP. 1-11

Subject Areas: Gynecology & Obstetrics

Keywords: Concept Analysis, Definition, Maternal, Pregnancy, Under-Nutrition, Walker and Avant

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There has been growing concern over maternal under-nutrition and its effects on pregnancy outcome. The term maternal under-nutrition is complex and rather ambiguous and fails to reflect a clear definition. Defining maternal under-nutrition will help improve diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of under-nourishment in women to prevent associated birth outcomes. There is a direct link between maternal under-nutrition and undesired birth outcomes such as intrauterine growth restriction, pre-term labour and prematurity. This is likely to give rise to long lasting effects. Methodology Walker and Avant’s strategic eight-step method of concept analysis was used in analyzing the concept of maternal under-nutrition. Walker and Avant stress the importance of antecedents and attributes in describing a concept of interest. Literature search was done in one month using Google Scholar, Pub Med and Medline as search engines. Results There are several definitions of maternal under-nutrition available online which lacks standardization. The definition for maternal malnutrition was multi-varied in some instances, it was based on clinical evaluation yet in others it was based on BMI calculations and Mid Upper Arm Circumference. Conclusion Malnutrition is both seen in over-nutrition and under-nutrition. For the purpose of this paper we look at malnutrition as it relates to under-nutrition as it is of concern to less developed countries in particular southern Africa. Maternal under-nutrition is perceived to indirectly result in increased mortality and morbidities during the perinatal period. Maternal under-nourishment should be evaluated using BMI, Mid Upper Arm Circumference, skin fold and unintended weight loss for consecutive encounters using a standard scale.

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Manditsvara, T. , Haruzivishe, C. , Muzokura, E. , Munsaka, J. and Ndaimani, A. (2020). Maternal Under-Nutrition: A Concept Paper. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e6183. doi:


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