PERCEIVED EXERCISE AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING ANTENATAL CLINIC IN UNIVERSITY OF UYO TEACHING HOSPITAL – UYO
ABSTRACT: This paper investigated the Perceived Exercise Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic at University Of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo (UUTH) Akwa Ibom State. One research question and two hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey design was used, the population of the study was 7200 pregnant women while the sample for the study was 720 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at University Of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo (UUTH) Akwa Ibom State. A self-developed structured questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. Mean and standard deviation was used to answer research question while ANOVA statistics were used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significant.
The study found that pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at University Of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo (UUTH) Akwa Ibom State had positive perception on the benefit of prenatal exercise and that there are significant differences on the perception of benefit of prenatal exercise among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic University Of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo (UUTH) Akwa Ibom State based on age and level of education. It was recommended that Government, health educators and hospital management should organize continuing education programmes, seminars and workshop to promote prenatal exercise among pregnant women to actualize the perceived benefits of prenatal exercise in pregnancy.
Perceived Exercise Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic
1.1 Background of the study
During pregnancy the body experience dramatic physiological and psychological changes which is natural and to remain healthy, the pregnant woman must indulge in regular physical activities call exercise.1 The professional health workers need to carefully design physical exercise programme to enable the pregnant woman remain healthy. In country like Brazil, her Ministry of Health stipulates that in addition to consultation and prenatal care, breathing and relaxation techniques should be taught for better control of labour and general well-being (2). Different exercise programmes are available for pregnant mothers; these exercises include aerobic exercises such as dancing, walking and swimming. Another type is Kegel exercise; this involves tightening of pelvic muscles to control urine flow (3).
Exercise has been known scientifically and physically to promote blood circulation to the mother and the foetal vital organs such as the brain, liver and heart etc; exercise also improve pelvic bone and muscle tone thus enhancing normal safe delivery of baby during labour (5). Exercise is an activity requiring physical effort done to improve health, it is a physical or mental activity that is done to stay healthy or become stronger. Exercise session in antenatal clinic should be designed to stimulate interest in the physical changes occurring to promote body awareness and to facilitate physical and mental relaxation.
Heggard states that women who practiced more than one type of sports or leisure time physical activity had 24% of reduced risk of preterm delivery, which compared with women with no sports activity (12). It must be noted that before asking a group to perform antenatal exercise on the floor, the correct way of getting down and up again must be demonstrated side-lying in the coma position with pillows under arm and knee is usually comfortable position in pregnancy. The pregnant mothers should get up from lying by bending the knees, rolling on to one side then using the arms to push up into a sitting or kneeling position to prevent strains on both the back and the abdominal muscles. Muscles of good tone are more elastic and will regain their former length more efficiently and more quickly after being stretched than muscles of poor tone.
Exercising the abdominal muscles antenatally will ensure a speed to normal postnatally, effective pushing in labour, and the lessening of back ache in pregnancy (13). Exercise during pregnancy are of utmost concern for most medical caregiver, educators, the general public as well as pregnant mothers and their family (14). Regular and moderate exercise in early pregnancies is healthy for the mothers and their babies (7, 15,16). Mother’s health physiotherapist is the ideal choice to teach the physical skills required or parenthood.17 However in areas where there is no physiotherapist available, midwives may find they responsible for physical preparation as well as parent education in antenatal classes or as one-to-one basis (5).
1.2 Statement of the problem
Reports have shown that Nigerian woman has a 1-in-23 risk of death from causes that are related to pregnancy and delivery. This is higher than the general 1-in-31 maternal death risk for pregnant women throughout the sub- Saharan Africa (WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA/World Bank, 2008). Ebonyi State Ministry of Health (2010) indicated that Ebonyi State records one death out of every 100 live birth in pregnancy related cases; this makes Ebonyi State one of the regions with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Merson, Black and Mills (2006) listed the direct causes of maternal mortality which includes hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (preeclampsia), gestational diabetes, obstructed and prolonged labour. ACOG (2002) recommends that prenatal exercise can reduce the rates of these direct causes of high maternal morbidity and mortality. Despite the numerous benefits that are linked with prenatal exercise, the researchers observed that many pregnant women especially in Ebonyi State still do not participate in the exercise.
Adding to the fact that prenatal exercise is not publicized, and also that it is termed a taboo in some places. This led to increased rate of maternal and foetal mortality especially in Ebonyi State. Therefore, the general purpose of this study was to determine the perceived benefits of prenatal exercise among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA) and levels of perception of benefits of prenatal exercise among these participants based on age and level of education.
1.3 Objective of the study
The objective of the study is to research the perception of exercise and recreation among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic.
1.4 Research Questions
What is the meaning of exercise and recreation?
What is the importance of exercise in pregnant women?
How can perception of pregnant women about exercise during pregnancy be positively improved?
Perceived Exercise Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic
1.5 Significance of the study
Exercise during pregnancy has the following importance:
- Fast labour.
- Weight loss in obese pregnant women.
- Relief of fatigue, swelling and back pain.
Therefore, this study will help in educating pregnant women on the importance of exercise during pregnancy, which has great advantage on the their health
1.6 Scope of the study
The study focus on the Perception of exercise and recreation among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic.