Perceived Benefits Of Exercise Among Pregnant Mothers

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

Perceived Benefits Of Exercise Among Pregnant Mothers


Abstract


This study was carried out on the perceived benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers in Minna Metropolis. In order to successfully carry out the study, objectives and research questions with corresponding hypothesis’ were formulated to guide the study. Literature was reviewed based on the research variables. The study employed a cross sectional survey method. The research instrument used in collecting data for analysis was a questionnaire which was administered on one hundred and fifty (150) pregnant mothers’ in General hospital Minna, who served as sample for the study. Their responses were analyzed using frequencies, percentage and Pearson product moment correlation analysis and the following results were obtained.

Result:

The study revealed that majority of the respondents 97(64.7%) asserted that they have never heard about specific exercise for pregnant mothers while 53(35.3%) said they have. Majority of the respondents 84(56%) asserted that they like antenatal exercise because it improves easy delivery during labor while 66(44%) of the respondent said no. None the less, 43(28.7%) of the respondents said yes that ignorance affects the benefit of exercise for pregnant mothers’ while 107(71.3%) said no, it doesn’t.

Conclusion:

The study revealed that the respondents’ knowledge of benefits of exercise was good. However, despite the above, minority of the respondents still demonstrated poor knowledge and unfavorable attitude which may be due to those factors identified as hindrance to the benefit of exercise.


Table Of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page i
  • Certification page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of content

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Aim and objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Research hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual review
  • 2.2 Theoretical framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review
  • 2.4 Summary of Literature Review

Chapter Three:

Methods

  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Area of study
  • 3.3 Research population Target population
  • 3.4 Accessible population
  • 3.5 Sample and sampling technique
  • 3.6 Validity of instrument
  • 3.7 Reliability of the instrument
  • 3.8 Procedure for data collection
  • 3.9 Procedure for data analysis
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four

Results


Chapter Five

Discussion

  • 5.1 Discussion of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Implications for nursing practice
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

In recent years, there has been a great increase of knowledge derived from scientific studies regarding physical exercise during pregnancy (Mason et al, 2010). This reflects the need to clarify their effects for mother and fetus, as some women of childbearing age report exercising and may continue their exercise practice during pregnancy, whereas other sedentary women may start this practice only during pregnancy.

As the effects of healthy lifestyle are well known and supported by studies that show it is safe for both mother and fetus, physical exercise is recommended activity for pregnant women. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all healthy pregnant women follow the American College of Sports Medicine-Centers for Disease Control and Preventions general guidelines for physical exercise by engaging in 30 min or more of moderate physical activity per day in the majority or preferably all days of the week. Women who were active before pregnancy may continue their activities, but change intensity and frequency over the course of pregnancy. Other guidelines for physical exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period have been published, such as the Canadian guidelines for exercise during pregnancy in 2003, and the recommendations of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2006. Some researchers argue for the necessity of incorporating strength training and muscle conditioning, revising the definition of moderate exercise, and increasing the amount of vigorous intensity exercises and weekly physical activity expenditure.

Aerobic exercise is recommended to maintain cardiovascular fitness and to help prevent chronic diseases, apart from avoiding excessive weight gain (Valim et al, 2011). They should involve large muscle groups in activities such as when walking or jogging, using stationary bicycle, treadmill, swimming, water aerobics exercises, aerobic dance, or low-impact aerobics. Regardless of the choice of activity, it is important that women find a modality of exercise to which they will adhere over the long term. Those exercises that increase the risk of falling, abdominal traumas and contacts sports should be contraindicated (Valim et al, 2011).

Recent recommendations add strength training to the routine exercise of pregnant women. They suggest that light strength training during second and third trimesters does not affect newborn size or overall health. These effects have been rarely studied, although many women looking for muscle conditioning during pregnancy think that practices such as Pilates and yoga, circuit-type resistance training, and weight training could be beneficial (Artal &O’Tolle, 2003). The possible benefits of increasing strength and stretching training are improvement in overall body strength, good posture and body core strengthening that may contribute in labor, birth, and prevent musculoskeletal discomforts. In addition, pelvic floor muscle strengthening is also an important component in pregnant women’s exercise. Routine exercise is required to reduce the prevalence of urinary incontinence.

Nevertheless, there is little evidence-based literature concerning these practices, so it should be recommended to be careful when women plan to be engaged in these activities, mainly when starting only during pregnancy. Attention should also be paid in avoiding exercise in supine position during the second half of pregnancy in order to prevent hypotension and avoid the Valsalva maneuver throughout the pregnancy.

Previously, sedentary women should start with 15 min of exercise three times a week and gradually increase to 30 min four times a week at low-to moderate intensity. Active women may keep their routine exercise or perform at least moderate-to vigorous exercise four times a week in sessions of 30 min or more. Athletes or women who have higher fitness status should be evaluated individually. Some high-impact activities or sports with fall or trauma risks should be avoided, and the intensity of exercise like running should be reduced. For all, brief warm-up and cool-down periods should be incorporated to each session of exercise.

It seems that there are insufficient maternal and child health services and programmes in the developing world. WHO (2012) observe that poor women in remote areas are the least likely to receive adequate health care. WHO maintain that this is especially true for regions with low numbers of skilled health workers, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the above report, while levels of antenatal care have increased in many parts of the world during the past decade, only 46 per cent of women in low-income countries benefit from skilled care during childbirth. This means that millions of births are not assisted by a midwife, a doctor or a trained nurse. In low-income countries including Nigeria, Just one third of all pregnant women have the recommended four antenatal care visits and only 31 per cent of all deliveries take place in a health care facility (WHO, 2012). A study conducted by WHO (2013) in northern Nigeria indicated that 25 per cent of all deliveries took place at home with no assistance or attendant present. The report further revealed that facilities including antenatal care, prenatal care, post-partum and obstetric care facilities in the country were generally in poor condition with chronic shortages of essential equipment, drugs and human resources. This problem has created an emergency need for programmes and policies aimed at accelerating progress towards addressing the menace. One of such programmes is Exercise Initiative.


1.2 Statement of the problem

In Nigeria, there has been increased awareness about the benefits of exercise among pregnant women. Some clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the effect of exercise on maternal outcome such as low back/pelvic pain, depression during pregnancy and postpartum, gestational weight gain and excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes and insulin resistance, urinary incontinence symptoms, cardiovascular fitness, and the impact of exercise on quality of life and health status perception. Musculoskeletal discomforts such as lower back, pelvic, and/or joint pain are common complaints during pregnancy associated with the anatomical adaptations during pregnancy and previous risks factors. However, active women were able to better handle the condition. Musculoskeletal pain can also be attenuated with physical activity in some women who present mild pelvic and lumbar discomfort. So, this study is coming at the right time to assess the perception of pregnant women in Minna metropolis on the benefits of exercise during pregnancy.


1.3 Aim and objectives of the study

The purpose of this study was to assess the perceived benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers in Minna metropolis, Nigeria.

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. Assess the level of knowledge of the importance of exercise among pregnant mothers in Minna metropolis.
  2. Determine pregnant mothers’ perception of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy.
  3. Ascertain the factors influencing the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant women in Minna metropolis.

1.4 Research questions

  1. What is the level of knowledge of the importance of exercise among pregnant mothers in Minna metropolis?
  2. What is the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers’ in Minna metropolis?
  3. What are the factors influencing the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant women in Minna metropolis?

1.5 Research hypothesis

There is no significant relationship between level of knowledge of the importance of exercise among pregnant mothers and perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers’ in General hospital Minna metropolis.


1.6 Significance of the study

The following are the significance of this study:

The result from this study will reveal the perception of pregnant women on exercise. The outcome of this study will also educate on the benefits and outcome of regular exercise by pregnant women.

This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.


1.7 Scope of the study

This study is limited to Minna metropolis and is also concerned on assessing knowledge, perception, and the factors influencing the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant women in Minna metropolis?


1.8 Limitation of the study

The limitation of this study was the challenge of collecting information from respondents as some respondents were reluctant to give their information for confidential purposes. However, this was overcome by the researchers who administered the questionnaire face-to-face to the respondents who filled and submitted them at the spot.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Attitude:

Is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual’s degree of like or dislike for something which in turn influences his/her behaviour to that thing. Hornby (2005) defined attitude as the way that you think and feel about somebody or something which influences the way you behave to the person or the thing.

Exercise:

Refers to an activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. It also refers to physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier.

Postnatal:

Relating to or denoting the period after childbirth. Postnatal means happening after and relating to the birth of a baby

Practice:

Means doing a particular thing over and over again. According to Hornby (2005), practice means doing something regularly as part of one’s normal behaviour. Merriam-Webster (2012) adds that to practice means to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually. In this study, practice refers to the habitual actions (prenatal and postnatal exercises) applied by childbearing mothers which are directed towards ensuring that they and their babies do not face the risk of mortality or morbidity in their pregnancies, child births, and post partum periods.

Prenatal:

Refers to the period before birth; during or relating to pregnancy. Prenatal care is the regular health care women should receive from an obstetrician or midwife during pregnancy.


Chapter Five


Discussion

5.1 Discussion of findings

What is the level of knowledge of the importance of exercise among pregnant mothers in Minna metropolis?
The study from table 4.2, item 7 reveals that majority of the respondents 97(64.7%) asserted that they have never heard about specific exercise for pregnant mothers while 53(35.3%) said they have. In item 8, Majority of the respondent 89(59.3%) said yes that they are aware of antenatal clinic were exercise are carried out while 61(40.7%) said no. in item 9, 27(18%) of the respondents said yes that they have heard or had an idea about exercise in the traditional birth attendance been good for pregnant mothers while 123(82%) said no. The study also revealed in item 10, that 36(24%) respondents said yes that exercise seem stressful to a pregnant mother while majority of the respondents 114(76%) said no. in item 11, 47(31.3%) of the respondents said yes that exercise is very stressful for pregnant mothers while 103 (68.7%) said no. in item 12, Majority of the respondents 106(70.7%) said yes that during antenatal clinic nurses allow you to know about different exercises that should be carried out by a pregnant mother while 44(29.3%) of the respondents said no.

What is the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers’ in Minna metropolis?
The study from table 4.3, item 13 reveals that 53(35.5%) of the respondents said yes that they do not like antenatal exercises because of its complications to pregnancy, while majority of the respondents 97(64.7%) said no. in Item 14, majority of the respondents 84(56%) asserted that they like antenatal exercise because it improves easy delivery during labor while 66(44%) of the respondent said no. Also in item 15, 98(65.3%) of the respondents asserted that they love going to hospital because the nurses there will explain the different types of exercises good for pregnant mothers while 52(34.7%) of the respondents said no. in item 16, Majority of the respondents 99(66%) said yes that they love antennal exercise because it improves sleep while 51(34%) said no. in item 17, 99(66%) of the respondents asserted that Most women love antenatal exercise because it offers an appropriate method to each individual while 51(34%) said no. Never the less in item 18, 86(57.3%) said yes that Most women choose the wrong method of antenatal exercise because of improper counseling based on culture, religion and ignorance while 64(42.7%) of the respondents said no.

The study of Fraser & Cooper, 2014, in line with the study also stated that Exercise has been scientifically known for promoting the circulation of blood to both the pregnant women and the vital organs of the foetus. Exercise improves muscle tone, thus enhancing safe and normal delivery. Pre-natal exercise is described as physical activity performed by pregnant women in order to improve their health before delivery (Schuurmans, Senikas, & Lalonde, 2014). It has many benefits such as improvement of cardiovascular fitness, easier and less complicated birth (Clapp, 2000). This is also in line with item 15, Simkin, Whalley, & Keppler (2015) emphasized that the best amount and type of exercise for pregnant women is dependent on overall health, the risk level of the pregnancy, the level of her fitness and her activity level before becoming pregnant. Physical changes accompanied with pregnancy directly affect the pregnant women’s tolerance for exercise. Hormonal changes cause the ligament to relax and the joints to become more mobile.

What are the factors influencing the perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant women in Minna metropolis?

The Study from 4.4, item 19 reveals that majority of the respondent 98(65.3%) asserted that Poor Level of Health Education been one of the factors influencing the benefit of pregnant women exercises while 52(34.7%) said they are not. In item 20, 38(25.3%) said yes Culture and belief affects the benefit the pregnant mothers derived from exercise while 112(74.7%) said No it doesn’t. Also from item 21, reveals that 89(59.3%) of the respondents asserted that age affect the pregnant mothers exercise while 61(40.7%) said no. in item 22, Majority of the respondent 94(62.7%) said yes that they have access to health center and clinics while 56(37.3%) said they do not. None the less in item 23, 43(28.7%) of the respondents said yes that ignorance affect the benefit of exercise for pregnant mothers’ while 107(71.3%) said no, it doesn’t.

In correspondent to the study, Gaston & Cramp (2011) suggested that some factors such as age, ignorance, culture and belief and level of education may influence perception of pregnant women on prenatal exercise. Age of pregnant women largely influences her perception on the benefits of prenatal exercise. Kurz, Bondura&Khale (2016) concluded that the wide variety of lower maternal age portends negative perception of benefits of pre-natal exercise.

Also,Senanoyake (2016) in correspondent to the study submitted that educated women are more likely to derive more health benefits associated with physical exercise as they are more aware of these benefits. Gaston &Vamous (2012) found out that women with higher education will engage in prenatal exercise. But Clarke & Gross (2014) found no association between the perceived benefits of prenatal exercise and level of education of pregnant women. Mottola & Campbell (2003) asserted that there is higher participation in physical activity or exercise with higher education. Also, Peterson &Brownsen (2016) concluded that educated pregnant women are more likely to meet the moderate or vigorous physical activity recommendations.

The relationship between level of knowledge of the importance of exercise among pregnant mothers and perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers’ in General hospital Minna metropolis?

Result in table 4.5 indicates that a calculated r-value of 0.277 was obtained. This value when compared to the critical r-value of 0.178 at .05 probability level and 148 degrees of freedom was found to be higher. On the basis of this observation, the null hypothesis is rejected, meaning that there is a significant relationship between knowledge ofimportance of exercise and perception of the benefits of exercise among pregnant mothers’ in General hospital Minna metropolis


5.2 Conclusion

The study revealed that the respondents’ knowledge of benefits of exercise was good. However, despite the above, minority of the respondents still demonstrated poor knowledge and unfavorable attitude which may be due to those factors identified as hindrance to the benefit of exercise. Effort should be made to address those falls to improve their knowledge.


5.3 Recommendations

Considering the result of findings, it was recommended among others that:

  1. Women should be careful when planning to engage in these activities (exercise), mainly when starting only during pregnancy.
  2. Attention should also be paid in avoiding exercise in supine position during the second half of pregnancy in order to prevent hypotension and avoid the Valsalva maneuver throughout the pregnancy.
  3. Women should start with 15 min of exercise three times a week and gradually increase to 30 min four times a week at low-to moderate intensity.
  4. Active women at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital may keep their routine exercise or perform at least moderate-to vigorous exercise four times a week in sessions of 30 min or more.
  5. Nurses in the area should also include benefits of exercise in their health talks during antenatal clinic to prevent the negative perception about pregnant mothers’.

5.4 Implications for nursing practice

The overall finding obtained from the result revealed pregnant women knowledge based on the benefits of exercise. However, there still exist poor knowledge. This calls for intensive awareness creation on the benefits of exercises among pregnant mothers’ for these women during ANC visit. Also, workshop and retraining on component of exercises should be conducted for nurses in General hospital Minna metropolis to update their knowledge and careful monitoring and supervision in order to improve on those observed weaknesses which posed as barriers to utilization of exercise among pregnant women.


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