Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mehta, Sudha Wadhwa||Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Pregnancy--Nutritional aspects; Malnutrition in pregnancy; Mothers--Nutrition


Medical records of 264 women who delivered infants at the Rockford Memorial Hospital were reviewed. Data related to prepregnancy weight; maternal weight gain during pregnancy; height of the mother; length of gestation; the infant's length, weight, and APGAR Scores were recorded. The incidence of complications of pregnancy including anemia were also recorded. Two population groups were studied: 1. the private population composed of 99% white subjects from the middle and upper socio-economic status who received prenatal care from a private physician and, 2. the clinic population consisting of 58% black subjects and 42% white subjects from the lower socio-economic status who received prenatal care at an outpatient clinic. The women in the private population had a higher mean age (25.3 years) than the women in the clinic population (22.3 years). Although the weight gain of the women in the private population was not significantly higher than in the clinic population, the mean birth weight and length of the infant born to subjects in the private population were significantly higher than those of the infants born to the women in the clinic population. This showed that socio-economic status of the mother had a significant effect on the outcome of pregnancy. Thus, even though both groups of subjects received adequate prenatal care, the socio-economic status of the mother significantly affected the outcome of pregnancy. Within the clinic population, the birth weights and lengths of the infants born to black subjects were smaller than those infants born to white subjects. This shows a difference in the outcome of pregnancy due to race or racially related cultural differences. For the private population for whom the height data of the mother was available, the height was significantly related to the weight of the baby but not to the length of the baby. Also, all the oversized infants (greater than 4500 gm) were born to overweight white women in the private population. Perhaps due to proper prenatal care received by both black and white subjects of both socio-economic status groups, the incidence of pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and toxemia was very small and had no significant effect on the birth weight or the birth length of the baby. Subjects received prescriptions for prenatal iron supplements. The incidence of anemia estimated from the hematocrit values was not significantly high in either population and had no effect on the outcome of pregnancy. Thus it appears that socio-economic status and race were the two important factors affecting the outcome of pregnancy in this study.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 48 pages




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