Dietary intake of pregnant women do not appear to meet the dietary recommendations. Nutrition knowledge and practices of pregnant women and their antenatal care clinicians are factors that may be influential on dietary intakes of pregnant women.
To assess and compare pregnancy nutrition recommendation knowledge and to explore how nutrition knowledge impacts on food choices in pregnant women and nutrition education practices of antenatal care providers.
An explanatory sequential research mixed methods study design was applied. All participants were recruited from a metropolitan maternity hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The first phase assessed pregnancy nutrition knowledge and sources of nutrition information using a questionnaire (n = 202) then followed semi-structured interviews with women and clinicians (n = 31).
The clinicians obtained significantly higher nutrition scores than compared to women, however, nutrition knowledge gaps were highlighted for both women and clinicians. Women reported receiving limited nutrition advice, a reflection of the clinicians reporting they provided limited nutrition advice.
A key challenge for women adhering to dietary recommendations was having inadequate knowledge of the dietary recommendations and receiving limited information from their care providers. Similarly, as well as time constraints, limited nutrition knowledge and a lack of nutrition training impacted on the capacity of clinicians to provide adequate nutrition education.