Data were attained through a survey instrument developed by the researchers based on the ACOG guidelines for pregnancy exercise, diet, and weight management. Surveys were disturbed to pregnant women at their physicians' offices. Surveys contained 34 questions assessing knowledge levels regarding exercise, diet, and weight management knowledge and behavior during pregnancy. Validity and reliability were established through expert review and a pilot test.
Results indicated a moderate relationship between exercise and diet knowledge (r = 0.42, p < 0.01), diet and weight management knowledge (r = 0.33, p < .01), and exercise knowledge and behavior (r = 0.35, p < 0.01). Furthermore, diet and weight management knowledge (r = 0.40, p < 0.01) and diet knowledge and behavior (r = 0.33, p < 0.01) were significantly correlated. Less than 50% of participants scored 70% or higher on exercise, diet, and weight management knowledge assessments, and only 23% met ACOG guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. Less than 40% of participants indicated receiving knowledge from a doctor or dietician. The most common sources of information were family, friends, and the internet.
Results suggest women in this sample would benefit from further education from qualified sources and instructors. Additional interventions such as organized exercise groups and meal planning or cooking lessons could improve the health of mothers and baby's during and after pregnancy.
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