Objectives: This study was designed to explore nutritional status and behaviors in pregnancy and investigate the effects on preterm and term births.
Methods: The study was conducted with 120 mothers who gave birth (60 preterm and 60 term deliveries) in a private hospital between November 2015 and December 2015 in Istanbul. A questionnaire to record the demographic characteristics of patients, smoking and alcohol use, nutritional habits, and food consumption frequency was administered in a face-to-face interview.
Results: In all, 65% of the births were by cesarean section and 35% were vaginal delivery; 41.7% of the preterm deliveries were in women aged ≥35 years, whereas only 5% of term deliveries were in women aged ≥35 years. Statistically significant differences were found in terms of education, work status, income level, smoking, pregnancy nutrition, and psychological status between preterm and term delivery mothers (p<0.05). Gestational weight gain was ≤8 kg in 36.7% of mothers with preterm deliveries and ≥12 kg in 36.7% of mothers and 8-12 kg in 68.3% of the mothers with term deliveries. Compared with preterm delivery mothers, term delivery mothers had fewer nutritional problems during pregnancy and more regular meal consumption (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Weight gain and nutrition in pregnancy are variables that affect preterm birth. Hence, nutritional training should be provided regularly to pregnant women, and their weight should be monitored.