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    Practice and pattern of antenatal and postnatal exercise among Nigerian women: A cross-sectional study

    Mbada, CE, Adebayo, OEO, Awotidebe, TO, Faremi, FA, Oginni, MO, Ogundele, AO and Emechete, AAI (2015) Practice and pattern of antenatal and postnatal exercise among Nigerian women: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Women's Health and Reproduction Sciences, 3 (2). pp. 93-98. ISSN 2330-4456

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    Objectives: The African culture seems to play a major prohibiting role in physical exercise during pregnancy and immediate postpartum. This study was designed to assess practice and pattern of antenatal and postnatal exercise among Nigerian women. Materials and Methods: Three hundred and sixty-five women (189 pregnant women and 179 nursing mothers) from six selected hospitals in south-west Nigeria participated in this cross-sectional study. Data were obtained on socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics, and practice of antenatal and postnatal exercise. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze data at P<0.05 alpha level. Results: The mean age of all the respondents was 28.9± 4.63 years. A majority of the pregnant women responders were nulliparous (39.2%) while the nursing mother responders were mostly multiparous (54.5%). Prevalence for engagement in physical exercise was 81.9% and mostly based on self-prescription (35.5%) and prescription by nurses (28.8%). Antenatal and postnatal ex ercise practice was 84.7% (160/189) and 79.0% (139/176), respectively. Aerobic (43.5%) and stretching (33.4%) were the most common type of physical exercises. Exercise frequency was mostly 1-2 times per week (40.8%). There was significant association between exercise practice and education level (χ2=18.795; P=0.001). Conclusion: Engagement in antenatal and postnatal exercise among Nigerian pregnant and nursing women was high and mostly based on self-prescription. Education level significantly influence physical exercise practice among Nigerian women with aerobic and stretching as the predominant exercises in pregnancy and postpartum.

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