Child spacing and parity progression: Implication for maternal nutritional status among women in Ekiti communities, Southwestern Nigeria

S. A. Adebowale, O. T. Adepoju, F. A. Fagbamigbe

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The evolving dynamics that face maternal health in developing countries are worrisome. The achievement of the desirable Millennium Development Goals on maternal and child health in Ekiti will remain a mirage if women nutrition is compromised. Short birth spacing and high frequency of childbearing adversely affect maternal health through maternal depletion syndrome. This study was a cross-sectional house-hold survey where a stratified multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 1450 women of childbearing age as respondents. Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement was used as indicator of nutritional status. Results showed that the median birth interval was 33.0 months. Parity progression rate was higher among under-nourished mothers and births after an interval of less than 24 months (short birth interval) was accounted for by 38.3% of undernourished mothers. Taking into account of several potentially confounding variables, the Cox-regression model showed that mothers who left birth interval of less than 24 months are 2.0 (p<0.01), 4.4 (p<0.001), 5.71 (p<0.001) at risks of undernourishment than their counterparts who left 24- 35, 36-59 and 60+ months interval between births respectively. The strength of the association remains unchanged when the potential confounding variables were controlled. Births interval of at least 36 months will produce best health outcomes for mothers in terms of nutrition as evidence in this study. Strategies should be adopted to improve women knowledge on the effect of short birth spacing on maternal nutrition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalPakistan Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 29 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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