Date of Graduation

Fall 2017

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Research Sponsor

Brian Miller

First Reader

Ronald Otterstetter

Second Reader

Tanya Falcone

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated the negative implications that poor maternal nutrition has on morbidity and mortality for both the mother and the unborn child. Although malnutrition is known to make pregnant women susceptible to miscarriage or birth of a child with stunted growth and development, many Central American countries such as Honduras lack a screening tool to detect maternal malnutrition. The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot a screening protocol for malnutrition during pregnancy using best practice and evidence-based recommendations from the AND and the ACOG, and creating a training protocol for obstetric nurse education to foster sustainability of the experimental screening tool within the Honduran medical system. The results of testing performed on women in the public health center versus public hospital showed significant differences in blood glucose levels and fundal height measurements. A two-sample t-test of blood glucose (mg/dL) was statistically significant between the two groups, BG t(15)=4.463, p≤0.001 (d=38.4 mg/dL ±8.6 mg/dL). Relative risk assessment determined women in the hospital are 2.8x more likely to present with a low fundal height than those in the public health center, indicating underdevelopment of the fetus (φ =0.59). Upon completion, comparison of mothers who were evaluated in the public health center versus the public hospital demonstrated how prenatal care can positively influence maternal health and evaluation of six major factors (fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate, blood glucose, hemoglobin, fundal height and mid-arm circumference) can help to identify mothers who potentially present as an at-risk pregnancy due to malnutrition.