Midwives provide most of the maternity services, including nutritional counseling and education services. In Ghana, there is scarce evidence regarding the competency of midwives in providing sound nutritional advice to pregnant women. Therefore, the aim of this research was to assess the nutritional knowledge levels of final year midwifery students. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted, in which 562 final year midwifery students from six Midwifery Training Institutions answered 20 multiple-choice questions on nutritional-related issues during pregnancy. An average score of 9.8 (approximately 49%) was obtained by the respondents. Most (>70%) of the respondents were knowledgeable of the ideal time to start taking folic acid when planning to be pregnant and the effects of high alcohol intake during pregnancy. Key areas that require attention included recommended weight gain during pregnancy, sources and functions of micronutrients, such as folic acid, iron, vitamin C, calcium and iodine during pregnancy, and nutritional management of pregnancy-related conditions like pregnancy-induced hypertension, nausea and heartburn. The findings of this study support other reports that midwives need more training in human nutrition; and it has important implications for professional planning of curricula for midwifery education.
Key words: Midwifery students, nutrition education, diet during pregnancy.
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