The health of a pregnant mother and her nutritional status can influence the health and survival of the growing foetus because of the biological link between her and her child. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practice of healthy nutrition among pregnant women attending selected private hospital, Benin City. Descriptive cross-sectional research design was used for the study. Two hundred and twenty two (222) women were selected using convenient sampling technique. Self structured questionnaire served as instrument of the study. Reliability was ensured using test retest and alpha value of 0.87. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics; hypothess were tested using logistic regression and t-test at 5% level of significance. Result show that 159 (76.8%) of the respondents have good knowledge of healthy nutrition, 28 (13.5%) of the respondents have a fair knowledge of healthy nutrition, while only 20 (9.7%) have poor knowledge of healthy nutrition. Also 82 (39.6%), have a good practice of healthy nutrition, 69 (33.3%) fairly practice healthy nutrition, while 69 (27.1%) poorly practice healthy nutrition. Factors influencing poor practices include ignorance 45(36.6%), forgetfulness 44(35.8%), and husband’s attitude 29(23.6%). Majority 79(38.2%) of the respondents avoided certain foods because they don’t just like them. logistic regression shows a statistically significant relationship (p=0.000 OR -0.567, 0.002 OR -0.241 and 0.000 OR 0.417) with the tribe, state of origin and educational level of the husband and the practice of healthy nutrition. Health talk should be encouraged on each antenatal day and nurses should put more emphasis on healthy nutrition. Government should provide public awareness for girl child education as illiteracy is a major factor that affects dietary practice during pregnancy and acceptance to practice which will help reduce the rate of intrauterine fetal death, low birth weight (LBW) and maternal mortality
Key words: Knowledge, practice, healthy nutrition, pregnant women.
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