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J Clin Diagn Res. 2012 Dec;6(10):1718-21. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2012/4395.2629. Epub 2012 Oct 20.

A comparative study on the nutritional status of the pre-school children of the employed women and the unemployed women in the urban slums of guntur.

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  • 1Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, NRI Medical College , Chinakakani, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The early childhood development is most crucial and the mother's care and attention is essential. The inevitable changes like women entering the work field have an effect on the child care and development.

AIM:

To study the selected anthropometric indices of the children of employed and unemployed women.

SETTINGS AND DESIGN:

This study was done in the urban slums of Guntur city by using a cross sectional, descriptive design.

METHODS AND MATERIAL:

This study was conducted during January - April 2011 with a sample of 312 children of non working women and 311 children of working women, who were selected through the systemic random quota sampling method in 6 randomly selected slums. The data was collected through questionnaires who were named as the Mother's schedule and the Child schedule, which consisted of close-ended questions which were coded for an easy data entry. The Mother's schedule looked at the information regarding the mother, like the caretaker during the mother's absence, the time which was spent with her child each day, etc. The Child schedule looked for information like whether the child was exclusively breast fed, its age in months when the weaning started, whether the government sponsored crèche services (Anganwadi center) were utilized, etc. It also included the anthropometrical measurements of the child like its current weight, current height and mid arm circumference, which were obtained by using standardized tools.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

For each schedule, a separate table was created in a relational basis in MS Access, with suitable key fields to connect the information for the analysis.

RESULTS:

The children of the unemployed mothers weighed significantly higher than the children of the employed mothers. The children of the unemployed mothers also stood significantly taller than the children of the employed mothers.

CONCLUSION:

In the absence of the mothers who are at work, a childcare service is essential and this should be facilitated through legislation, NGO efforts, etc. Breast feeding and the bonding time with children are to be encouraged for the employed mothers.

KEYWORDS:

Employed mothers; Employment status; Nutritional status; Pre-school children; Unemployed mothers

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