Poster Presentation

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
9:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
This presentation is part of : MCH Invited Posters
Perinatal nutritional needs of Punjabi speaking immigrant women living in Surrey, British Columbia
Lynne Palmer, RN, MSN, Maternal Program, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Surrey, BC, Canada and Patricia A. Janssen, RN, PhD, Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Learning Objective #1: list the negative health consequences related to perinatal undernutrition in the Punjabi speaking immigrant population living in Surrey, British Columbia.
Learning Objective #2: identify key elements used to establish partnerships with the Punjabi speaking community to build their capacity to improve their perinatal nutrition.

The incidence of low birth weight babies in British Columbia is known to be greater in the South Asian population in comparison to British Columbian birth weight standards. Surrey, British Columbia is home to the highest proportion of South Asian immigrants in any metropolitan census of Canada, and almost half of the 3700 women who give birth at Surrey Memorial Hospital are Punjabi speaking women of South Asian descent. Pregnancy and childbirth are strongly associated with cultural traditions and dietary practices that can have a significant impact on maternal-infant health. Intrauterine growth restriction is associated with increased antenatal surveillance, cesarean section rate, and neonatal intensive care unit admissions. Intrauterine growth restriction is also associated with childhood developmental delay and insulin resistance which may lead to adult chronic disease. 

Punjabi speaking immigrant women often begin their pregnancies with a low body mass index and they gain weight slowly throughout pregnancy. These women experience many barriers to achieving an optimal perinatal diet that would support their own nutritional needs and those of their growing fetuses. A Punjabi speaking women's group participated in planning interventions to increase community awareness of these barriers and to improve their perinatal nutrition. This phase of community involvement will lead to program planning and research designed to evaluate interventions.