Javeria Saeed a, Laiba Abdullah b
|a||Physiotherapy Department, Surayya Azeem Waqf Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan|
|b||Physiotherapy Department, Ghurki Trust Teaching Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan|
Published: 26 December 2022
Many countries are focusing on antenatal programs and developing strategies to ensure the availability of basic needs to pregnant women and prevent complications concerning childbirth. During the antenatal period, pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs) reduce complications during labor or puerperium, benefiting the mother and the child. Therefore, the current study was designed to identify the gaps in knowledge, attitudes, and practices of PFMEs among pregnant women. This descriptive cross-sectional study recruited 385 pregnant women using a purposive sampling technique aged 18 to 40 who visited major tertiary care public hospitals in their second and third trimesters. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semistructured questionnaire consisting of four sections: sociodemographics, knowledge, attitude, and practices. The overall knowledge of the pregnant women was determined using the modified Bloom's cutoff point. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the collected data. Pregnant women's education levels varied widely, ranging from no formal education to graduate. Most of them belonged to low socioeconomic status families (84.16%), i.e., below Pakistani rupees (PKR) 15,000. Nearly half of the pregnant women were familiar with PFMEs (51.69%). They had relatively better knowledge about PFMEs regarding preventing urine leaks (43.38%), reducing back pain (40.00%), preventing excessive weight gain (46.49%), preventing swelling of extremities (47.01%), and increasing energy and stamina during pregnancy (40.52%). Moreover, 50.39% of pregnant women believed childcare activities barred them from performing PFMEs. However, a meager number of pregnant women (6.75%) were performing PFMEs. The overall knowledge of PFMEs among most pregnant women was poor (64.16%). The study observed various deficiencies in PFME-related knowledge among pregnant women and some difficulties performing these exercises. Only a meager number of the recruited sample reported the regular practice of PFMEs, indicating a dire need to increase the awareness and adherence of women in the local community.
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