International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 200

Full Length Research Paper

Low birth weight knowledge among postnatal mothers in a resource restricted urban setting in Zimbabwe

Helen Vupenyu Gundani
  • Helen Vupenyu Gundani
  • Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, P. O. Box 178 A, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar
Jesca Mutowo
  • Jesca Mutowo
  • Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 29 February 2012
  •  Published: 30 April 2012


This study aimed to establish the knowledge of postnatal mothers about low birth weight (LBW) in a resource restricted urban setting. A non-experimental descriptive study was conducted using a systematic sampling method to select fifty mothers aged between 15 and 41 years with babies below five years born with LBW of below 2500 grams. The women were selected as they sought health care at Mabvuku Satellite Clinic in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Data were collected using an investigator- administered interview guide that also included three open-ended questions. Data were analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies, percentages and tables. The major finding was that all participants had inadequate knowledge about LBW. Their total score was below 50% with a mean of 1.56% which, on the scale of “adequate knowledge” score levels defined by Nachega et al. (2005) was well below the 75% plus accepted score for adequate knowledge. Additionally, findings showed that all the participants did not remember any information they received on LBW during pre/ postnatal care. Eighty percent of the participants stated that nurses did not talk about LBW. To increase knowledge on LBW, we advocate that a manual on topics to be covered during pre/postnatal care be developed and that both young men and women, pregnant and not, be educated on factors associated with LBW by health care providers.


Keywords: Low birth weight, resource restricted setting, weight in grams, poor socio-economic factors, pre/postnatal.