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Studies on maternal postnatal exercise profiles have been focused in urban areas resulting in scarcity of literature on postnatal exercise practices in rural areas. This study compared knowledge and practice of postnatal exercises between rural and urban Nigerian postpartum mothers. A cross-sectional study of 351 mothers (200 urban and 151 rural women) recruited from eight selected hospitals (four urban and four rural) from South-East Nigeria was carried out. A three-section questionnaire that assessed socio-demographics, maternal characteristics, knowledge and practice of postnatal exercises was employed. Descriptive and inferential knowledge of postnatal exercises (urban-90.5%, rural-98.0%), with preponderance in the rural women, although not statistically significant (p=0.462). Prevalence of non-practice of postnatal exercises was more among the rural women (79.5%) as compared to urban women (54.5%) with a significant difference (p<0.001) between the groups. Insufficient information on postnatal exercises (urban = 85.3%; rural = 94.2%) was the major barrier to postnatal exercise practice. Most of the women (urban-87.0%; rural–94.7%) exercised for about 1-4 days per week, mainly based on self-prescription (urban-53.8%, rural-54.8%). Majority of Nigerian postpartum mothers demonstrated poor knowledge and practice of postnatal exercises, with preponderance among rural women.


Postnatal Exercise, Practice, Postpartum Mothers, Nigeria, Urban, Rural.
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