Site Home   Gender and Poverty       Introduction to Gender and Health   The Gender Lens Tool

Nutrition

Maria

Maria is a 33 year old mother of two boys, ages 3 and 5. She is four months pregnant with her third child, and is hopeful it will be a girl. She and her husband, along with their sons, live in a small two bedroom apartment. Maria has not worked since the birth of her first son. While the family could use the income, she has not been able to find affordable childcare for her sons. Maria’s husband is hard working, but his job as a labourer only pays $10 an hour. The couple supports their family on less than $2000 a month, and spends 45% of their income on housing.

Maria tries to provide good nutrition for her sons, but sometimes neglects her own needs. Since she has become pregnant, she has tried to improve her nutrition. She has been taking a maternal vitamin since just before she became pregnant, but is now only taking one every other day since the bottle is almost empty. The family usually has enough to eat, but has had to visit an emergency food hamper program in the past, when unforeseen expenses have strained the family’s financial situation further. The nutritional value of the food at the food hamper program is generally good, but is limited by the availability of donated food items.

1.

Is Maria at risk for receiving inadequate nutrition during her pregnancy?

2.

What factors in Maria's life contribute to this risk?

3.

What are Maria's additional nutritional requirements now that she is pregnant?