Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Maternal Health Related Abstracts

8 Socioeconomic and Demographic Factors Influencing Male Antenatal Care Participation in Zimbabwe

Authors: Lucia Mavudzi


Socioeconomic and demographic factors influence male attendance of antenatal care (ANC) activities which are beneficial in improving maternal health and birth outcome. When a male, as the head of the family is expected to solely make decisions of how finances are managed, when and where health services are sought, it impacts on the woman’s health seeking behavior. Using the data from the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2010-2011 this paper seeks to assess the prevalence of male ANC attendance in Zimbabwe and factors that influence male ANC attendance. We hypothesized that socioeconomic and demographic factors do not influence male ANC attendance. To achieve the objectives of this paper, descriptive analysis was used to describe the characteristics of men and the Binomial logistic modelling was used to assess the relationship between male ANC attendance and selected socioeconomic and demographic factors. Male ANC attendance was used as the dependent variable, and the independent variables are age, marital status, place of residence, wealth, education, religion and employment. A high percentage of males did not attend ANC with their pregnant partners. Religion, education, and place of residence were found to be significantly associated with male ANC attendance. There was no evidence to show that there was a difference in male ANC attendance by employment, marital status, and age. Findings from this paper are relevant to public health. They will be used to develop strategies and intervention programs to improve pregnant women’s attendance of ANC attendance by involving men in maternal health.

Keywords: Maternal Health, Antenatal Care, socio-economic and demographic factors, male participation

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7 An Assessment of the Impact of Safe Motherhood Initiative on Maternal Health of Women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Nigeria

Authors: Ahmed Mudi, Bala Zakar


The paper assesses the impact of safe motherhood initiative on maternal health of women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State. The work will specifically concentrate on the background on safe motherhood scheme and maternal health of women. The objective of this paper is to assess the level of safe motherhood scheme in Gumel local government area, to find out the level of maternal health in Gumel local government as well as to determine the impact of safe motherhood scheme on maternal health on women in Gumel Local Government Area Jigawa State. Various literature on the topic are reviewed, the paper adopts survey design and use questionnaire to collect data from the respondent. The study comprises 350 women selected from six rural communities in Gumel using random sampling techniques, and the data was analysed by simple frequency and percentage. The research concluded that safe motherhood initiative has a significant impact on the maternal health of women in Gumel Local Government Area of Jigawa State. Finally, suitable recommendations were given on how to improve the scheme to ensure better maternal health in the region.

Keywords: Surgery, Assessment, Action, Maternal Health, Safe Motherhood

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6 An Analytic Cross-Sectional Study on the Association between Social Determinants of Health, Maternal and Child Health-Related Knowledge and Attitudes, and Utilization of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition Strategy-Prescribed Services for M

Authors: Rafael Carlos C. Aniceto, Bryce Abraham M. Anos, Don Christian A. Cornel, Marjerie Brianna S. Go, Samantha Nicole U. Roque, Earl Christian C. Te


Indigenous peoples (IPs) in the Philippines are a vulnerable, marginalized group in terms of health and overall well-being due to social inequities and cultural differences. National standards regarding maternal healthcare are geared towards facility-based delivery with modern medicine, health services, and skilled birth attendants. Standards and procedures of care for pregnant mothers do not take into account cultural differences between indigenous people and the majority of the population. There do exist, however, numerous other factors that cause relatively poorer health outcomes among indigenous peoples (IPs). This analytic cross-sectional study sought to determine the association between social determinants of health (SDH), focusing on status as indigenous peoples, and maternal health-related knowledge and attitudes (KA), and health behavior of the Dumagat-Agta indigenous people of Barangay Catablingan and Barangay San Marcelino, General Nakar, Quezon Province, and their utilization of health facilities for antenatal care, facility-based delivery and postpartum care, which would affect their health outcomes (that were not within the scope of this study). To quantitatively measure the primary/secondary exposures and outcomes, a total of 90 face-to-face interviews with IP and non-IP mothers were done. For qualitative information, participant observation among 6 communities (5 IP and 1 non-IP), 11 key informant interviews (traditional and modern health providers) and 4 focused group discussions among IP mothers were conducted. Primary quantitative analyses included chi-squared, T-test and binary logistic regression, while secondary qualitative analyses involved thematic analysis and triangulation. The researchers spent a total of 15 days in the community to learn the culture and participate in the practices of the Dumagat-Agta more intensively and deeply. Overall, utilization of all MNCHN services measured in the study was lower for IP mothers compared to their non-IP counterparts. After controlling for confounders measured in the study, IP status (primary exposure) was found to be significantly correlated with utilization of and adherence to two MNCHN-prescribed services: number of antenatal care check-ups and place of delivery (secondary outcomes). Findings show that being an indigenous mother leads to unfavorable social determinants of health, and if compounded by a difference in knowledge and attitudes, would then lead to poor levels of utilization of MNCHN-prescribed services. Key themes from qualitative analyses show that factors that affected utilization were: culture, land alienation, social discrimination, socioeconomic status, and relations between IPs and non-IPs, specifically with non-IP healthcare providers. The findings of this study aim to be used to help and guide in policy-making, to provide healthcare that is not only adequate and of quality, but more importantly, that addresses inequities stemming from various social determinants, and which is socio-culturally acceptable to indigenous communities. To address the root causes of health problems of IPs, there must be full recognition and exercise of their collective rights to communal assets, specifically land, and self-determination. This would improve maternal and child health outcomes to one of the most vulnerable and neglected sectors in society today.

Keywords: Child Health, Social determinants of health, Maternal Health, indigenous people, knowledge-attitudes-practices

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5 Utilization of Antenatal Care Services by Domestic Workers in Delhi

Authors: Meenakshi


Background: The complications during pregnancy are the major cause of morbidity and deaths among women in the reproductive age group. Childbearing is the most important phase in women’s lives that occur mainly in the adolescent and adult years. Maternal health, thus is an important issue as this as this is important phase is also productive time for women as they strive fulfill their capabilities as an individual, mothers, family members and also as a citizen. The objective of the study is to document the coverage of ANC and its determinants among domestic workers. Method: A survey of 300 domestic workers were carried in Delhi. Only respondents in the age group (15-49) and whose recent birth was of 5 years preceding the survey were included. Socio-demographic data and information on maternal health was collected from these respondents Information on ANC was collected from total 300 respondents. Standard of living index were composed based on households assists and similarly autonomy index was computed based on women decision making power in the households taking certain key variables. Cross tabulations were performed to obtain frequency and percentages. Potential socio-economic determinants of utilization of ANC among domestic workers were examined using binary logistic regressions. Results: Out of 300 domestic workers survey, only 70.7 per cent per cent received ANC. Domestic workers who married at age 18 years and above are 4 times more likely to utilize antenatal services during their last birth (***p< 0.01). Comparison to domestic workers with number of living children two or less, domestic workers with number of living children more than two are less likely to utilize antenatal care services (**p< 0.05). Domestic workers belonging to Other Backward Castes are more likely to utilize antenatal care services than domestic workers belonging to scheduled tribes ((**p< 0.05). Conclusion: The level of utilization of maternal health services are less among domestic workers is less, as they spend most of their time at the employers household. Though demonstration effect do have impact on their life styles but utilization of maternal health services is poor. Strategies and action are needed to improve the utilization of maternal health services among this section of workers as they are vulnerable because of no proper labour legislations.

Keywords: Women’s Health, Health services, Maternal Health, Antenatal Care, domestic workers

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4 Analysis of Trends in Equity of Maternal Health Care in South India

Authors: Anushree S. Panikkassery


The paper analyses the pattern and trend of maternal health care in south Indian states. It studies the interstate disparities in terms of maternal health care. It also compares the trends in terms of achieving the target of sustainable development Goal is related to maternal health. The maternal health care (MHC) development is one of the key indicators for the development of health sector in the country and assumes significance from the socioeconomic and developmental perspectives. Maternal health care mainly consists of composite care during pregnancy, child birth as well as postpartum period. Antenatal care, identification, referral and management of high risk pregnancies, safe and healthy child birth and early postnatal care are some of the important issues pertaining to maternal health. Data is collected from national family health survey 1992-93, 1998-99, 2005-06, and 2015-16. A concentration index is used to study the disparities in equity of maternal health among south Indian states. The study shows that there has been an improvement in maternal health care in south Indian states with Kerala topping among the states. But there exist disparities among the south Indian states.

Keywords: Disparities, Equity, Maternal Health, Antenatal Care

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3 Fulfillment of Models of Prenatal Care in Adolescents from Mexico and Chile

Authors: Alejandra Sierra, Gloria Valadez, Adriana Dávalos, Mirliana Ramírez


For years, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and other organizations have made efforts to the improve access and the quality of prenatal care as part of comprehensive programs for maternal and neonatal health, the standards of care have been renewed in order to migrate from a medical perspective to a holistic perspective. However, despite the efforts currently antenatal care models have not been verified by a scientific evaluation in order to determine their effectiveness. The teenage pregnancy is considered as a very important phenomenon since it has been strongly associated with inequalities, poverty and the lack of gender quality; therefore it is important to analyze the antenatal care that’s been given, including not only the clinical intervention but also the activities surrounding the advertising and the health education. In this study, the objective was to describe if the previously established activities (on the prenatal care models) are being performed in the care of pregnant teenagers attending prenatal care in health institutions in two cities in México and Chile during 2013. Methods: Observational and descriptive study, of a transversal cohort. 170 pregnant women (13-19 years) were included in prenatal care in two health institutions (100 women from León-Mexico and 70 from Chile-Coquimbo). Data collection: direct survey, perinatal clinical record card which was used as checklists: WHO antenatal care model WHO-2003, Official Mexican Standard NOM-007-SSA2-1993 and Personalized Service Manual on Reproductive Process- Chile Crece Contigo; for data analysis descriptive statistics were used. The project was approved by the relevant ethics committees. Results: Regarding the fulfillment of interventions focused on physical, gynecological exam, immunizations, monitoring signs and biochemical parameters in both groups was met by more than 84%; the activities of guidance and counseling pregnant teenagers in Leon compliance rates were below 50%, on the other hand, although pregnant women in Coquimbo had a higher percentage of compliance, no one reached 100%. The topics that less was oriented were: family planning, signs and symptoms of complications and labor. Conclusions: Although the coverage of the interventions indicated in the prenatal care models was high, there were still shortcomings in the fulfillment of activities to orientation, education and health promotion. Deficiencies in adherence to prenatal care guidelines could be due to different circumstances such as lack of registration or incomplete filling of medical records, lack of medical supplies or health personnel, absences of people at prenatal check-up appointments, among many others. Therefore, studies are required to evaluate the quality of prenatal care and the effectiveness of existing models, considering the role of the different actors (pregnant women, professionals and health institutions) involved in the functionality and quality of prenatal care models, in order to create strategies to design or improve the application of a complete process of promotion and prevention of maternal and child health as well as sexual and reproductive health in general.

Keywords: Health Systems, Adolescent Health, Maternal Health, primary health care

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2 Understanding Awareness, Agency and Autonomy of Mothers and Potential of Digital Technology in Expanding Maternal Health Information Access: A Survey of Mothers in Urban India

Authors: Sumiti Saharan, Pallav Patankar, Lily W. Lee


Understanding the health-seeking behaviors and attitudes of women towards maternal health in the context of gender roles and family dynamics is tremendously crucial for designing effective and impactful interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health outcomes. Further, as the digital world becomes more accessible and affordable, it is imperative to scope the potential of digital technology in enabling access to maternal health information in different socio-economic groups (SEGs). In the summer of 2017, we conducted a study with 500 women across different SEGs in urban India who were pregnant or had had a delivery in the last year. The study was undertaken to assess their maternal health information seeking behavior with a particular focus on probing their use of digital technology for health-related information. The study also measured women's decision-making autonomy in the context of maternal health, awareness of their rights to quality and respectful maternal healthcare, and agency to voice their rights. We probed the impact of key variables including education, age, and socioeconomic status on all outcome variables. In terms of health-seeking behaviors, we found that women heavily relied on medical professionals and/or their mothers and mothers-in-law for all maternal health advice. Digital adoption was found to be high across all SEGs, with around 70% of women from all populations using the internet several times a week. On the other hand, use of the internet for both accessing maternal health information and choosing maternity hospitals were both significantly dependent on SEG. The key reasons reported for not using the internet for health purposes were lack of awareness and lack of trust on content accuracy. Decisions around health practices and type of delivery were found to be jointly made by women and other family members. Almost all women reported their husbands to play a key role in all maternal health decisions and for decisions with a clear financial implication like choice of hospital for delivery, husbands were reported to be the sole decision maker by a majority of women. The agency of women was also found to be low in interactions with maternal healthcare providers with a third of respondents not comfortable with voicing their opinions and preferences to their doctors. Interestingly, we find that this relatively low agency was prominent in both lower middle class and middle-class SEGs. Recognition of the sociocultural determinants of behavior is the first step in developing actionable strategies for improving maternal health outcomes. Our study quantifies the agency and autonomy of women in urban India and the variables that impact them. Our findings emphasize the value of gender normative approaches that factor in the key role husbands play in guiding maternal health decisions. They also highlight the power of digital approaches for catalyzing access to maternal health information. These insights into the attitude and behaviors of mothers in context of their sociocultural environments—and their relationship with digital technology—can help pave the way towards designing effective, scalable maternal and child health programs in developing nations like India.

Keywords: Behavior, Maternal Health, Digital Health, access to healthcare information

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1 Postpartum Depression Screening and Referrals for Lower-Income Women in North Carolina, USA

Authors: Maren J. Coffman, Victoria C. Scott, J. Claire Schuch, Ashley N. Kelley, Jeri L. Ryan


Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a leading cause of postpartum morbidity. PPD affects 7.1% of postpartum women and 19.2% of postpartum women when including minor depression. Lower-income women and ethnic minorities are more at risk for developing PPD and face multiple attitudinal and institutional barriers to receiving care. This study aims to identify PPD among low-income women and connect them to appropriate services in order to reduce the illness burden and enhance access to care. Screenings were conducted in two Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, from April 2017 to April 2018. WIC is a supplemental nutrition program that provides healthcare and nutrition to low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of 5. Additionally, a qualitative study was conducted to better understand the PPD continuum of care in order to identify opportunities for improvement. Mothers with infants were screened for depression risk using the PHQ-2. Mothers who scored ≥ 2 completed two additional standardized screening tools (PHQ-7, to complete the PHQ-9, and the Edinburgh) to assess depressive symptomatology. If indicated they may be suffering from depression, women were referred for case management services. Open-ended questions were used to understand treatment barriers. Four weeks after the initial survey, a follow-up telephone call was made to see if women had received care. Seven focus groups with WIC staff and managers, referral agency staff, local behavioral health professionals, and students examining the screenings, are being conducted March - April, 2018 to gather information related to current screening practices, referrals, follow up and treatment. Mothers (n = 231 as of February, 2018) were screened in English (65%) or Spanish (35%). According to preliminary results, 29% of mothers screened were at risk for postpartum depression (PHQ-2 ≥ 2). There were significant differences in preliminary screening results based on survey language (

Keywords: Mental Health, Health Disparities, Maternal Health, Postpartum Depression

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