BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

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ISSN / EISSN : 1471-2393 / 1471-2393
Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1186)
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Total articles ≅ 4,750
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Mary Economou, Ourania Kolokotroni, Irene Paphiti-Demetriou, Christiana Kouta, Ekaterini Lambrinou, Eleni Hadjigeorgiou, Vasiliki Hadjiona, Nicos Middleton
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-16; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03878-3

Introduction While breastfeeding self-efficacy (BSES) is an important modifiable determinant of breastfeeding, a structured assessment is not standard practice in Cyprus. We assessed the Greek version of the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale (BSES-SF), including its predictive validity in terms of Breastfeeding (BF) and Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) up to the sixth month. Methods A methodological study with longitudinal design among 586 mother-infant dyads, as part of the “BrEaST Start in Life” project. BSES was assessed 24–48 h after birth and at the first month. Breastfeeding status was assessed at the clinic, the 1st, 4th and 6th month. The association between BSES and breastfeeding was estimated in logistic regression models and its diagnostic ability in ROC analysis. Results With Mean = 3.55 (SD = 0.85), BSES was moderate, and lower among Cypriot women, primiparas and those who delivered by Cesarean Section (C/S). There was good internal consistency across the 14 items (Cronbach’s α = 0.94) while factor analysis revealed a two-factor structure. BSES scores were higher among mothers who initiated exclusive breastfeeding (M = 3.92, SD = 0.80) compared to breastfeeding not exclusively (M = 3.29, SD = 0.84) and not breastfeeding (M = 3.04, SD = 1.09; p-value < 0.001). There was a stepwise association with exclusivity (40.5% in the highest vs 7.9% lowest quartile of self-efficacy). The association between in-hospital BSES and long-term EBF persisted in multivariable models. Women in the upper quartile of BSES at 48 h were more likely to breastfeed exclusively by adjOR = 5.3 (95% CI 1.7–17.1) at the 1st and adjOR = 13.7 (95% CI 2.7–68.6) at the 4th month. Similar associations were observed between self-efficacy at the 1st month and BF at subsequent time-points. High first month BSES (> 3.96 as per ROC) had 58.9% positive and 79.6% negative predictive value for breastfeeding at 6 months which reflects higher sensitivity but lower specificity. Conclusions The Greek version of BSES-SF showed good metric properties (construct, know-group, concurrent and predictive validity). In the absence of community support structures or programmes in Cyprus, prevalence of breastfeeding remains low. This suggests a need for policy, educational and community support interventions, including the systematic use of BSES scale as a screening tool to identify those at higher risk for premature BF discontinuation.
Rajbanshi Sushma, , Nik Hussain Nik Hazlina
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-11; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03894-3

Background The rate of neonatal mortality has declined but lesser than the infant mortality rate and remains a major public health challenge in low- and middle-income countries. There is an urgent need to focus on newborn care, especially during the first 24 h after birth and the early neonatal period. Neonatal near miss (NNM) is an emerging concept similar to that of maternal near miss. NNM events occur three to eight times more often than neonatal deaths. The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of NNM and identify its associated factors. Methods A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Koshi Hospital, Morang district, Nepal. Neonates and their mothers of unspecified maternal age and gestational age were enrolled. Key inclusion criteria were pragmatic and management markers of NNM and admission of newborn infants to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Koshi Hospital. Non-Nepali citizens were excluded. Consecutive sampling was used until the required sample size of 1,000 newborn infants was reached. Simple and multiple logistic regression was performed using SPSS® version 24.0. Results One thousand respondents were recruited. The prevalence of NNM was 79 per 1,000 live births. Severe maternal morbidity (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.52; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.07–9.84) and no formal education (aOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.12–4.14) had a positive association with NNM, while multiparity (aOR 0.52; 95% CI 0.32–0.86) and caesarean section (aOR 0.44; 95% CI 0.19–0.99) had negative associations with NNM. Conclusions Maternal characteristics and complications were associated with NNM. Healthcare providers should be aware of the impact of obstetric factors on newborn health and provide earlier interventions to pregnant women, thus increasing survival chances of newborns.
Samantha F. Ehrlich, Jill M. Maples, Cristina S. Barroso, Kathleen C. Brown, David R. Bassett, Nikki B. Zite, Kimberly B. Fortner
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-10; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03900-8

Background Activity monitoring devices may be used to facilitate goal-setting, self-monitoring, and feedback towards a step-based physical activity (PA) goal. This study examined the performance of the wrist-worn Fitbit Charge 3™ (FC3) and sought opinions on walking and stepping-in-place from women with gestational diabetes (GDM). Methods Participants completed six 2-min metronome-assisted over ground bouts that varied by cadence (67, 84, or 100 steps per minute) and mode (walking or stepping-in-place; N = 15), with the sequence randomized. Steps were estimated by FC3 and measured, in duplicate, by direct observation (hand-tally device, criterion). Equivalence testing by the two one-sided tests (TOST) method assessed agreement within ± 15%. Mean absolute percent error (MAPE) of steps were compared to 10%, the accuracy standard of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™. A subset (n = 10) completed a timed, 200-m self-paced walk to assess natural walking pace and cadence. All participants completed semi-structured interviews, which were transcribed and analyzed using descriptive and interpretive coding. Results Mean age was 27.0 years (SD 4.2), prepregnancy BMI 29.4 kg/m2 (8.3), and gestational age 32.8 weeks (SD 2.6). The FC3 was equivalent to hand-tally for bouts of metronome-assisted walking and stepping-in-place at 84 and 100 steps per minute (i.e., P < .05), although walking at 100 steps per minute (P = .01) was no longer equivalent upon adjustment for multiple comparisons (i.e., at P < .007). The FC3 was equivalent to hand-tally during the 200-m walk (i.e., P < .001), in which mean pace was 68.2 m per minute (SD 10.7), or 2.5 miles per hour, and mean cadence 108.5 steps per minute (SD 6.5). For walking at 84 and 100 steps per minute, stepping-in-place at 100 steps per minute, and the 200-m walk, MAPE was within 10%, the accuracy standard of the CTA™. Interviews revealed motivation for PA, that stepping-in-place was an acceptable alternative to walking, and competing responsibilities made it difficult to find time for PA. Conclusions The FC3 appears to be a valid step counter during the third trimester, particularly when walking or stepping-in-place at or close to women’s preferred cadence.
Jiaman Wu, Yuanyuan Zhuo, Yulei Liu, Yan Chen, ,
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-8; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03855-w

Background Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is characterized by impairment of ovarian function on a continuum before the age of 40 years. POI is affected by multiple factors. Considering new insights from recent gut microbiome studies, this study aimed to investigate the relationship between gut microbial community structure and POI. Methods Subjects were recruited at the Shenzhen Maternity & Child Healthcare Hospital. Fecal microbial community profiles of healthy women (n = 18), women with POI (n = 35) were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing based on Illumina NovaSeq platform. Results Compared to the controls, the serum levels of FSH, LH, T and FSH/LH ratio significantly increased in women with POI, whereas E2 and AMH decreased significantly. Higher weighted UniFrac value was observed in POI women compared with healthy women. Phylum Firmicutes, genera Bulleidia and Faecalibacterium were more abundant in healthy women, while phylum Bacteroidetes, genera Butyricimonas, Dorea, Lachnobacterium and Sutterella enriched significantly in women with POI. Moreover, these alterations of the gut microbiome in women with POI were closely related to FSH, LH, E2, AMH level and FSH/LH ratio. Conclusions Women with POI had altered microbial profiles in their gut microbiome, which were associated with serum hormones levels. These results will shed a new light on the pathogenesis and treatment for POI.
, Telake Azale, Yigzaw Kebede Gete, Mezgebu Yitayal
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-14; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03885-4

Background Prenatal alcohol consumption is a serious public health concern that is considered as one of the preventable risk factors for neonatal and childhood morbidity and several adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study aimed to determine the individual- and community-level predictors of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. Methods A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant women in Gondar town from 13 June to 24 August 2019. A cluster random sampling technique was used to select 1237 pregnant women. Data collection was carried out using the AUDIT-C pretested standard questionnaire. Bivariable and multivariable multilevel logistic regression analyses were computed to identify predictors of alcohol consumption using the odds ratio, 95% CI, and p-value < 0.05. Results The prevalence of alcohol consumption during pregnancy was found to be 30.26% (95% CI: 27.74%, 32.91%). The study revealed that pregnant women who have a low knowledge level on harmful effect of alcohol consumption (AOR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.9, 5.4), positive attitude towards alcohol consumption (AOR = 7.5; 95% 5, 11), history of pre-pregnancy alcohol consumption (AOR = 4.8; 95% CI: 3.4, 6.9), whose partner consume alcohol (AOR = 3.9; 95% CI: 2.5, 6), a perception that alcohol consumption is culturally or socially acceptable (AOR = 3.6; 95% CI: 2.4, 5.3), who were encouraged by their partners to consume alcohol (AOR = 4; 95% CI: 1.9, 8) were significantly associated with pregnancy alcohol consumption. Concerning the community-level characteristics, who had not ever heard/media exposure about the risk of alcohol drinking during pregnancy (AOR = 3; 95% CI: 1.7, 5.5), and who were from low community women’s education attainment (AOR = 4; 95% CI: 2.2, 7.7) were statistically significant predictors of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Conclusions The study revealed that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is prevalent in Gondar town. Both individual- and community-level predictors were found to be associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Policymakers may take into account these predictors for individual and community-based interventions to which our results appear to point.
, William Stones
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-7; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03867-6

Background Malawi implemented a Results Based Financing (RBF) model for Maternal and Newborn Health, “RBF4MNH” at public hospitals in four Districts, with the aim of improving health outcomes. We used this context to seek evidence for the impact of this intervention on rates of antepartum and intrapartum stillbirth, taking women’s risk factors into account. Methods We used maternity unit delivery registers at hospitals in four districts of Malawi to obtain information about stillbirths. We purposively selected two districts hosting the RBF4MNH intervention and two non-intervention districts for comparison. Data were extracted from the maternity registers and used to develop logistic regression models for variables associated with fresh and macerated stillbirth. Results We identified 67 stillbirths among 2772 deliveries representing 24.1 per 1000 live births of which 52% (n = 35) were fresh (intrapartum) stillbirths and 48% (n = 32) were macerated (antepartum) losses. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for fresh and macerated stillbirth at RBF versus non-RBF sites were 2.67 (95%CI 1.24 to 5.57, P = 0.01) and 7.27 (95%CI 2.74 to 19.25 P < 0.001) respectively. Among the risk factors examined, gestational age at delivery was significantly associated with increased odds of stillbirth. Conclusion The study did not identify a positive impact of this RBF model on the risk of fresh or macerated stillbirth. Within the scientific limitations of this non-randomised study using routinely collected health service data, the findings point to a need for rigorously designed and tested interventions to strengthen service delivery with a focus on the elements needed to ensure quality of intrapartum care, in order to reduce the burden of stillbirths.
, Handsome Dube, Sikhangezile Moyo, Solwayo Ngwenya
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-8; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03884-5

Background On the 27th of March 2020 the Zimbabwean government declared the Covid-19 pandemic a ‘national disaster’. Travel restrictions and emergency regulations have had significant impacts on maternity services, including resource stock-outs, and closure of antenatal clinics during the lockdown period. Estimates of the indirect impact of Covid-19 on maternal and perinatal mortality was expected it to be considerable, but little data was yet available. This study aimed to examine the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown control measures on non-Covid outcomes in a government tertiary level maternity unit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, by comparing maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality before, and after the lockdown was implemented. Methods This was a retrospective, observational study, using a cross-sectional design to compare routine monthly maternal and perinatal statistics three months before and after Covid-19 emergency measures were implemented at Mpilo Central Hospital. Results Between January-March and April-June 2020, the mean monthly deliveries reduced from 747.3 (SD ± 61.3) in the first quarter of 2020 to 681.0 (SD ± 17.6) during lockdown, but this was not statistically significant, p = 0.20. The Caesarean section rates fell from a mean of 29.8% (SD ± 1.7) versus 28.0% (SD ± 1.7), which was also not statistically significant, p = 0.18. During lockdown, the percentage of women delivering at Mpilo Central Hospital who were booked at the hospital fell from a mean of 41.6% (SD ± 1.1) to 35.8% (SD ± 4.3) which was statistically significant, p = 0.03. There was no significant change, however, in maternal mortality or severe maternal morbidity (such as post-partum haemorrhage (PPH), uterine rupture, and severe preeclampsia/eclampsia), stillbirth rate or special care baby unit admission. There was an increase in the mean total number of early neonatal deaths (ENND) (mean 18.7 (SD ± 2.9) versus 24.0 (SD ± 4.6), but this was not statistically significant, p = 0.32. Conclusions Overall, maternity services at Mpilo showed resilience during the lockdown period, with no significant change in maternal and perinatal adverse outcomes, with the same number of man-hours worked before and during the lockdown Maternal and perinatal outcomes should continue to be monitored to assess the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown measures as the pandemic in Zimbabwe unfolds. Further studies would be beneficial to explore women’s experiences and understand how bookings and deliveries at local clinics changed during this time.
Maryam Dastoorpoor, Narges Khanjani, Narges Khodadadi
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-10; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03876-5

Background There are few epidemiological studies on the relation between temperature changes and adverse pregnancy outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine the relation between Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) with adverse pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, low birth weight (LBW), preterm labor (PTL), spontaneous abortion (SA), preeclampsia and hypertension in Ahvaz, Iran. Methods Distributed Lag Non-linear Models (DLNM) combined with quasi-Poisson regression were used to investigate the effect of PET on adverse pregnancy outcomes. In this study the effect of time trend, air pollutants (NO2, SO2 and PM10), and weekdays were adjusted. Results High PET (45.4 C°, lag = 0) caused a significant increase in risk of stillbirth. Also, high levels of PET (45.4, 43.6, 42.5 C°, lag = 0–6) and low levels of PET (9.9, 16.9 C°, lags = 0, 0–13, 0–21) significantly increased the risk of LBW. But, low levels of PET (6.4, 9.9, 16.9 C°, lags = 0–6, 0–13) reduced the risk of gestational hypertension. Conclusion The results of this study showed that hot and cold thermal stress may be associated with increased risk of stillbirth, and LBW in Ahvaz.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-12; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03890-7

Introduction Cambodia has achieved significant progress in maternal health, yet remains in the group of countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio in South-East Asia. Extra efforts are needed to improve maternal health through assessing the coverage of maternal health services as a continuum of care (CoC) and identifying the gaps. Our study aims to explore the coverage level of the Optimal CoC by (1) measuring the continuity of optimal antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA) and optimal post-natal care (PNC), (2) identifying the determinants of dropping out from one service to another and (3) of not achieving the complete CoC. Method The study employed data from the Cambodia Demographic Health Survey 2014. We restricted our analysis to married women who had a live birth in the five years preceding the survey (n = 5678). Bi-variate and multivariate logistic regression were performed using STATA version 14. Results Almost 50% of women had achieved the complete optimal CoC, while the remaining have used only one or two of the services. The result shows that the level of women’s education was positively associated with the use of optimal ANC, the continuation to using optimal PNC and achieving the complete CoC. More power of women in household decision making was also positively associated with receiving the complete CoC. The birth order was negatively associated with achieving the complete CoC, while exposure to the mass media and having health insurance increased the odds of achieving the complete CoC. Household wealth consequently emerged as an influential predictor of dropping out and not achieving the complete CoC. Receiving all different elements of ANC care improved the continuity of care from optimal ANC to SBA and from SBA to optimal ANC. Conclusion The findings urge policy makers to approach maternal health care as a continuum of care with different determinants at each step. Household wealth was found to be the most influential factor, yet the study discovered also other barriers to optimal maternal health care which need to be addressed: future intervention should thus not only aim to increase wealth or health insurance coverage but also stimulate the education of women and empower women to claim power in household decision-making.
, Claire Hooks, Diane Blake
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume 21, pp 1-13; doi:10.1186/s12884-021-03895-2

Background Provision of contraception to women in the immediate postnatal period has been endorsed by professional bodies, to reduce the incidence of short inter-pregnancy intervals. This study examined the views of postnatal women and practising midwives regarding provision of contraceptive advice and contraceptive methods by midwives, in a region of the United Kingdom. Methods A mixed-method approach using qualitative interviews with midwives, and a postnatal survey followed by qualitative interviews with postnatal women, in five hospitals in the East of England. Twenty-one practising midwives and ten women were interviewed. Two hundred and twenty-seven women returned a survey. Survey data was analysed descriptively, augmented by Student’s t-tests and Chi-squared tests to examine associations within the data. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed guided by the phases of thematic analysis. Results Midwives and women supported the concept of increased midwifery provision of contraceptive advice, and provision of contraceptive methods in the postnatal period. Convenience and an established trusting relationship were reasons for preferring midwifery provision over visiting a doctor for contraception. The best time for detailed discussion was reported to be antenatal and community visits. The Progesterone-only-pill (POP) was the method, in which women indicated most interest postnatally. Concerns for midwives included the need for increased education on contraceptive methods and training in supplying these. Structural barriers to such provision were time pressures, low prioritisation of contraceptive training and disputes over funding. Conclusions Women reported interest in midwives supplying contraceptive methods and expressed the view that this would be convenient and highly acceptable. Midwives are supportive of the concept of providing enhanced contraceptive advice and methods to women in their care, and believe that it would be advantageous for women. Institutional support is required to overcome structural barriers such as poor access to continuous professional development, and to allow contraceptive provision to be fully recognised as integral to the midwifery role, rather than a marginalised addition.
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