Antenatal Care and Pregnancy Outcomes among Mothers Who Delivered in a Rural Hospital in Nigeria
Background: Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are faced with high levels of maternal and infant mortality. The causes of these deaths are mostly preventable through proper care during pregnancy. This care offered during antenatal visits is a public health intervention made available to women during pregnancy to ensure a positive pregnancy outcome while the mother remains healthy.
Aim: The aim of the research is to determine the association between antenatal care attendance and pregnancy outcome and the predictors of baby’s birth outcome in a rural hospital in Nigeria.
Methodology: A retrospective cohort study design was used to answer the research question. This is a non-experimental study design that utilises available secondary data obtained routinely in the health facility in the year 2013. IBM SPSS statistical software version 21 was used for statistical analysis. Summary measures were used to describe the study population. Chi squared test was used to establish the association between antenatal care and pregnancy outcomes. Multivariate linear regression model was used to determine the predictors of baby’s birth weight, while logistic regression model was used to ascertain the predictors of baby’s APGAR score
Findings:680 records of delivery were analysed. The mean age of women who delivered in the health facility was 24.89 ±5.77 years. A statistically significant association exist between antenatal care and baby’s birth outcome (p= 0.014), as well as between antenatal care and baby’s birth weight (p= 0.017). Mother’s age (p= 0.000, 95% CI 0.005 to 0.017) and booking status (p= 0.016, 95% CI -0.205 to -0.021) were significantly associated with baby’s weight at delivery. Mothers’ age (OR 0.959, 95% CI 0.923 to 0.997) was significantly associated with baby’s APGAR score, just as being a student (OR 0.115, 95% CI 0.014 to 0.922) and being booked for antenatal care (OR 0.337, 95% CI 0.150 to 0.756) were significant in predicting baby’s birth outcome.
Conclusion: Antenatal care has a positive association with pregnancy outcomes in this setting. Hopefully, the findings of this study will help stakeholders and policy makers recognise the importance of antenatal care on pregnancy outcomes and view antenatal care as a means of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
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