BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth


BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth publishes original research articles in all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth.

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of stillbirth in Europe, resulting in approximately 4,000 stillbirths every year. Potentially modifiable risk factors for late stillbirths are maternal age, obesity and smoking, but the population attributable risk associated with these risk factors is small.Recently the Auckland Stillbirth Study reported that maternal sleep position was associated with late stillbirth. Women who did not sleep on their left side on the night before the death of the baby had double the risk compared with sleeping on other positions. The population attributable risk was 37%. This novel observation needs to be replicated or refuted.Methods/design: Case control study of late singleton stillbirths without congenital abnormality. Controls are women with an ongoing singleton pregnancy, who are randomly selected from participating maternity units booking list of pregnant women, they are allocated a gestation for interview based on the distribution of gestations of stillbirths from the previous 4 years for the unit. The number of controls selected is proportional to the number of stillbirths that occurred at the hospital over the previous 4 years.Data collection: Interviewer administered questionnaire and data extracted from medical records. Sample size: 415 cases and 830 controls. This takes into account a 30% non-participation rate, and will detect an OR of 1.5 with a significance level of 0.05 and power of 80% for variables with a prevalence of 57%, such as non-left sleeping position.Statistical analysis: Mantel-Haenszel odds ratios and unconditional logistic regression to adjust for potential confounders. DISCUSSION: The hypotheses to be tested here are important, biologically plausible and amenable to a public health intervention. Although this case-control study cannot prove causation, there is a striking parallel with research relating to sudden infant death syndrome, where case-control studies identified prone sleeping position as a major modifiable risk factor. Subsequently mothers were advised to sleep babies prone ("Back to Sleep" campaign), which resulted in a dramatic drop in SIDS. This study will provide robust evidence to help determine whether such a public health intervention should be considered.Trial registration number:
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 05/2015; 14:171.
  • Khalid Omer, Nshadi Afi, Moh D Baba, Maijiddah Adamu, Sani Malami, Angela Oyo-Ita, Anne Cockcroft, Neil Andersson
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    ABSTRACT: Background Antenatal care (ANC) attendance is a strong predictor of maternal outcomes. In Nigeria, government health planners at state level and below have limited access to population-based estimates of ANC coverage and factors associated with its use. A mixed methods study examined factors associated with the use of government ANC services in two states of Nigeria, and shared the findings with stakeholders.MethodsA quantitative household survey in Bauchi and Cross River states of Nigeria collected data from women aged 15¿49 years on ANC use during their last completed pregnancy and potentially associated factors including socio-economic conditions, exposure to domestic violence and local availability of services. Bivariate and multivariate analysis examined associations with having at least four government ANC visits. We collected qualitative data from 180 focus groups of women who discussed the survey findings and recommended solutions. We shared the findings with state, Local Government Authority, and community stakeholders to support evidence-based planning.Results40% of 7870 women in Bauchi and 46% of 7759 in Cross River had at least four government ANC visits. Women's education, urban residence, information from heath workers, help from family members, and household owning motorized transport were associated with ANC use in both states. Additional factors for women in Cross River included age above 18 years, being married or cohabiting, being less poor (having enough food during the last week), not experiencing intimate partner violence during the last year, and education of the household head. Factors for women in Bauchi were presence of government ANC services within their community and more than two previous pregnancies. Focus groups cited costly, poor quality, and inaccessible government services, and uncooperative partners as reasons for not attending ANC. Government and other stakeholders planned evidence-based interventions to increase ANC uptake.Conclusion Use of ANC services remains low in both states. The factors related to use of ANC services are consistent with those reported previously. Efforts to increase uptake of ANC should focus particularly on poor and uneducated women. Local solutions generated by discussion of the evidence with stakeholders could be more effective and sustainable than externally driven interventions.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):380.
  • Richard Ephraim, Derick Osakunor, Seth Denkyira, Henrietta Eshun, Samuel Amoah, Enoch Anto
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are important causes of morbidity and mortality. The levels of calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) in pregnancy may implicate their possible role in pregnancy-induced hypertension. This study assessed serum Ca2+and Mg2+levels in women with PIH (pregnancy-induced hypertension) and PE (pre-eclampsia), compared to that in normal pregnancy. Methods:This case–control study was conducted on 380 pregnant women (≥20 weeks gestation) receiving antenatal care at three hospitals in the Cape Coast metropolis, Ghana. This comprised 120 women with PIH, 100 women with PE and 160 healthy, age-matched pregnant women (controls). Demographic, anthropometric, clinical and obstetric data were gathered using an interview-based questionnaire. Venousblood samples were drawn for the estimation of calcium and magnesium. Results:Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were significantly raised in women with PIH (p< 0.0001) and PE (p< 0.0001). Women with hypertensive disorders (PE and PIH) had significantly lower serum calcium and magnesium levels than those in the control group (p< 0.0001 each). Of those with PIH, SBP correlated positively with BMI (r = 0.575,p< 0.01) and Ca2+ correlated positively with Mg2+(r = 0.494,p<0.01). This was similar amongst the PE group for SBP and BMI as well as for Ca2+ and Mg2+but was not significant. Multivariate analysis showed that women aged≥40 years were at a significant risk of developing PIH (OR = 2.14,p=0.000). Conclusion:In this study population, serum calcium and magnesium levels are lower in PIH and PE than in normal pregnancy. Mineral supplementation during the antenatal period may influence significantly, the occurrence ofhypertensive disorders in pregnancy
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):390.
  • Dereje Demissie, Bosena Tebeje, Temamen Tesfaye
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    ABSTRACT: Background The reproductive decisions made by PLHIV and their partners have a long-term consequences for the survival and wellbeing of their families and a society at large. Evidence relating to fertility and reproductive intentions among PLHIV is rare, despite the fact that more than 80% of PLHIV are of reproductive age. The aim of the study was to determine fertility desire and associated factors among PLHIV attending ART clinic in Fitche Hospital.MethodsA facility based cross-sectional study design with both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was employed from February21-April 20th, 2013. The study participants were selected by using simple random sampling technique. A pre- tested structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to identify associated factors.ResultThe prevalence of fertility desire of PLHIV in Fitche Hospital was 133(39.1%) with 95% CI of (34.3% -44.3%). This study identified that factors found to be associated with fertility desire were: ¿ Age from 18-29y[AOR = 3.95, 95%CI: 1.69 - 9.22) and 30-39y(AOR = 3.91, 95%CI:1.90 -8.19)], marital length ¿4y[AOR = 5.49, 95%CI:2.08-14.51), within5-9y(AOR = 4.80, 95%CI:2.14-10.78) and 10-14y(AOR = 2.82, 95%CI:1.19 -6.63], had not biological living children[AOR = 11.42,95%CI:3.27-39.90) and had more than one child (AOR = 3.67,95%CI:1.27-10.62)], community pressure[AOR = 3.67, 95%CI:1.54-8.70], partner fertility[AOR = 7.18,95%CI:3.39-15.22)],durationHIVdiagnosis¿1y[AOR = 4.99,95%CI:1.91-13.09], disclosed HIV serostatus[AOR = 3.9,95%CI:1.37-11.10] and partner sero-difference [AOR = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.01- 4.15] were some of the factors significantly associated with fertility desire.Conclusion The prevalence of fertility desire of PLHIV in the study area was 39.1%. In this study:- age, marital length, biological child, partner, community pressure, duration of HIV-diagnosis, discordant HIV-test and disclosure of HIV-serostatus to partner were demonstrated to have more associations with fertility desire among PLHIV, therefore, these factors should be emphatically considered during PLHIV¿s reproductive health program development.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):382.
  • Judi Walsh, Erica G Hepper, Benjamin J Marshall
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    ABSTRACT: Background Maternal-fetal relationships have been associated with psychosocial outcomes for women and children, but there has been a lack of conceptual clarity about the nature of the maternal relationship with the unborn child, and inconsistent findings assessing its predictors. We proposed and tested a model whereby maternal-fetal relationship quality was predicted by factors relating to the quality of the couple relationship and psychological health. We hypothesized that the contribution of individual differences in romantic attachment shown in past research would be mediated by romantic caregiving responsiveness, as maternal-fetal relationships reflect the beginnings of the caregiving system.Methods258 women in pregnancy (13, 23, and 33-weeks gestation) completed online measures of attachment to partner, caregiving responsiveness to partner, mental health, and thoughts about their unborn baby. Structural equation modeling was used to test a model of maternal-fetal relationships.ResultsMaternal-fetal relationship quality was higher for women at 23-weeks than 13-weeks gestation. Women in first pregnancies had higher self-reported scores of psychological functioning and quality of maternal-fetal relationships than women in subsequent pregnancies. Structural equation models indicated that the quality of the maternal-fetal relationship was best predicted by romantic caregiving responsiveness to partner and women¿s own psychological health, and that the association between adult romantic attachment avoidance and maternal-fetal relationships was fully mediated by caregiving responsiveness to partner, even after controlling for other factors. These data support the hypothesis that maternal-fetal relationships better reflect the operation of the caregiving system than the care-seeking (i.e., attachment) system.Conclusions Models of maternal-fetal relationships and interventions with couples should consider the role of caregiving styles of mothers to partners and the relationship between expectant parents alongside other known predictors, particularly psychological health.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):383.
  • Christina Makene, Marya Plotkin, Sheena Currie, Dunstan Bishanga, Patience Ugwi, Henry Louis, Kiholeth Winani, Brett D Nelson
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    ABSTRACT: Background Every year, more than a million of the world¿s newborns die on their first day of life; as many as two-thirds of these deaths could be saved with essential care at birth and the early newborn period. Simple interventions to improve the quality of essential newborn care in health facilities ¿ for example, improving steps to help newborns breathe at birth ¿ have demonstrated up to 47% reduction in newborn mortality in health facilities in Tanzania. We conducted an evaluation of the effects of a large-scale maternal-newborn quality improvement intervention in Tanzania that assessed the quality of provision of essential newborn care and newborn resuscitation.Methods Cross-sectional health facility surveys were conducted pre-intervention (2010) and post intervention (2012) in 52 health facilities in the program implementation area. Essential newborn care provided by health care providers immediately following birth was observed for 489 newborns in 2010 and 560 in 2012; actual management of newborns with trouble breathing were observed in 2010 (n¿=¿18) and 2012 (n¿=¿40). Assessments of health worker knowledge were conducted with case studies (2010, n¿=¿206; 2012, n¿=¿217) and a simulated resuscitation using a newborn mannequin (2010, n¿=¿299; 2012, n¿=¿213). Facility audits assessed facility readiness for essential newborn care.ResultsIndex scores for quality of observed essential newborn care showed significant overall improvement following the quality-of-care intervention, from 39% to 73% (p <0.0001). Health worker knowledge using a case study significantly improved as well, from 23% to 41% (p <0.0001) but skills in resuscitation using a newborn mannequin were persistently low. Availability of essential newborn care supplies, which was high at baseline in the regional hospitals, improved at the lower-level health facilities.Conclusions Within two years, the quality improvement program was successful in raising the quality of essential newborn care services in the program facilities. Some gaps in newborn care were persistent, notably practical skills in newborn resuscitation. Continued investment in life-saving improvements to newborn care through the health services is a priority for reduction of newborn mortality in Tanzania.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):381.
  • Kimberly G Fulda, Anita K Kurian, Elizabeth Balyakina, Micky M Moerbe
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    ABSTRACT: Background The purpose was to examine the association between paternal race/ethnicity and very low birth weight stratified by maternal race/ethnicity.Methods Birth data for Tarrant County, Texas 2006¿2010 were analyzed. Very low birth weight was dichotomized as yes (<1,500 g) and no (¿1,500 g). Paternal race/ethnicity was categorized as Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, other, and missing. Missing observations (14.7%) were included and served as a proxy for fathers absent during pregnancy. Potential confounders included maternal age, education, and marital status, plurality, previous preterm birth, sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy, smoking during pregnancy, and Kotelchuck Index of prenatal care. Logistic regressions were stratified by maternal race/ethnicity. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.ResultsOf 145,054 births, 60,156 (41.5%) were Caucasian, 22,306 (15.4%) African American, 54,553 (37.6%) Hispanic, and 8,039 (5.5%) other mothers. There were 2,154 (1.5%) very low birth weights total, with 3.1% for African American mothers and 1.2% for all other race/ethnicities. Among Caucasian mothers, African American paternal race was associated with increased odds of very low birth weight (OR¿=¿1.52; 95% CI:1.08-2.14). Among Hispanic mothers, African American paternal race (OR¿=¿1.66; 95% CI:1.01-2.74) and missing paternal race/ethnicity (OR¿=¿1.65; 95% CI:1.15-2.36) were associated with increased odds of very low birth weight.Conclusions Paternal race/ethnicity is an important predictor of very low birth weight among Caucasian and Hispanic mothers. Future research should consider paternal race/ethnicity and further explore the association between paternal characteristics and very low birth weight.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):385.
  • Rachel Henke, Lauren M Wier, William D Marder, Bernard S Friedman, Herbert S Wong
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    ABSTRACT: Background The rate of cesarean delivery in the United States is variable across geographic areas. The aims of this study are two-fold: (1) to determine whether the geographic variation in cesarean delivery rate is consistent for private insurance and Medicaid (2) to identify the patient, population, and market factors associated with cesarean rate and determine if these factors vary by payer.Methods We used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases (SID) to measure the cesarean rate at the Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) level. We linked the hospitalization data to data from other national sources to measure population and market characteristics. We calculated unadjusted and risk-adjusted CBSA cesarean rates by payer. For the second aim, we estimated a hierarchical logistical model with the hospitalization as the unit of analysis to determine the factors associated with cesarean delivery.ResultsThe average CBSA cesarean rate for women with private insurance was higher (18.9 percent) than for women with Medicaid (16.4 percent). The factors predicting cesarean rate were largely consistent across payers, with the following exceptions: women under age 18 had a greater likelihood of cesarean section if they had Medicaid but had a greater likelihood of vaginal birth if they had private insurance; Asian and Native American women with private insurance had a greater likelihood of cesarean section but Asian and Native American women with Medicaid had a greater likelihood of vaginal birth. The percent African American in the population predicted increased cesarean rates for private insurance only; the number of acute care beds per capita predicted increased cesarean rate for women with Medicaid but not women with private insurance. Further we found the number of obstetricians/gynecologists per capita predicted increased cesarean rate for women with private insurance only, and the number of midwives per capita predicted increased vaginal birth rate for women with private insurance only.Conclusions Factors associated with geographic variation in cesarean delivery, a frequent and high-resource inpatient procedure, vary somewhat by payer. Using this information to identify areas for intervention is key to improving quality of care and reducing healthcare costs.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):387.
  • Jignesh P Patel, Raj K Patel, Lara N Roberts, Michael S Marsh, Bruce Green, J Davies, Roopen Arya
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    ABSTRACT: Background It is well accepted that the gravid state is hypercoagulable and a significant cause of both maternal morbidity and mortality in the Western world. Although thrombin generation is reported to be increased in pregnant women, uncertainty exists on the pattern of thrombin generation change during this time. The aim of this study is to describe thrombin generation changes and D-dimer concentrations in women injecting enoxaparin during pregnancy the postnatal period.Methods One hundred and twenty-three women injecting enoxaparin had their thrombin generation, as measured by Calibrated Automated Thombinography (CAT), repeatedly assayed during pregnancy, once in each trimester, at delivery and 8 weeks post-partum. Furthermore, to understand the impact enoxaparin has on D-dimer concentrations during pregnancy, D-dimer concentrations were measured monthly in the recruited women.ResultsThrombin generation was found to increase in the first trimester (mean endogenous thrombin potential (ETP): 1391 nmol/L.min), further increasing during the second trimester (mean ETP: 1757 nmol/L.min), after which it plateaued through to delivery, where it peaked (mean ETP: 1857 nmol/L.min) and then fell back at 8 weeks post-partum (ETP: 1293 nmol/L.min). In contrast D-dimer concentrations increased exponentially during the antenatal period, despite the enoxaparin prescription.Conclusion Our results provide further evidence on alterations of thrombin generation during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):384.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Surveillance of drug quality for antibiotics, antiretrovirals, antimalarials and vaccines is better established than surveillance for maternal health drugs in low-income countries, particularly uterotonic drugs for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. The objectives of this study are to: assess private sector accessibility of four drugs used for uterotonic purposes (oxytocin, methylergometrine, misoprostol, valethamate bromide); and to assess potency of oxytocin and methylergometrine ampoules purchased by simulated clients.Methods The study was conducted in Hassan and Bagalkot districts in Karnataka state and Agra and Gorakhpur districts in Uttar Pradesh state. A sample of 877 private pharmacies was selected (using a stratified, systematic sampling with random start), among which 847 were successfully visited. The target sample size for assessment of accessibility was 50 pharmacies per drug, per district. The target sample size for potency assessment was 100 purchases each of oxytocin and methylergometrine across all districts. Successful drug purchases varied by state.ResultsIn Agra and Gorakhpur, 90%-100% of visits for each of the drugs resulted in a purchase. In Bagalkot and Hassan, only 29%-52% of visits for each drug resulted in a purchase. Regarding potency, the percent of active pharmaceutical ingredient was assessed using United States Pharmacopeia monograph #33 for both drugs; 193 and 188 ampoules of oxytocin and methylergometrine, respectively, were assessed. The percent of oxytocin ampoules outside manufacturer specification ranged from 33%-40% in Karnataka and from 22%-50% in Uttar Pradesh. In Bagalkot and Hassan, 96% and 100% of the methylergometrine ampoules were outside manufacturer specification, respectively. In Agra and Gorakhpur, 54% and 44% were outside manufacturer specification, respectively.Conclusion Private sector accessibility of uterotonic drugs in study districts in Karnataka warrants attention. Most importantly, interventions to assure quality oxytocin and particularly methylergometrine are needed in study districts in both states.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):386.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to assess fetomaternal hemorrhage (FMH) among RhD negative pregnant mothers using two techniques, Kleihauer-Betke (KBT) and Flow cytometry (FCM). To determine if patient-specific doses of prophylactic anti-D warrant further investigation in the Ethiopia and wider Africa.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):358.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Breastfeeding is recognised as the optimal method for feeding infants with health gains made by reducing infectious diseases in infancy; and chronic diseases, including obesity, in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Despite this, exclusivity and duration in developed countries remains resistant to improvement. The objectives of this research were to test if an automated mobile phone text messaging intervention, delivering one text message a week, could increase ¿any¿ breastfeeding rates and improve breastfeeding self-efficacy and coping.Methods Women were eligible to participate if they were: over eighteen years; had an infant less than three months old; were currently breastfeeding; no diagnosed mental illness; and used a mobile phone. Women in the intervention group received MumBubConnect, a text messaging service with automated responses delivered once a week for 8 weeks. Women in the comparison group received their usual care and were sampled two years after the intervention group. Data collection included online surveys at two time points, week zero and week nine, to measure breastfeeding exclusivity and duration, coping, emotions, accountability and self-efficacy. A range of statistical analyses were used to test for differences between groups. Hierarchical regression was used to investigate change in breastfeeding outcome, between groups, adjusting for co-variates.ResultsThe intervention group had 120 participants at commencement and 114 at completion, the comparison group had 114 participants at commencement and 86 at completion. MumBubConnect had a positive impact on the primary outcome of breastfeeding behaviors with women receiving the intervention more likely to continue exclusive breastfeeding; with a 6% decrease in exclusive breastfeeding in the intervention group, compared to a 14% decrease in the comparison group (p¿<¿0.001). This remained significant after controlling for infant age, mother¿s income, education and delivery type (p¿=¿0.04). Women in the intervention group demonstrated active coping and were less likely to display emotions-focussed coping (p¿<¿.001). There was no discernible statistical effect on self-efficacy or accountability.ConclusionsA fully automated text messaging services appears to improve exclusive breastfeeding duration. The service provides a well-accepted, personalised support service that empowers women to actively resolve breastfeeding issues.Trial registrationAustralian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12614001091695.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):374.
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    ABSTRACT: Preconception care is defined as the promotion of the health and well-being of a woman and her partner before pregnancy. Improving preconception health can result in improved reproductive health outcomes. China has issued latest version official guideline for preconception care in 2011. The objective of this cross-sectional study is to determine whether there is a variation in the quality of preconception healthcare services in distinct eastern and northern populations of China, and what factors are associated with such variation.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):360.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Empowerment among women in the context of a romantic relationship may affect the use of reproductive healthcare services; however, current literature examining this association is limited and inconsistent. We therefore aimed to examine the relationship between several measures of empowerment and use of inadequate antenatal care among women in Ghana.Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study using data from a nationally representative cohort of women in Ghana. Our analytic sample was limited to non-pregnant women who had been pregnant and involved in a relationship within the last 12 months. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess the associations between empowerment and inadequate use of antenatal care and interaction terms to assess moderation by education.ResultsApproximately 26% of women received inadequate antenatal care. Multivariable analysis indicated that having experienced physical abuse in the past year was directly associated with inadequate use of antenatal care (OR =5.12; 95% CI =1.35, 19.43) after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics. This effect was particularly pronounced among women with no formal education and was non-significant among women with at least some formal education (P-value for interaction <0.001).Conclusions Results suggest that improving use of reproductive health care services will require reducing partner abuse and enhancing empowerment among women in Ghana and other low-income countries, particularly among those with no formal education. Furthermore, the involvement of male partners will be critical for improving reproductive health outcomes, and increasing education among girls in these settings is likely a strong approach for improving reproductive health and buffering effects of low empowerment among women.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):364.
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundA woman¿s nutritional status before conception and during pregnancy is important for maternal health and the health of the foetus. The aim of the study was to compare diet intake in early pregnant women with non-pregnant women.Methods Between September 2006 and March 2009, 226 women in early pregnancy were consecutively recruited at five antenatal clinics in Northern Sweden. Referent women (n¿=¿211) were randomly selected from a current health screening project running in the same region (the Västerbotten Intervention Program; VIP). We collected diet data with a self-reported validated food frequency questionnaire with 66 food items/food aggregates, and information on portion size, alcohol consumption, and supplement intake. Data were analysed using descriptive, comparative statistics and multivariate partial least square modelling.ResultsIntake of folate and vitamin D from foods was generally low for both groups. Intake of folate and vitamin D supplements was generally high in the pregnant group and led to significantly higher total estimated intake of vitamin D and folate in the pregnant group. Iron intake from foods tended to be lower in pregnant women although iron supplement intake evened out the difference with respect to iron intake from foods only. Energy intake was slightly lower in pregnant women but not significant, a reflection of that they reported consuming significantly less of potatoes/rice/pasta, meat/fish, and vegetables (grams/day) than the women in the referent group.Conclusions In the present study, women in early pregnancy reported less intake of vegetables, potatoes, meat, and alcohol than non-pregnant women. As they also had a low intake (below the Nordic Nutritional Recommendations) of folate, vitamin D, and iron from foods, some of these women and their unborn children are possibly at risk for adverse effects on the pregnancy and birth outcome.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):373.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Women who deliver preterm infants are at a much greater risk for repeating a preterm birth (PTB), compared to women without a history of PTB. However, little is known about the prevalence of the risk factors which account for this markedly increased risk. Moreover, little or nothing is known about the feasibility of providing treatments and services to these women, outside of the context of prenatal care, during the inter-conception period, which provides the best opportunity for successful risk-reduction interventions.Methods The Philadelphia Collaborative Preterm Prevention Project (PCPPP), a large randomized control trial designed to identify and reduce six major risk factors for a repeat preterm birth among women immediately following the delivering of a preterm infant. For the women assigned to the PCPPP treatment group, we calculated the prevalence of the six risk factors in question, the percentages of women who agreed to receive high quality risk-appropriate treatments or services, and the of rates of participation among those who were offered and eligible for these treatments or services.ResultsUrogenital tract infections were identified in 57% of the women, while 59% were found to have periodontal disease. More than 39% were active smokers, and 17% were assessed with clinical depression. Low literacy, and housing instability were identified in, 22 and 83% of the study sample, respectively. Among women eligible for intervention, the percentages who accepted and at least minimally participated in treatment ranged from a low of 28% for smoking, to a high of 85% for urogenital tract infection. Most PCPPP enrollees (57%) had three or more major risk factors. Participation rates associated with the PCPPP treatments or services varied markedly, and were quite low in some cases, despite considerable efforts to reduce the barriers to receiving care.Conclusion The efficacy of individual level risk-reduction efforts designed to prevent preterm/repeat preterm in the pre- or inter-conception period may be limited if participation rates associated with interventions to reduce major risk factors for PTB are low. Achieving adequate participation may require identifying, better understanding, and eliminating barriers to access, beyond those associated with cost, transportation, childcare, and service location or hours of operation.Trial (NCT01117922).
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 11/2014; 14(1):368.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background Every year 1.5 million cesarean section procedures are performed worldwide. As many women decide to get pregnant again, the population of pregnant women with a history of cesarean section is growing rapidly. For these women prediction of cesarean section scar performance is still a serious clinical problem. The purpose of the study was to assess whether the parameters of cesarean section scar in the nonpregnant uterus as determined using ultrasound can be used to predict uterine dehiscence in the next pregnancy. Methods Starting in 2005, the study included 308 nonpregnant women with a history of low transverse cesarean section. The following ultrasonographic parameters of the cesarean section scar in the nonpregnant uterus were assessed: the residual myometrial thickness (RMT) and the width (W) and the depth (D) of the triangular hypoechoic scar niche. During 8 years of follow-up, 41 of these women were referred to our department for delivery. In all cases, a repeat cesarean section was performed and the lower uterine segment was assessed. Two independent statistical methods namely the logit model and Decision Tree analysis were used to determine the relation between the appearance of the cesarean section scar in the nonpregnat state and the performance of the scar in the next pregnancy. Results The logit model revealed that the D/RMT ratio showed significant correlation with cesarean section scar dehiscence (P-value of 0.007). Specifically, a D/RMT ratio value greater than 1.3035 indicated that the likelihood of dehiscence was greater than 50%. The Decision Tree analysis revealed that a diagnosis of dehiscence versus non-dehiscence could be based solely on one criterion, a D/RMT ratio of at least 0.785. The sensitivity of this method was 71%, and the specificity was 94%. Conclusions Assessment of the cesarean section scar in the nonpregant uterus can be used to predict the occurrence of scar dehiscence in the next pregnancy.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Maternity care reform plans have been proposed at state and national levels in Australia, but the extent to which these respond to maternity care consumers’ expressed needs is unclear. This study examines open-text survey comments to identify women’s unmet needs and priorities for maternity care. It is then considered whether these needs and priorities are addressed in current reform plans. Methods Women who had a live single or multiple birth in Queensland, Australia, in 2010 (n 3,635) were invited to complete a retrospective self-report survey. In addition to questions about clinical and interpersonal maternity care experiences from pregnancy to postpartum, women were asked an open-ended question “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about having your baby?” This paper describes a detailed thematic analysis of open-ended responses from a random selection of 150 women (10% of 1,510 who responded to the question). Results Four broad themes emerged relevant to improving women’s experiences of maternity care: quality of care (interpersonal and technical); access to choices and involvement in decision-making; unmet information needs; and dissatisfaction with the care environment. Some of these topics are reflected in current reform goals, while others provide evidence of the need for further reforms. Conclusions The findings reinforce the importance of some existing maternity reform objectives, and describe how these might best be met. Findings affirm the importance of information provision to enable informed choices; a goal of Queensland and national reform agendas. Improvement opportunities not currently specified in reform agendas were also identified, including the quality of interpersonal relationships between women and staff, particular unmet information needs (e.g., breastfeeding), and concerns regarding the care environment (e.g., crowding and long waiting times).
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10/2014; 14:366.