Maternal and Child Health Journal

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1573-6628
Print ISSN: 1092-7875
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  • Tali AzenkotTali Azenkot
  • Melanie S. DoveMelanie S. Dove
  • Chuncui FanChuncui Fan
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  • Eleanor Bimla SchwarzEleanor Bimla Schwarz
Objectives As the social and legal acceptance of cannabis use grows, health professionals must understand and mitigate the impact of cannabis use in the perinatal period. Here we compare the prevalence of tobacco and cannabis use during and after pregnancy in California, a state that recently legalized cannabis use.Methods Measures of tobacco and cannabis use during and after pregnancy were obtained from California’s Maternal and Infant Health Assessment, an annual population-based survey of California resident women with a live birth. To allow analysis of county-level variation, we pooled data from the 35 counties with the largest numbers of births from 2017 to 2019.ResultsCannabis use was more than twice as common as cigarette smoking among pregnant women (4.9% vs. 2.1%) in California. This difference was even more pronounced in some counties; for example, in Los Angeles, cannabis use was four times more prevalent than cigarette use. Either during or soon after birth, 7.3% of women in California reported cannabis use. Of those who smoked tobacco cigarettes prior to pregnancy, 73% quit before their third trimester of pregnancy, though 33.0% of these women reported a post-partum relapse in cigarette use.Conclusions States that have legalized cannabis must attend to the increasing prevalence of perinatal cannabis use, as well as concurrent use with tobacco and other substances. Efforts to support cannabis cessation should draw from successful public health approaches in tobacco control.
 
PPOR analysis for an example county
Percentiles of A PPOR mortality for four periods of risk, with the IH period divided by SUID/non-SUID, and B excess mortality for all six components. The study sample is 100 US counties with PPOR-valid denominators ≥ 25,000 in the 2014–2016 period
  • Carol S. GilbertCarol S. Gilbert
  • Pamela K. XaveriusPamela K. Xaverius
  • Melissa K. TibbitsMelissa K. Tibbits
  • William M. SappenfieldWilliam M. Sappenfield
Introduction The Perinatal Periods of Risk approach (PPOR) is designed for use by communities to assess and address the causes of high fetal-infant mortality rates using vital records data. The approach is widely used by local health departments and their community and academic partners to inform and motivate systems changes. PPOR was developed and tested in communities based on data years from 1995 to 2002. Unfortunately, a national reference group has not been published since then, primarily due to fetal death data quality limitations. Methods This paper assesses data quality and creates a set of unbiased national reference groups using 2014–2016 national vital records data. Phase 1 and Phase 2 analytic methods were used to divide excess mortality into six components and create percentile plots to summarize the distribution of 100 large US counties for each component. Results Eight states with poor fetal death data quality were omitted from the reference groups to reduce bias due to missing maternal demographic information. There are large Black-White disparities among reference groups with the same age and education restrictions, and these vary by component. PPOR results vary by region, maternal demographics, and county. The magnitude of excess mortality components varies widely across US counties. Discussion New national reference groups will allow more communities to do PPOR. Percentile plots of 100 large US counties provide an additional benchmark for new communities using PPOR and help emphasize problem areas and potential solutions.
 
Flow diagram of the study population. Breakdown of study population showing the number of participants, eligible population, and a description of the exclusion criteria. The number of participants is further divided according to the assessment of their EMR obstetric profile
Forest plot of multivariable odds ratios for being vaccinated.*Odds ratios of factors significantly associated with receipt/non-receipt of antepartum Tdap vaccination as listed in the multivariable analysis (Table 3)*Adjusted odds ratio (OR) > 1 reflects elements associated with increased odds of not receiving antepartum Tdap, while OR < 1 demonstrates decreased odds of non-receipt (i.e., more likely to receive antepartum Tdap vaccine).
Introduction Antepartum Tdap remains low despite national recommendations. This prospective observational study aims to identify factors associated with lower antepartum Tdap rates. Methods Maternal demographics, personal health beliefs, Tdap vaccination status, and recall of in-office obstetric provider actions were collected from a convenience sample of postpartum women in a New York metropolitan hospital. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to identify significant factors and adjusted odds ratios (OR) for recorded Tdap; OR > 1 reflects elements with increased odds of not receiving antepartum Tdap, while OR < 1 demonstrates increased odds of receipt. Results Surveys were collected (n = 1682) from a study population demographically similar to New York City and more diverse in race/ethnicity than the national population. Demographic analysis showed Hispanic women less likely than white, non-Hispanic women to vaccinate (OR 2.44, CI 1.54–3.88). Health beliefs associated with non-receipt of antepartum Tdap included “It is dangerous for pregnant women to get vaccines” (OR 1.68, CI 1.01–2.77), and “I worry about the safety of the Tdap vaccine” (OR 1.59, CI 1.12–2.24). Obstetric provider actions associated with vaccination included receiving an OB recommendation (OR 0.39, CI 0.23–0.65), getting written information about Tdap (OR 0.44, CI 0.30–0.64), and having Tdap offered in office (OR 0.24, CI 0.15–0.37). Health beliefs associated with antepartum Tdap included “I generally do what my OB/GYN provider recommends” (OR 0.49, CI 0.30–0.80), and “Pregnant women should get the Tdap (pertussis) vaccine” (OR 0.17, CI 0.09–0.33). Discussion Maternal race/ethnicity, personal health beliefs, and obstetric provider actions predict antepartum Tdap.
 
PRISMA flow diagram for study selection showing both searches. The initial searchwhich took place on 02/13/2019 and a repeat Medline search on 1/19/2021
Geographic distribution of included studies
Vaccines mentioned in included studies
Interplay of factors influencing uptake of vaccines in pregnancy, grouped according to the SAGE working group’s determinants of vaccine hesitancy. Contextual (sociodemographic/geo-political), Individual and social group influences, Vaccine specific uses
Introduction Vaccines are being developed against Group B Streptococcus and respiratory syncytial virus. These vaccines are designed to be given to pregnant women to protect infants; thus, their success depends on uptake in this population. Maternal immunization programs have struggled to achieve target coverage rates. This systematic narrative synthesis aims to define the most important barriers and facilitators for maternal immunization and to identify priority areas for future research. Methods A search strategy was developed in Medline and adapted according to the requirements of additional search engines. Two reviewers independently reviewed the studies, using pre-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results sections of included studies were coded, and thematic analysis was used to identify prominent themes. Results 321 studies were included in the final review. Most studies came from North America (37%), Europe (26%) or East Asia, Australia and New Zealand (22%). Low-and middle-income countries were under-represented. Five percent of studies came from Sub-Saharan Africa, and 2% came from South Asia. The prominent factors impacting maternal immunization were provider recommendation, perceived risks and benefits of maternal vaccines for the infant, race, birthplace, and access to healthcare. Few studies explored reasons behind racial and socioeconomic disparities in maternal immunization rates. Discussion A strong provider recommendation, equitable access to prenatal care and messaging that focuses on vaccine safety and infant benefits emerged as the key components for optimising vaccine uptake among pregnant women. Research among healthcare providers, minority groups and in low- and-middle-income countries was lacking. In anticipation of the expansion of maternal immunization programmes, focused research is needed to address these gaps and inform a successful public health strategy.
 
Sample flowchart
Background Low birthweight (LBW) as well as early childhood stunting are risk factors for increased childhood morbidity in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). The Covid 19 pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity and unemployment globally, prompting concerns for maternal and child health. Objectives We used data from the great recession of 2008 to examine the relationship between household food security and other risk factors with LBW and stunting using a longitudinal sample of South African women and their offspring. Methods Food security indicators, alcohol use, blood pressure and other characteristics were examined in relation to LBW (≤ 2500 g), stunting (height for age ≤ 2SD) and severe stunting (height for age ≤ 3SD). Regression modelling with clustering at maternal ID level were employed to adjust for maternal characteristics and women who gave birth more than once during the reference period. Results Birthweight data were available for 1173 children and height for age 1216 children. The prevalence of LBW was 14.7% while stunting and severe stunting was 17.8% and 14.5%. Child hunger in the household, maternal hypertension and alcohol use were associated with low birthweight. Food expenditure below the Stats SA poverty line and low dietary diversity was associated with stunting and severe stunting respectively. Maternal height and low birthweight were associated with both stunting and severe stunting. Conclusions for Practice Interventions that can improve household food security and nutritional status during the periconceptional and antenatal period may reduce the prevalence of low birthweight and subsequent stunting in low- and middle-income countries.
 
a Highest consumption (4 + servings) for healthy food groups across 24-HDR and two PrimeScreen questionnaires administered in the 2nd trimester. b Highest consumption (4 + servings) for healthy food groups across 24-HDR and two PrimeScreen questionnaires administered in the 3rd trimester. c. Highest consumption (4 + servings) for unhealthy food groups across 24-HDR and two PrimeScreen questionnaires administered in the 2nd trimester. d Highest consumption (4 + servings) for unhealthy food groups across 24-HDR and two PrimeScreen questionnaires administered in the 3rd trimester. 24-HDR 24-h dietary recall, SSBs sugar sweetened
Objectives Here we examined the reproducibility and validity of a dietary screener which was translated and adapted to assess diet quality among pregnant Nepalese women. Methods A pilot cohort of singleton pregnant women (N = 101; age 25.9 ± 4.1 years) was recruited from a tertiary, periurban hospital in Nepal. An adapted Nepali version of the PrimeScreen questionnaire, a brief 21-item dietary screener that assesses weekly consumption of 12 healthy and 9 unhealthy food groups, was administered twice, and a month apart, in both the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Up to four inconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDRs) were completed each trimester and utilized as the reference method for validation. For each trimester, data from multiple 24-HDRs were averaged across days, and items were grouped to match the classification and three weekly consumption categories (0–1, 2–3, or 4 + servings/week) of the 21 food groups represented on the PrimeScreen. Results Gwet’s agreement coefficients (AC1) were used to evaluate the reproducibility and validity of the adapted PrimeScreen against the 24-HDRs in both the 2nd and 3rd trimester. AC1 indicated good to excellent (≥ 0.6) reproducibility for the majority (85%) of food groups across trimesters. There was moderate to excellent validity (AC1 ≥ 0.4) for all food groups except for fruits and vegetables in the 2nd trimester, and green leafy vegetables and eggs in both the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Conclusions The modified PrimeScreen questionnaire appears to be a reasonably valid and reliable instrument for assessing the dietary intake of most food groups among pregnant women in Nepal.
 
Background The level of perinatal mortality in Bangladesh is one of the highest in the world. Certain childbearing practices and low use of antenatal care make Bangladeshi women vulnerable to adverse birth outcomes. Women in Bangladesh also remain considerably subordinate to men in almost all aspects of their lives, from education and paid work to healthcare utilisation. Lack of these opportunities contributes to the low status of women within family and society, and to generally poor health outcomes for women and their children. Objective This study investigates the risk factors of perinatal deaths in light of the low level of women’s autonomy, and the relative role of childbearing practices and antenatal care in influencing the relationship between autonomy and perinatal deaths. Methods The relevant data was extracted from the 2014 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Causal mediation analysis was undertaken to investigate the effects of mediators on the associations between women’s autonomy and perinatal deaths. Results The risk of perinatal deaths was greater by about 44% and 39% respectively for high-risk maternal age and birth interval. Those who had received sufficient antenatal care had a much lower risk of perinatal deaths compared to those who had not received sufficient care. No significant direct relationship between women’s autonomy and perinatal deaths was evident. However, the influence of women’s autonomy was mediated through maternal age, birth interval and antenatal care, and the average amount of mediation was approximately 9.7%, 25.6% and 9.9% respectively. Conclusions In Bangladesh, although women’s autonomy did not exert any significant direct influence on perinatal deaths, the influence was transmitted through the pathways of childbearing practices and use of antenatal care.
 
Parenting stress scores in mothers who received at least one home-visiting session and in counterparts who did not receive any home-visiting session. For each boxplot, red dots represent mean val-
Description of the study sample
Objectives The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a particularly adverse and stressful environment for expecting mothers, possibly enhancing feelings of anxiety and parenting stress. The present work assesses mothers' anxiety levels at delivery and parenting stress after 3 months as moderated by home-visiting sessions. Methods Women (n = 177) in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the COVID-19 lockdown were enrolled in northern Italy and split into those who did and did not receive home visits. After 3 months, the association between anxiety at delivery and parenting stress was assessed with bivariate correlations in the whole sample and comparing the two groups. Results Higher anxiety at birth correlated with greater perceived stress after 3 months. Mothers who received at least one home-visiting session reported lower parenting stress at 3 months than counterparts who did not receive home visits. Conclusions for Practice The perinatal period is a sensitive time window for mother-infant health, especially during a critical time like the COVID-19 pandemic. We suggest that home-visiting programs could be beneficial during global healthcare emergencies to promote maternal well-being after delivery.
 
Flowchart of the article selection process
Pregnancy pictograms and comparison groups, when present, used by the studies included in the systematic review
Risk of bias summary: authors' judgment on each risk of bias item for each RCT included (high risk of bias (icon with –); uncertain risk (icon with ?); and low risk (icon with +)
Risk of bias summary: authors' judgment on each risk of bias item for each cross-sectional study included (high risk of bias (icon with –); uncertain risk (icon with ?); and low risk (icon with +)
Objective This study aimed to summarize the comprehension of a pictogram about the risk of medication use during pregnancy. Methods A systematic review was performed using the PRISMA checklist of the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, PsycInfo, LILACS, Academic Search Premier, Scopus, and Web of Science databases, grey literature (Google Scholar and OpenAIRE), ClinicalTrials.gov website, and design journals and congresses. The search was performed since the database inception, without language or year of publication restrictions. Results Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria for this review, 2 of which were randomized clinical trials. The pictograms and methods used varied widely among studies. The comprehension of the pregnancy pictograms had a complex communication outcome with a variation of 21–96%. Conclusions for Practice The lack of a standard pictogram and uniform methods to evaluate the comprehension of the pregnancy pictogram made it challenging to reach a conclusion with the studies available to date on the safety and efficacy of the pregnancy pictogram to alert the risk of medication use.
 
Unadjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) for the association between selected characteristics and timing of prenatal care; 2018 US Natality Data
Introduction Women with pre-pregnancy diabetes or pre-pregnancy hypertension have increased risks of complications during pregnancy. Women who obtain prenatal care in the first trimester receive necessary routine testing and disease management tools that aid in controlling such conditions. However, research on the association between pre-pregnancy hypertension and pre-pregnancy diabetes and prenatal care timing among US women is limited. Methods This study used data from the 2018 National Vital Statistic System (n = 3,618,853). Trained personnel collected information on prenatal care timing, maternal conditions, and demographics. Multivariate logistic regression models evaluated the association between pre-pregnancy hypertension, pre-pregnancy diabetes and prenatal care timing. A stratified analysis was conducted to determine if race/ethnicity modified the associations. Results After adjustment, women with pre-pregnancy hypertension or pre-pregnancy diabetes had statistically significant increased odds of receiving early prenatal care compared to women without these conditions (OR 1.23; 95% CI: 1.21-1.26 and OR 1.27; 95% CI: 1.24-1.31, respectively). Among non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic women, those with pre-pregnancy hypertension or pre-pregnancy diabetes had statistically significantly increased odds of receiving early prenatal care compared to women without those pre-existing conditions (P < .001). Discussion Further research is needed on the transition from preconception care to obstetric care for women with pre-existing diabetes or hypertension. However, these findings suggest that women who have conditions that could cause pregnancy complications are pursuing early prenatal care services to mitigate the development of adverse maternal and infant health conditions.
 
Study objective Different behaviors are considered important factors that may influence a healthy lifestyle. Given this fact, we aim to analyze the relationship between moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sleep time, and sedentary time, with cardiometabolic outcomes in adolescents. Methods Cross-sectional study, with 152 eutrophic and healthy adolescents. The behavioral variables were collected objectively and the arterial thickness was measured through ultrasound. Blood variables (LDL, TG, HDL, glucose, and insulin) were collected in a private laboratory. To analyze the data, the Student t test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to compare the groups. All analyses adopted p < 0.05. Results Girls who demonstrated better combined behaviors, presented significant results for TG (p = 0.045), BP (p = 0.016), and cardiovascular score (p = 0.049) when compared to their peers. Furthermore, the practice of physical activity combined with sufficient sleep time was associated with lower values of arterial thickening (p = 0.017). Conclusions In view of the results presented, it is possible to state that the aggregation of behaviors was more consistent in females and that the practice of physical activity and adequate sleep time can reflect on cardiovascular health.
 
Proportion of Head Start Preschoolers and Parents with Daily Sugary Drink Consumption (n = 202). Top
Objectives To describe beverage behaviors among preschooler-parent dyads and explore correlates with preschooler’s beverage behaviors. Methods This exploratory, cross-sectional study includes a convenience sample of 202 parents of preschoolers surveyed from four Head Start programs in Virginia and Ohio. Measurements included parent-child beverage behaviors, parent beverage perceptions, parent beverage rules, home beverage availability, and demographics. Analyses included descriptive statistics, correlations, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Quade’s non-parametric ANCOVA tests. Results Mean sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB; i.e., regular soda, sweetened fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, and coffee/tea with sugar) intake was 1.3 (SD = 1.4) and 2.3 (SD = 2.0) times/day for preschoolers and parents, respectively. When considering all sugary drink sources [i.e., summing SSB with flavored milk and 100% fruit juice (FJ)], the mean frequency increased to 3.2 (SD = 2.1) and 3.6 (SD = 2.4) times/day, respectively, for preschoolers and parents. A significant positive correlation was observed between preschooler-parent dyads for SSB (r = 0.406, p < 0.001) and for all sugary drinks (r = 0.572, p < 0.001). Parents who were younger, single, less educated, and with lower income had preschoolers with significantly higher SSB and all sugary drink intake (all p < 0.05). Significant correlates with preschoolers’ beverage behaviors also included parent perceived behavioral control (SSB: p = 0.003, 100% FJ: p = 0.008, water: p < 0.0001), parenting practices (SSB: p = 0.022), and home availability (SSB: p = 0.011, 100% FJ: p < 0.001, water: p < 0.001). Conclusions This study highlights excessive SSB and all sugary drink consumption among Head Start preschooler-parent dyads. Also, intervention targets to improve preschooler’s beverage behaviors are identified, including efforts to improve parent’s beverage behaviors, perceived behavioral control, parenting practices, and the home environment.
 
11 Recommended key practices to implement immediate postpartum LARC
Introduction In the United States (U.S.), perinatal quality improvement collaboratives have pursued implementing immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) initiatives to increase people’s access to contraception and support their fertility desires. This process evaluation aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to implementing an immediate postpartum LARC initiative in Florida. Methods Data collection included in-depth qualitative assessments (i.e., interviews, small focus group discussions) with hospitals in pre- and early stages of the implementation process. Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants. Interviews were conducted in-person or via Zoom or phone and were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Four of the five domains within the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (e.g., process, intervention characteristics, inner and outer settings) informed the study design and data collection/analysis. Results Fourteen staff of diverse job roles from five hospitals participated. Factors that facilitated implementation were the strength of the evidence, relative advantage, internal and external networks, and engaging staff. Barriers to implementation included billing and reimbursement and needing significant support from external networks to progress through implementation phases. Discussion Findings suggest that depending on the task or phase, multiple factors work in tandem to serve as implementation barriers and facilitators. Additionally, evaluating hospitals’ progress at the pre- and early implementation phases was critical for quickly finding solutions and benefited other hospitals in different stages. As this initiative requires substantial support, health systems should create and sustain a culture of excellence and efficiency to facilitate implementing initiatives that improve care quality.
 
Diagram for focus group participant selection
Objectives We tested Promoting First Relationships® (PFR), an evidence-based preventive intervention program for caregivers promoting attachment and social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, in a randomized controlled trial in a Native community. Quantitative results yielded evidence of efficacy; but in this report, our objective was to assess the participants’ real-life experiences, challenges, and suggested enhancements to further adapt the program. Methods At the end of the study we conducted three focus groups (N = 17)—two groups for participants who completed the 10-week intervention and one group for those who did not. Focus groups were structured to generate discussion about (1) elements or activities of PFR they enjoyed and others that were challenging, (2) suggested solutions to participant challenges, (3) experiences with video recordings and handouts, and (4) aspects of the program that could be changed to make it more culturally-relevant. Results Qualitative analysis of the focus group transcripts revealed five themes: (1) appreciation for PFR providers and program, (2) personal growth, (3) improved caregiver-child relationships, (4) participant challenges, and (5) participant suggestions to improve the program. Conclusions These qualitative results complement our quantitative assessment of the positive impact of the PFR program. Additionally, they provide importance guidance for future implementation of PFR in this, and other Native communities, as well as insight into broader issues to consider when adapting intervention programs for Native families.
 
Objectives (1) Explore the relationship between various sociodemographic factors and caregiver health beliefs (CHBs), and (2) examine whether these relationships were associated with the use of pediatric therapy services. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional, secondary data analysis using the 2011 Survey of Pathways Diagnosis and Services dataset. 4,032 children ages 6–17 years had complete data on caregiver health beliefs and pediatric therapy use. Select CHBs reflected whether caregivers believe (1) problems related to their child’s condition can be prevented or decreased with treatment, (2) they have the power to change their child’s condition, and (3) their child’s condition is a mystery. Pediatric therapy included physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. We performed multivariate logistic regression to test the associations between CHBs and select child and family characteristics (Aim 1) and use of pediatric therapy services (Aim 2). Results Caregivers with lower educational attainment were more likely to believe their child’s condition was a mystery and less likely to believe they had the power to change their child’s condition. Use of pediatric therapy services tended to be lower among children whose caregivers believed they had the power to change their child’s condition and higher among children whose caregivers believed their child’s condition was a mystery. Conclusions for practice Our findings add to existing research that suggests CHBs differ across groups of caregivers. This, combined with the recognition that CHBs also likely differ from providers, underscores the importance of eliciting caregiver beliefs, values, and priorities to help ensure the provision of truly family-centered care. Significance Pediatric therapy services support and optimize child development. Significant service use disparities exist, however, with children representing various marginalized groups being less likely to use pediatric therapy services. Little is known about the mechanisms underlying such disparities. We sought to explore the relationship between family sociodemographic factors, caregiver health beliefs, and pediatric therapy use. Our findings suggest that caregivers with fewer socioeconomic resources expressed beliefs that are consistent with limited knowledge and agency regarding their child’s condition. Thus, providers must work to engage families in conversations about their child’s development, elicit their knowledge and beliefs, and identify social or financial barriers to care.
 
Participants’ responses to risk factors
Background Mothers’ awareness of hearing loss, its risk factors, and available detection and intervention choices have been well known to play an essential role in the early detection and intervention of hearing loss.Objective To investigate the knowledge and attitude of Syrian mothers toward infant hearing loss, early identification, and intervention.Methods The “Maternal Views on Infant Hearing Loss” questionnaire was adapted and translated into Arabic and then administered to 100 Syrian mothers living in different neighborhoods in Ankara within the age range of 18–68 years old. The internal consistency for the main domains of the questionnaire was tested by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. Descriptive statistics and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient were used to evaluate the responses.ResultsThe highest level of knowledge about the risk factors was about noise exposure (76%), while the lowest level of knowledge was about jaundice (25%). While 98% of the mothers had a positive attitude toward early detection, 97% of them did not mind the early intervention.Conclusions The present findings showed the need to improve mothers’ awareness about infant hearing loss risk factors, available detection, and intervention. Such results may help in performing programs that aim to increase awareness about hearing loss.
 
Introduction: Social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences have been implicated as driving causes of maternal mortality but the empirical evidence to substantiate those relationships is lacking. We aimed to understand the prevalence and intersection of social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences among maternal deaths in Colorado based on a review of records obtained for our state's maternal mortality review committee. Methods: A 5-member interdisciplinary team adapted the Protocol for Responding to and Assessing Patients' Assets, Risk, and Experiences and the Adverse Childhood Experiences tools to create a data collection tool. The team reviewed records collected for the purpose of maternal mortality review for pregnancy-associated deaths that occurred in Colorado between 2014 and 2016 (N = 94). Results: The review identified an overwhelming lack of information regarding social determinants of health or adverse childhood experiences in the records used to review maternal deaths. The most common finding of the social determinants of health was a lack of conclusive evidence in the record (35.1-94.7%). Similarly, the reviewers were unable to make a determination from the available records for 92.1% of adverse childhood experience indicators. Discussion: The lack of social and contextual information in the records points to challenges of relying on medical records for identification of non-medical causes of maternal mortality. Maternal mortality review committees would be well served to invest in alternative data sources, such as community dashboards and informant interviews, to inform a more comprehensive understanding of causes of maternal mortality.
 
Objectives To identify frequency and correlates of hypertension in a low income, ethnically diverse, sample of children as well as to assess parental awareness of hypertension.Methods This cross-sectional study included parent-child dyads (n = 228), from which physical measurements of the child, and parent reported survey measures were collected. Child’s blood pressure percentile was determined via 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical practice guidelines and categorized as normal (< 90th percentile), elevated (≥ 90th percentile to < 95th percentile), or hypertensive (≥ 95th percentile). Bivariate multinomial logistic regression models assessed the relative risk ratio for potential correlates of blood pressure categorization and frequency distribution of parental awareness of blood pressure status was examined.ResultsMedian child age was 8.1 years (IQR 6.5–9.9). Half were female, 61.8% were Latino and 15.8% were Non-Latino Black. Median body mass index (BMI) percentile was 83.6 (IQR 58.4–97.1) and 31.6% exceeded the 95th percentile. AAP criteria for hypertension and elevated blood pressure were met by 30.7% and 14.3% of children respectively. After full adjustment, the relative risk of categorization as hypertensive versus normal increased by a factor of 1.16 (95% CI 1.02–1.3) per 10-unit increase in BMI percentile, and 0.86 (95% CI 0.74–1.0) per one-year increase in age. Less than five parents (redacted due to low sample size) reported their child having a history of high blood pressure.Conclusions In this low income, racially/ethnically diverse sample, we observed levels of hypertension and elevated blood pressure considerably higher than national estimates. However, in contrast, extremely low parental awareness was observed.
 
Background The relationship between housing instability and reproductive healthcare is understudied. We examined the association between housing insecurity and access and utilization of general healthcare, contraceptive healthcare, and abortion care.Methods Using data from a population-representative survey of adult reproductive-age Ohio women (N = 2,529), we assessed housing insecurity (not paying rent/mortgage on time in the past year). We examined associations between housing insecurity and the following outcomes: (1) not being able to access general healthcare in the past year; (2) experiencing delays or difficulties in accessing contraceptive healthcare in the past year; and (3) ever having an abortion. We used unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models. We selected confounders a priori and included age, socioeconomic status, and healthcare status.ResultsOverall, 10.6% of Ohio women of adult reproductive age experienced housing insecurity. Approximately 27.5% of respondents were not able to access general healthcare and 10.4% experienced delays or difficulties in accessing contraceptive care. Compared to housing-secure respondents, housing-insecure women were less able to access general healthcare (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]:2.16; 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.45–3.23) and more likely to experience delays or difficulties when accessing contraceptive care (aOR:1.74; 95% CI:1.00-3.04). Insecure housing was not statistically associated with ever having an abortion (aOR:1.76; 95% CI:0.93–3.34).Conclusions In this study, recent housing insecurity was associated with poorer access to general and contraceptive healthcare. Studies utilizing multidimensional measures of housing insecurity and other material insecurity measures are needed to further explore the relationship between material insecurity and access to general and contraceptive care.
 
PRISMA flow diagram
Introduction The negative impacts of mental health disorders on the well-being of women and their infants are clear. However, less is known about the relationship between returning to work after giving birth and mental health. Previous reviews examined the relationship between maternity leave and mental health, but we defined return to work as the process of returning to part-time or full-time work after giving birth and caring for infant. This systematic review aims to: (1) describe operational definitions for return to work and (2) describe the evidence on the relationship between return to work and maternal mental health. Methods We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science for peer-reviewed studies. Articles were selected if they were published within the past 20 years, examined at least one mental health condition (e.g., depression, anxiety), and included a study sample of U.S. working mothers. Results We identified 20 articles published between 2001 and 2020. We found conflicting evidence from longitudinal and cross-sectional data demonstrating that return to work was associated with improvements and negative consequences to mental health. Work-related predictors of mental health included: access to paid maternity leave, work–family conflict, total workload, job flexibility, and coworker support. Discussion This review provides evidence that return to work and mental health are related, though the study samples have limited generalizability to all U.S. working mothers. More research is needed to understand the direction of this relationship throughout the perinatal period and how return to work affects other mental health conditions (e.g., anxiety, stress).
 
Objectives Whereas extant literature abounds with works on breastfeeding and its implications for child health and survival, there is very limited research on the challenges faced by disabled women in breastfeeding their infants and children. This study explored the challenges facing disabled women in the Kumasi Metropolis in exclusively breastfeeding their infants using qualitatibve research design. Methods Using a sample of 55 from the communities and key informants the snowballing and purtposive sampling techniques were used. The thematic approach was used in the analysis which was done manually. Results Most disabled women have Caesarean deliveries which could challenge exclusively breastfeed their infants. It was observed that disabled mothers generally have a low level of education, mostly unmarried and not gainfully employed. Secondly, most disabled mothers go through a Caesarean section during birth which makes it pretty difficult for them to exclusively breastfeed their infants. Apart from disabilities such as physical impairment, deafness and blindness which could challenge women exclusively breatfeed their children, additionally some health professionals discourage them from doing so. Some women and relatives of the disabled discourage them from exclusively breastfeeding their infants either through lack of awareness of the efficacy of the practice or the stress their involvement in exclusive breastfeeding brings upon the women themselves. Conclusions Various forms of disability, and dsiscouragement from some health professionals and family members may constrain disabled women from exclusively breatfeeding their infants. Recommendations include, implementing the Disability Act, creating special wards for disabled women in the health institutions and orienting the medical staff on their professional responsibilities in taking care of the disabled.
 
Caregivers who received care at the mobile medical clinic and completed surveys/interviews
Achieving domains of patient- and family-centeredness on the mobile medical clinic
Objectives To describe demographic characteristics and health-related social needs of families who accessed maternal-infant care through a mobile medical clinic (MMC) during the COVID-19 pandemic and to explore feasibility, acceptability, perceived benefits, and barriers to care. Methods In this mixed-methods observational study, chart reviews, telephone surveys, and qualitative interviews in English and Spanish were conducted with caregivers who accessed the MMC between April and November 2020. Qualitative interviews were analyzed with the constant comparative method alongside descriptive chart and survey data analyses. Results Of 139 caregiver-infant dyads contacted, 68 (48.9%) completed the survey; 27 also completed the qualitative interview. The survey participants did not differ from the larger sample; most (86.7%) were people of color (52.9% identified as Latino and 33.8% as Black). Health-related social needs were high, including food insecurity (52.9%), diaper insecurity (44.1%), and anxiety (32%). Four women (6.1%) were diagnosed with hypertension requiring urgent evaluation. Nearly all (98.5%) reported being very satisfied with the services. Major themes from qualitative interviews included (1) perceived patient- and family-centered care, (2) perceived safety, and (3) perceived benefits of dyadic mother-infant care. Conclusions for Practice In this assessment of caregivers who accessed the MMC—a rapidly-developed COVID-19 pandemic response—insights from caregivers, predominantly people of color, provided considerations for future postpartum/postnatal service delivery. Perceptions that the MMC addressed health-related social needs and barriers to traditional office-based visits and the identification of maternal hypertension requiring urgent intervention suggest that innovative models for postpartum mother-infant care may have long-lasting benefits.
 
Top: EPDS prevalence comparison between education level, pregnancy complications, support, trimester of pregnancy and psychiatric medical history
Top: subjective level of concern/anxiety related to COVID pandemic and Concerns about COVID Scale comparison between EPDS Scale Groups
Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019 was declared as a pandemic on March 2020. Research on its psychological effects is still lacking. Perinatal depression is a medical complication of pregnancy, especially in situations of stress. In this study, we aimed to investigate the presence of symptoms of depression in pregnant women during the lockdown period in Portugal. Methods This study consisted in a cross-sectional study among Portuguese pregnant women, who completed an online self-report questionnaire between 25th April and 30th April 2020. An anonymous online questionnaire was developed to assess depression and concerns related to COVID-19. This study was approved by the IRB of Hospital Dona Estefânia and performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Eligibility criteria included pregnant women, ≥ 18 years and living in Portugal. The primary outcome was to evaluate the presence of depressive symptoms and its association to socio-demographic characteristics and to concerns related to COVID-19. Results A total of 1698 pregnant women were enrolled. The mean age was 31.9 years. 82.4% felt a negative impact of the pandemic in the surveillance of pregnancy and 43% felt insufficient support. 26.3% showed “possible depression” according to the EPDS. A regression analysis revealed the possibility of depression increased as the concerns about COVID increased and was lower for women with support. The possibility of depression was higher for women with psychiatric medical history. Conclusion This study demonstrated a significant increase in clinically significant depressive symptoms in pregnant women during the lockdown. It also revealed some of the socio-demographic characteristics of women at risk for depression. If left untreated, depression tends to persist, affecting the woman and also the child. Our findings suggest that COVID-19 represents a serious challenge for this population and reinforce the urgent need for early detection and intervention on mental health issues during pregnancy, especially during the pandemic.
 
Background Health education via DVD/video has been demonstrated as a novel method to encourage a positive change and improvement in patients’ health behaviors. A community health project was implemented in Cao Bang, a mountainous area of Vietnam, for health workers to use tablets, portable projectors, and television to disseminate health education messages via designed video clips. Method and Objectives A qualitative study using semi-structured individual and group interviews was conducted with 25 health workers in Trung Khanh district to explore their experience of using video in providing health education. Results The video was confirmed to be an accessible, interactive, and flexible tool supporting health education activities in this mountainous area. However, some health workers in the mountainous area struggled due to a lack of technological skills and responsibility for their work. Conclusions for Practice More training on using technology for health professionals and incorporating video-based health education activities into labor contract-based responsibilities can alleviate present obstacles.
 
Objective Obstetrical patients are at risk of complications from COVID-19 and face increased stress due to the pandemic and changes in hospital birth setting. The objective was to describe the perinatal care experiences of obstetrical patients who gave birth during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods A descriptive epidemiological survey was administered to consenting patients who gave birth at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) between March 16th and June 16th, 2020. The participants reported on prenatal, in-hospital, and postpartum care experiences. COVID-19 pandemic related household stress factors were investigated. Frequencies and percentages are presented for categorical variables and median and interquartile range (IQR) for continuous variables. Results A total of 216 participants were included in the analyses. Median participants age was 33 years (IQR: 30–36). Collectively, 94 (43.5%) participants felt elevated stress for prenatal appointments and 105 (48.6%) for postpartum appointments because of COVID-19. There were 108 (50.0%) were scared to go to the hospital for delivery, 97 (44.9%) wore a mask during labour and 54 (25.0%) gave birth without a support person. During postpartum care, 125 (57.9%) had phone appointments (not offered prior to COVID-19), and 18 (8.3%) received no postpartum care at all. Conclusion COVID-19 pandemic and public health protocols created a stressful healthcare environment for the obstetrical population where many were fearful of accessing services, experienced changes to standard care, or no care at all. As the pandemic continues, careful attention should be given to the perinatal population to reduce stress and improve continuity of care.
 
Summarizes the historical, social and cultural context, with the identified themes, that may contribute to childhood obesity in Vietnam. It details how parents’ and caregivers’ war-time experience of extreme poverty, food insecurity, fear of child malnutrition and focus on child survival laid the foundation in the current environment of economic growth, food abundance, urbanization and technology for a drive to overfeed children, keep them safe, and encourage their academic development more than physical activity, contributing to child obesity
Objectives Vietnam’s post-war globalization, economic development, and urbanization have contributed to a nutrition transition from traditional diets to highly-processed diets, and increased prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity. Our study aims to explore the attitudes and behaviors driving this epidemic. Methods This qualitative study focused on the perspectives and practices of Vietnamese parents, schoolteachers and doctors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 12 regarding the historical, social, and cultural influences contributing to childhood overweight and obesity. Audio-recorded interviews were translated and transcribed, then analyzed using modified ground theory to identify themes and representative quotes. Results Five themes were identified: (1) Change in diet between generations, (2) Preference for rounder children, (3) Unhealthy feeding practices, (4) Reduced physical activity, and (5) Increasing awareness of childhood obesity. A conceptual map detailed the shift from war-time to post-war economic environment and psycho-social context for raising children to be large, safe and academically-successful. Conclusions for Practice We found that globalization, urbanization and economic development—in the context of historical, social and cultural attitudes—may contribute to increasing child obesity in Vietnam. Obesity prevention through public health and educational institutions should involve policies and programs for healthy eating and exercise, tailored to address parental figures’ concerns.
 
PRAMS process visual aids
Example PRAMS covers with participant feedback
Objectives To inform updates to the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) design and processes, African American/Black and Hispanic/Latina women in Florida provided feedback on their awareness and perceptions of the PRAMS survey, and preferences for survey distribution, completion, design and content. Methods Focus groups were conducted in English and Spanish with 29 women in two large metropolitan counties. Participants completed a brief survey, reviewed the PRAMS questionnaire and recruitment materials, engaged in discussion, and gave feedback directly onto cover design posters. Results Participants reported limited awareness of PRAMS. Preferences for survey distribution and completion varied by participant lifestyle. Interest in topics covered by PRAMS was as a motivator for completion, while distrust and confidentiality concerns were deterrents. Participants were least comfortable answering questions about income, illegal drug use, and pregnancy loss/infant death. Changes to the length of the survey, distribution methods, and incentives/rewards for completion were recommended. Conclusions for Practice Results highlight the need to increase PRAMS awareness, build trust, and consider the design, length and modality for questionnaire completion as possible avenues to improve PRAMS response rates.
 
The flow diagram of the participants through the study. ENC Essential newborn care
Background Despite the implementation of essential newborn care (ENC) by the World Health Organization, knowledge gaps among postpartum women persist. Inappropriate breastfeeding practices and lack of knowledge regarding ENC among mothers has resulted in higher neonatal mortality. Purpose Our study focused on evaluating the effectiveness of flip-chart assisted postpartum maternal education in improving ENC knowledge and skills. Material and Methods A single blind parallel randomized controlled trial was carried out with 120 primigravidae. Participants were allocated to the intervention group (IG) or the control group (CG) by block randomization. A pretested validated questionnaire was administered to participants in both groups within 24 h post-delivery. Women in the IG were provided flip-chart assisted education regarding ENC approximately 24 h post-delivery. Women in both groups received verbal advice on ENC from the postnatal ward nurses, as per the existing hospital policy. ENC skills were observed in all participants in postnatal wards by independent observers. 6 months later, knowledge retention was assessed and analyzed in both groups. Results Antenatal education remained at 32% among all postnatal women. Postnatal flip-chart-assisted maternal education had a significant impact on ENC skills in the IG (p < 0.01) and precipitated higher knowledge scores at the end of 6 months (p < 0.01) in the IG. Conclusion for Practice Flip-chart assisted education soon after delivery had a sustained effect on ENC knowledge and practices that persisted for 6 months post-delivery.
 
Flow chart of study population
Delivery location among women enrolled in the program by previous pregnancy delivery location
Exposure 1: Length of time in program
Exposure 2: Last pregnancy visit before delivery
Exposure 3: Number of routine pregnancy visits
Introduction Community health worker (CHW) interventions have been utilized to address barriers that prevent pregnant women from delivering in health facilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The objective of this research was to assess the programmatic factors that increase the likelihood of health facility delivery within a large digital health-supported CHW program in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Methods This study included 36,693 women who were enrolled in the Safer Deliveries program with a live birth between January 1, 2017 and July 31, 2019. We assessed whether long-term enrollment, recency of CHW pregnancy visit prior to delivery, and number of routine home pregnancy visits were associated with an increased likelihood of health facility delivery compared to home delivery. We used Chi-squared tests to assess bivariate relationships and performed logistic regression analyses to assess the association between each programmatic variable and health facility delivery, adjusting for relevant confounders. Results We found that long-term enrollment was significantly associated with increased likelihood of health facility delivery, with the strongest relationship among women with a previous home delivery (OR = 1.4, 95%CI [1.0,1.7]). Among first-time mothers, two or more pregnancy visits by a CHW was positively associated with health facility delivery (OR = 1.8, 95%CI [1.2, 2.7]). Recent pregnancy visit by a CHW was positively associated with health facility delivery, but was not significant at the α = 0.05 level. Discussion In this program, we found evidence that at least two routine home pregnancy visits, longer length of enrollment in the program, and recency of home visit to the delivery date were strategies to increase health facility delivery rates among enrolled mothers. Maternal and child health programs should undertake similar evaluations to improve program delivery.
 
Flow chart of women and children in the study. ITT intention-to-treat population, PP per-protocol population
Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate if overweight and obesity in the offspring is reduced by a low-intensity antenatal primary care intervention with focus on diet and physical activity for pregnant women with obesity, comparing children to mothers receiving the intervention with children to mothers who did not. Methods This study is a follow-up of children 2.5 years of age after their mothers’ participation in a non-randomised controlled intervention intending to limit gestational weight gain. All study participants received standard antenatal care. The intervention group received lifestyle support via motivational talks with midwife and support from dietician. Data on child weight were collected by medical records, letter and phone. Results There was no significant difference between the groups 2.5 years after intervention (International Obesity Task Force ISO-BMI 25 (child BMI corresponding to adult BMI of 25): 20% vs. 21%; ISO-BMI 30: 4.6% vs. 1.3%). The mother’s BMI at the beginning of pregnancy significantly influenced child BMI at 2.5 years (r = 0.13, p = 0.014, r² = 0.017). For each unit of increase in maternal BMI at enrollment, the probability of child ISO-BMI ≥ 25 increased by 7.5% (p = 0.021) and of ≥ 30, by 12.9% (p = 0.017). Conclusion The frequency of overweight and obesity of the children at 2.5 years of age was significantly correlated to the mother’s BMI, but not correlated to the mothers’ participation in the antenatal lifestyle intervention. Thus, it seems important to address obesity and lifestyle issues before and between pregnancies. Trial registration The study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, Identifier: NCT03147079.
 
Semi-structured focus group interview guide
Personal health schemas of participants influencing healthy behaviours in pregnancy
Institute of Medicine (IOM) gestational weight gain guidelines
Baseline characteristics of RCT participants at 12-17 weeks gestation
Definitions of underlying beliefs for the health schemas
Objective Excess gestational weight gain (GWG) is associated with adverse long and short-term outcomes for both woman and child, yet evidence demonstrates pregnant women are frequently not engaging in healthy behaviours linked to appropriate weight gain. The purpose of the current study was to explore women’s values and beliefs related to weight, nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy and to describe how these beliefs influence their behaviours. Methods As part of a larger randomized controlled trial, we conducted 20 focus groups with 66 pregnant women between 16 and 24-weeks gestation using a semi-structured interview guide. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results Three personal health schemas emerged from the findings which illustrated women’s diverging beliefs about their health behaviours in pregnancy. ‘Interconnected health’ described beliefs regarding the impact their health had on that of their growing baby and awareness of risks associated with inappropriate weight gain. ‘Gestational weight gain as an indicator of health’ illustrated perceptions regarding how GWG impacted health and the utility of guidelines. Finally, ‘Control in pregnancy’ described the sense of agency over one’s body and health. Conclusions for Practice Our results showed that health-related behaviours in pregnancy are driven by personal health schemas which are often discordant with clinical evidence. Interventions and health care provider advice aimed at behaviour modification would benefit from first understanding and addressing these schemas. Tackling the conflict between beliefs and behaviour may improve health outcomes associated with appropriate weight gain in pregnancy.
 
Objectives Traditional postpartum care practices in East Asia have been recognized as non-functional by some government public health agencies. This study examined the perception of traditional postpartum care practice among families of Korean descent in the United States. In addition to pragmatic health care issues, the research was designed to contribute to cross-cultural understanding of hot–cold theory of reproductive behavior. Methods A descriptive survey study and follow-up interviews were conducted among women of Korean descent living in the United States (n = 141). A questionnaire was used to explore the variation in women’s beliefs about traditional postpartum care and the extent to which they or their relatives practiced this care. In the follow-up interview, the participants freely described the different ways of postpartum care practice. Results Compared to women from other Asian and immigrant populations, women of Korean descent maintained similar or higher rates of believing the functionality of temperature maintenance care practice, and believed that the associated forms of traditional care will continue in the future. Conclusions for Practice Traditional postpartum care practices are broadly shared and practiced in Asian immigrant populations, even in highly industrialized and modernized settings. Furthermore, from their own experience of somatic pain and its functionality, women called for better implementation of traditional care as an alternative or supplement to modern medical care. Health-care systems need to improve understanding and accommodation of cultural beliefs about possible benefits of temperature maintenance after childbirth in Asian ethnic populations.
 
Low birth rate at term by socio-economic regional index
Change in mean BW between the last and the first birth during the study period by change in family income
Odds Ratio and 95% CI of LBW, result of GEE models
Objectives To explore the influence of income on Low Birth Weight (LBW), taking into account other socio-economic measurements. Methods This retrospective cohort study is based on the Israel National Insurance Institute (NII) database. The study population included 58,454 women who gave birth between 2008 and 2013 to 85,605 infants. Only singleton births at term (gestational age in weeks = 37 and later) were included. Logistic regression models with a Generalized Estimating Equation approach were used in order to assess the independent effect of income and Socio-Economic Regional Index (SERI), maternal age, family status, population group and occupational status on LBW. In addition, sibling analysis was conducted to assess the influence of a change in income on birth weight (BW) among 21,998 women. Results Lower income was associated with higher odds of LBW (odds ratio (OR) = 1.266; 95% CI:1.115–1.437. Immigrants from Ethiopia, Bedouins from the Negev, the youngest, the oldest, and single mothers had higher odds for LBW newborns. Compared to women whose income quartile had not changed between the most recent and the first births, for women who experienced a deterioration of three and two quartiles in family income, significantly lower birth weight was observed at the time point with lower income: 103 g (p = .049) and 71 g (p = .008), respectively. Improvement in income revealed an almost linear increase in birth weight. Conclusions for Practice In an effort to prevent LBW associated mortality and diseases, interventions should be focused first of all on women from population groups who are disadvantaged.
 
PRISMA flowchart of review search
Forest plot for the meta-analysis
Funnel plot after adjusting for publication bias using trim and fill analysis
Background Evidence indicates that a significant proportion of women drink alcohol during pregnancy. Studies have also suggested that prenatal alcohol consumption was associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to systematically summarize the available evidence on the epidemiology of alcohol consumption among pregnant women in Ethiopia and suggest evidence based recommendations for future clinical practice. Methods This systematic review and meta-analysis was followed the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, SCOPUS and EMBASE databases were searched to identify relevant articles that assessed alcohol consumption among pregnant women in Ethiopia. The Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software version 3.0 was used to conduct a meta-analysis using the random-effect model. Cochran’s Q- and I²-tests were used to assess the heterogeneity of the included studies. Results A total of 6361 pregnant women from fifteen primary studies were included in the final analysis. The pooled prevalence estimate of alcohol consumption among pregnant women in Ethiopia was found to be 14.1%. The pooled prevalence of alcohol consumption among pregnant women in Ethiopia was reported to be lower in the studies that used the standardized alcohol consumption assessment tools (9.4%) when compared to the studies that did not use standardized tools (17%). The pooled prevalence of alcohol consumption among pregnant women ranged between 12.8% and 15.5% in leave-one-out sensitivity analysis. Conclusion A considerable number of women in Ethiopia consume alcohol during pregnancy. Therefore, early identification and intervention strategies are highly recommended.
 
Study independent and dependent variables. Brazil, 2002–2014. aGDP Gross domestic product. bACS Community Health Workers. cESF Family Health Strategy. dUBS Primary Health Care facilities
Late neonatal mortality coefficient development trend over time, by region, Brazil, 2000–2015
Efficiency of economic and demographic factors, coverage and service demand, and structure and work process of Primary Care. Brazil, 2002–2014. Overall 2002 Overall 2014. aLNM Late Neonatal Mortality
Objective To analyze the effect and efficiency of the characteristics of PHC facilities’ structures and the work process of PHC teams on late neonatal mortality (LNM). Methods This ecological time-series study adopted 3.764 Brazilian municipalities as analysis units. The independent variables were sorted into three hierarchical levels and four blocks. The distal level consisted of economic and demographic variables; the intermediate level comprised health coverage and demand for services; and the proximal level included structure and work process. The dependent variable was LNM. A linear mixed-effects regression analysis with a hierarchical approach was performed, estimating the crude (β) and adjusted (alpha = 5%) regression coefficients. Data involution analysis and municipalities were the decision-making unit according to their strata. Results LNM was directly associated with the number of live births and unemployment rate. LNM was inversely associated with the year, per capita income, the community health worker’s strategy coverage, vaginal delivery, household visits, and available vaccines. In the 2002–2014 period, the number of municipalities efficient in reducing LNM dropped from 38 to 27. In 2014, a more significant investment occurred in the number of vaginal deliveries in almost all strata to make inefficient municipalities efficient. Conclusion for Practice The deaths of children aged 7–28 days are affected by the characteristics of the PHC structure and work process.
 
Flow diagram of the studies included in the review of lactating women under-nutrition in Ethiopia, 2021
The pooled prevalence of under-nutrition among lactating mothers in Ethiopia, 2021
Funnel plot to assess publication bias for lactating mother’s under-nutrition in Ethiopia, 2021
Association between maternal education status and under-nutrition among lactating mothers in Ethiopia, 2021
Association between household food insecurity and under-nutrition among lactating mothers in Ethiopia, 2021
IntroductionUnder-nutrition (body mass index < 18.5 kg/m2) is a global problem with an increasing trend in recent years. The burden is high in low and middle-income countries, especially in Africa. Lactating mothers are among the most vulnerable groups for under nutrition; particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, the prevalence of under-nutrition among this group is inconsistent and inconclusive. Therefore, we aimed to assess the pooled prevalence of under-nutrition and its associated factors among lactating mothers in Ethiopia.Methods To write this review and meta-analysis, we followed the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis guidelines. Primary articles were searched from PubMed, Hinari, Cochrane Library, science direct databases, Google, and Google scholar. STATA version 16 software and a standardized Microsoft excel format were used for analysis and data extraction, respectively. Heterogeneity between studies was checked. To determine the pooled prevalence of under-nutrition, we used a random-effect model. Begg’s and Egger’s tests were done to detect publication bias. Subgroup analysis was also steered and association was uttered by a pooled odds ratio with 95% CI.ResultsThe pooled prevalence of under-nutrition among lactating mothers was 23.84% [95% CI (19.40, 28.27)]. Educational status (no formal education) {Pooled OR 2.30 [95% CI (1.34, 3.96)]} was significantly associated with under-nutrition.Conclusion The pooled prevalence of under-nutrition was high. Maternal educational status was significantly associated with under-nutrition. Therefore, the federal ministry of health and the concerned stakeholders should give attention to these most vulnerable groups and strengthen the implementation of the previously designed strategies.
 
IntroductionDespite significant improvements in recent years, maternal and neonatal health outcomes remain poor in many regions of the world. One such area is in the remote mountainous regions of Nepal. The purpose of this study is to describe the current antenatal care practices and delivery support in a mountainous district of Nepal.Methods This study took place in Solukhumbu District between December 2015 and February 2018. A household survey was created using evidence-based maternal and neonatal care indicators. Women who had delivered within the previous two years were surveyed regarding antenatal and delivery care they received. A standardized health facility survey was used to evaluate the operational status of health facilities. The study was approved by the Nepal Ministry of Health and the University of Utah IRB.ResultsA total of 487 households and 19 facilities were surveyed. 35.7% (174/487) of deliveries occurred in a health facility (hospital, primary health care center or birthing center). 35.2% (171/486) of deliveries were attended by a skilled birth attendant. 52.8% (47/89) of women who did not deliver in a facility noted that transportation issues and not having sufficient time to travel during labor prevented them from delivering in a facility. No health posts had staff trained in obstetric and neonatal emergencies.DiscussionThe majority of women in Solukhumbu District do not receive high quality antenatal and delivery care. An intervention that would make antenatal care and delivery support more accessible could improve maternal and infant outcomes in this district and other similar regions.
 
Background Early childhood represents a sensitive developmental period when trauma-informed care may mitigate the effects of trauma on developmental and health outcomes. However, few interventions use a low-literacy scalable approach to improve child trauma knowledge and attitudes among parents and early childcare and education caregivers. Methods Representatives from 24 early head start (EHS) and head start (HS) agencies attended a 2 day online train-the trainer session and then delivered a child trauma and resilience training to staff at their sites, with the option to deliver a similar training to parents. Baseline and 3 month post-training surveys assessed participant knowledge and attitudes regarding childhood trauma and resilience. Paired T-tests and chi2 analyses assessed changes in responses over time. Results Thousand five hundred sixty seven staff from 24 agencies and 443 parents from 7 agencies completed baseline and follow up surveys. Over 55% of parents reported their child had experienced at least one adverse childhood experience. Staff and parents had high knowledge regarding causes of trauma at baseline. Both staff and parents, demonstrated significant improvements in identifying symptoms of child trauma. Staff also improved knowledge of resiliency and toxic stress. Parents reported more positive attitudes towards trauma-informed parenting practices. Conclusion This is the first training on childhood trauma among EHS/HS providers and parents using a low literacy train-the-trainer approach. Results suggest a potentially promising methodology with broad dissemination potential to prepare and train the one million plus teachers and caregivers in center-based settings and the parents and families who access them to recognize and respond to child trauma.
 
Rates of PPH over the years
Between 1988 and 2014 the incidence of PPH gradually increased from 0.5% in 1988 to 0.6% in 2014, with a peak of 0.8% in 2006–2010
trends of change of odds ratios of independent risk factors for PPH found along the time-period
Radar chart analysis was used to elucidate the trends in the ORs for independent risk factors for PPH along the study period
Objective Postpartum hemorrhage is an obstetric emergency with a rising incidence. The aim of this study was to identify trends in the specific contribution of various risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage by observing their odds ratios throughout different time periods. Study design In this population-based retrospective cohort study trends of change in odds ratios for known risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage occurring in three consecutive eight-year intervals between 1988 and 2014 were compared. Two multivariable logistic regression models were used in order to identify independent risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage in our population. Trends of various risk factors were compared along the time period of the study. Results The incidence of postpartum hemorrhage increased from 0.5% to 1988 to 0.6%. Using logistic regression models, preeclampsia, vacuum extraction delivery, retained placenta, perineal or vaginal tears and delivery of a large for gestational age neonate were recognized as independent risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage. While the odds ratios for perineal or vaginal tears significantly increased, odds ratios for delivery of a large for gestational age neonate significantly decreased. Odds ratios for the other risk factors did not change significantly. Conclusion In our study, not only did the rates of statistically significant risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage change during the study period, the specific contribution of each risk factor changed as well. Having a better understanding of these trends might augment our ability to predict this grave obstetric complication and improve maternal outcomes in the future.
 
IntroductionTo improve services and assure predictable costs of care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN), state Title V and Medicaid programs are cooperating to reconceive care systems including contracting arrangements with managed care organizations (MCOs). This article describes how a consensus-based framework, the National Standards for Systems of Care for CYSHCN, influenced the redesign of two state Medicaid managed care programs: a statewide managed care plan for children with medical complexity in Florida and a regional accountable care program serving children and adults in Colorado.Methods Data are drawn from a recent evaluation of the National Standards, which define the core components of a comprehensive, coordinated, and family-centered system of care for CYSHCN. The authors synthesized insights from documents and semi-structured interviews with national and state stakeholders.ResultsThe states used the National Standards in different ways. Florida translated the Standards into contract provisions and holds its MCO accountable to performance targets specific to CYSHCN. In Colorado, the Standards had an indirect influence on contract provisions with regional accountable entities (RAEs) and the state’s oversight of EPSDT, which helps ensure that RAEs meet their obligations to CYSHCN. Managed care leaders viewed the Standards as an impetus to sharpen quality improvement and foster whole-person care.DiscussionThe National Standards offer a flexible framework to help states design Medicaid managed care programs and improve systems of care for CYSHCN. States can learn from one another’s experiences applying the Standards in the context of their policy environments.
 
Introduction: Mental health conditions are a leading comorbidity of pregnancy, but little is known about the use of emergency departments (EDs) for mental health-related care during pregnancy. This study aims to describe both the characteristics of pregnant women who receive mental health-related care in hospital EDs in the United States and the most common mental health diagnoses, types of medications, and mental health services that these women receive. Methods: Pooled, cross-sectional data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (2016-2019) were used. Pregnant patients were identified based on diagnosis and reason for visit codes. Weighted descriptive analyses were performed to describe characteristics of pregnant women, services offered, and medications received for mental health-related visits. Results: Mental health-related visits comprised 6.2% of all ED visits during pregnancy. History of depression was significantly higher in pregnant patients with mental health-related visits compared to those pregnant patients presenting for other reasons. The most common diagnoses for pregnant patients with mental health-related visits were substance use disorders (30.7%), anxiety-related disorders (19.1%), and depressive disorders (14.6%). Anxiolytics and antidepressants were the most common pharmacotherapies given. Few women saw a mental health provider during their visit (6.7%), while most were referred to an outside clinic for follow-up (55.0%). Discussion: Many pregnant women seek care from EDs for mental health-related reasons. It remains important to train health care professionals who treat pregnant women in EDs how to deliver effective treatments, particularly for substance use disorders and anxiety. Significance: Many pregnant patients receive care in emergency departments during pregnancy. Despite mental health conditions being a leading comorbidity of pregnancy, little is known about the use of emergency departments for mental health-related reasons during pregnancy. This study is the first to analyze a representative sample of emergency department visits by pregnant women in the United States between 2016 and 2019 and report on mental health-related visits. Among pregnant women seen in the ED for mental health-related reasons, the most common diagnoses were substance use disorders, anxiety-related disorders, and depressive disorders, but few saw a mental health provider during their visit.
 
First-destination public health graduate outcomes (MCH practitioners vs. national). Source: Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Notes: Charts represent the proportion of known graduate outcomes among n = 37,041 public health graduates for graduating years 2016–2020 that are employed full-time. Employment data are collected up to one-year post-graduation (i.e., reporting years 2017–2021)
Introduction Maternal and child health (MCH) services are critical for vulnerable populations. Workforce shortages, poor retention, and gaps in necessary trainings impede the capacity of public health systems to address needs. This manuscript characterizes the current MCH workforce, MCH program applicants and graduates, and describe findings within a national context to devise elements of a recruitment and retention strategy. Methods Data were obtained for public health program applicants, first-destination employment outcomes, and worker perceptions and demographics. Data were stratified according to the MCH and total public health workforce and by local, state, and national totals. Data were characterized by degree type, discipline, demographics, and employment outcomes. Results MCH staff constitute 11% of the state and local governmental public health workforce. MCH staff are approximately as diverse, have higher educational attainment, and are more likely to hold nursing degrees than the rest of the public health workforce. Yet, just 14% of MCH staff hold any type of public health degree. The MCH pipeline from academia appears modestly sized, with approximately 5% of applicants between 2017 and 2021 applying to a MCH master’s degree. Discussion The MCH workforce has a lower proportion of formal training or degrees in public health, though trends seem to indicate improvements. However, it is critical that a multi-faceted recruitment and retention strategy be coordinated by a broad range of stakeholders. These efforts will serve to improve the capability and capacity of the public health system to address critical needs of increasingly diverse MCH populations. Significance In order to modernize and reimagine the academic-public health pipeline, it is critical to better understand how many applicants and graduates exist within Maternal and Child Health programs across the US, and their characteristics. This manuscript connects that information with the most recently available public health workforce information on demographics, workplace perceptions, and intent to leave among staff at state and local health departments. Data presented in this paper allow the most comprehensive characterization of the MCH academia->practice pipeline to-date, identifies a fundamental disconnect in those career pathways, and offers options to repair that break.
 
This study aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 stress and anxiety on prenatal attachment during the second trimester of gestation. Pregnancy is an important stage for mothers-to-be in creating representations of themselves as a “mother”, with the developing attachment relationship to the unborn child considered as a milestone in the future parent’s developmental trajectory. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national health measures installed can hence have consequences on these representations and on prenatal attachment. Our sample consisted of 95 mothers that were recruited from a prenatal ultrasound screening center. Results suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected prenatal attachment (PAI) with significant correlations between PAI total score and age, anxiety (DASS) and stress (IES-R). When entered in one model looking for predictors of PAI total score, age and COVID-19 stress were the only variables found to significantly predict prenatal attachment. We argue for a cultural component in explaining these results, hypothesizing that stress could trigger defensive strategies, leading to more investment in the attachment relationship, potentially playing the role of a protective factor.
 
Flowchart of patients included in the study
Oxidative profile markers across the three trimesters by pregnancy complication status. Plasma TBARS NC, Erythrocytes TBARS NC, Erythrocytes TBARS C, NOx NC and NOx C were analyzed by Kruskal–Wallis and represented as median with interquartile range. Plasma TBARS C was analyzed by ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test and represented as mean with standard deviation. *Values of p < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. A and B TBARS levels in plasma; C and D TBARS levels in erythrocytes; E and F dosage of nitric oxide; NC not complicated, C complicated, TBARS thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, NOx nitric oxide
Antioxidant profile markers across the three trimesters by pregnancy complication status. P-SH NC, NP-SH C, Vitamin C NC, FRAP NC, FRAP C, TAC NC and TAC C were analyzed by Kruskal–Wallis and represented as median with interquartile range. P-SH C, NP-SH NC and Vitamin C C were analyzed by ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test and represented as mean with standard deviation. *Values of p < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. A and B thiol groups in plasma; C and D non-protein thiol groups in erythrocytes; E and F Vitamin C in plasma; G and H evaluation of ferric reducing ability of plasma; I and J evaluation of the total antioxidant capacity; FRAP ferric reducing ability of plasma, P-SH protein thiol groups, NP-SH non-protein thiol groups, TAC total antioxidant capacity, NC not complicated, C complicated
Enzymatic activity across the three trimesters by pregnancy complication status. The data were determined by ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test and represented as mean with standard deviation. *Values of p < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. A and B activity of the enzyme catalase; C and D δ-ALA-D activity; E and F: δ-ALA-D activity with DTT, G and H reactivation index of δ-ALA–D enzyme; δ-ALA-D delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase enzyme, DTT dithiothreitol, NC not complicated, C complicated
Introduction Oxidative stress is closely related to the pathophysiology of gestation, where the placenta is susceptible to oxidative damage, contributing to the onset of gestational complications. Currently, few studies evaluate the use of oxidative markers for prediction of risk of gestational complications. However, there are some reports that suggest these biomarkers as potential prognostic biomarkers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the biomarkers of oxidative stress from gestations with and without complications, and also evaluate the delta of variation in these markers from the first gestational trimester. Material and Methods A total of 45 pregnant women were evaluated during the three gestational trimesters, of whom 15 developed gestational complications by the end of gestation. The evaluated oxidative damage markers were thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and nitric oxide dosage. Evaluation of the antioxidant system was performed by the quantification of vitamin C, sulfhydryl groups, total antioxidant capacity, plasmatic iron reduction ability, the evaluation of catalase and delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase enzymatic activity. Results According to the results, the markers of oxidative damage are increased, and the antioxidant profile decreased, in the third trimester of complicated pregnancies as compared to uncomplicated pregnancies. Moreover, the delta of variation in both oxidative damage markers and antioxidants was higher in complicated gestations as compared to uncomplicated gestations, thus suggesting a higher oxidative stress in pregnancies with complications. Conclusions Oxidative stress parameters appear altered in pregnant women with gestational complications. The markers to oxidative stress can be possible biomarkers, helping in understanding mechanisms underlying the associations between complications during pregnancy and various health outcomes.
 
Objectives Worry and loneliness looms large in American schools, especially in the social years of early adolescence where friendships are in flux and children strive to fit in and do well academically. We examine a nationally-representative sample of American 5th graders to document the extent of academic worry and loneliness, its costs for academic performance, and how social class can disrupt or exacerbate its associations. Methods Based on a nationally representative longitudinal survey (ECLS-K 2010–2011) of childhood (N = 5750), we examine if a child’s self-reported worry and loneliness are associated with standardized math and reading scores using OLS regression. We explore whether these associations vary by socioeconomic status. Results We find that academic worry is a strong predictor of math and reading skill. The association is amplified for disadvantaged students. Patterns hold when accounting for a host of other factors and are replicated in the ECLS-K 1998–1999. Loneliness and its association with math and reading performance was not statistically significant. Conclusions for Practice As academic worry is negatively associated with standardized math and reading skills, practitioners can be especially attuned to how these patterns are amplified for children in low socioeconomic households. Utilizing a nationally representative survey of early adolescence, we show that worry (and less so loneliness) is associated with math and reading skills and that these associations are moderated by socioeconomic status—disadvantaged students have a higher negative association with math and reading performance when they worry about their academic performance compared to advantaged students.
 
Flowchart of recruitment, participation and follow-up of study participants
Comparison of milk intake by gender and employment status
Z-score change in anthropometry for Rural and Urban infants from birth to 6 weeks by feeding group
Variation of Anthropometry z-score with breastmilk intake at 6 weeks adjusting for birth anthropometry
Introduction The 2030 health agenda for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals promote exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first 6 months of life as a central step towards ensuring the survival of infants. As Jamaica attempts to achieve this goal, monitoring the rates of EBF is desirable. Currently, EBF rate is measured by questionnaires which are subject to recall and social desirability biases. We determined the rate of EBF using the Deuterium-oxide dose-to-mother (DTM) method and 24-h recall. The concordance of both methods and urban–rural differences of EBF were evaluated. Additionally, the growth of infants who were exclusively breastfed was compared to the infants who were mixed-fed. Methods Sixty-one healthy mother–child pairs were followed from birth. EBF was measured at 6 weeks. Growth was determined using standard anthropometric measurements. Differences in means were assessed by independent t-test or ANOVA. The agreement between the DTM and 24-h recall method was assessed with the kappa statistic. Differences in anthropometry and location were determined using a repeated measure model approach. Results Thirty (49%) women exclusively breastfed their infants with mean breast milk intake of 1024.3 ± 256.9 g/day. There was moderate agreement between the methods (Agreement 69%, kappa 0.37, p = 0.002). Rural women (65%) were more likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding. There was no significant difference between the growth of the exclusively breastfed infant and mixed-fed infants. Conclusion EBF rate was successfully measured using the DTM method. Women from urban settings are less likely to practice EBF. Further research may be needed to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors affecting breastfeeding practices in urban Jamaica.
 
Objectives High quality early childhood education and childcare programs, such as Early Head Start and Head Start (EHS/HS), play a critical role in early childhood development, learning, and quality of life. This study was designed to determine barriers to applying and enrolling in EHS/HS in an urban community and the potential role of the medical home in overcoming these barriers. Methods Four 90-minute focus groups were conducted with 41 various stakeholders, including EHS/HS coordinators, personnel from early childhood policy organizations, medical personnel, and families who have previously applied to EHS/HS. Participants were recruited from an academic clinic and early childhood organizations in Chicago. Researchers transcribed the focus groups and independently analyzed data using open and focused coding to identify common themes. Results Results demonstrate that medical personnel and families have a limited understanding of EHS/HS as a resource. Participants describe a multitude of difficulties navigating the EHS/HS application, misalignment of requirements and poor communication between EHS/HS programs and the medical home. Conclusions for Practice Multiple barriers exist for families enrolling children into EHS/HS. We recommend several interventions based in the medical home that may improve the enrollment process, allowing more eligible families to access high-quality early childhood services, such as EHS/HS.
 
Top-cited authors
Neal Halfon
  • University of California, Los Angeles
Karen A Kuhlthau
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
Amy J Houtrow
  • University of Pittsburgh
John M Neff
  • University of Washington Seattle
Jeffrey M Simmons
  • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center