Effects of Maternal Antenatal Performance on Newborn Care Practices and Birth Weight of Infants in the Bawku West District, Ghana
BACKGROUND: Even though the Ghana Community-based
Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative for scaling up service delivery
is in place, the level of neonatal mortality remains high. OBJECTIVES: This
study was designed to understand the current maternal antenatal performance and
its effects on the birth weight of infants and selected new born care
practices: Early initiation of breast-feeding; pre-lacteal feeding; Bathing of
newborn after birth; Cord care; and Giving of water. METHODS: This
community-based cross sectional survey combines both qualitative and
quantitative data collection on a sample of 240 mothers and their babies; who
were delivered in the community. RESULTS:
A total of 81.7% (196) of the women begun seeking Antenatal Care (ANC) during
the first trimester of pregnancy and 91.7% (220) attended ANC sessions four or
more times. Application of inappropriate substances to the umbilical cord was
79.2% (190). Most women, 96.3% (231), gave colostrum to their babies. Women who
gave birth to normal weight babies were about two times more likely to have
attended ANC as early as in the second trimester compared to women who did not
give birth to normal weight babies (OR=1.69, CI: 0.740--3.867); P=0.213.
Mothers who initiated ANC in the first trimester gave colostrum to their
newborn infants compared to those in the second and third trimesters (OR=6.28,
X2=13.44, P=0.037). CONCLUSION:
The study could not establish that early initiation of ANC in the first or
second trimesters and maternal age at first delivery was independent predictors
of the selected newborn care practices
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