Effects of Maternal Antenatal Performance on Newborn Care Practices and Birth Weight of Infants in the Bawku West District, Ghana

Download Article

DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art046

Authors : Benjamin Aggrey


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


[1.] Abhulimhen-Iyoha BI, Ibadin MO (2012). Determinants of cord care practices among mothers in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract. 2012 Apr-Jun;15(2):210-3. doi: 10.4103/1119-3077.97320. PubMed PMID: 22718175.

[2.] Barnett S, Azad K, Barua S, Mridha M, Abrar M, Rego A, Khan A, Flatman D, Costello A. (2006) Maternal and newborn-care practices during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period: a comparison in three rural districts in Bangladesh. J Health Popul Nutr. 2006 Dec;24(4):394-402. PubMed PMID: 17591336; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3001143.

[3.] Bawku West District Annual Health Report (2014). Annual Health Report of the Bawku West District Health Directorate.

[4.] Bergstrom A, Byaruhanga R, Okong P. (2005). The impact of newborn bathing on the prevalence of neonatal hypothermia in Uganda: a randomized, controlled trial. Acta Paediatr 2005, 94(10):1462–1467.

[5.] Dey I. (1993). Qualitative Data Analysis. Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE 1993, 285 pp, ISBN 0-415-05851-1 (hbk). Dec. 2008

[6.] Gary LD, Bhutta ZA, Cousens S, Taghreed A, Neff Walker, Luc de Bernis, Team ftLNSS (2005). Evidence-based, cost-effective interventions: how many newborn babies can we save? Lancet 2005, 365:977–988

[7.] Ghana Statistical Service (2011). Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey with an Enhanced Malaria Module and Biomarker, 2011, Final Report. Accra, Ghana.

[8.] Gilani I, Kayani ZA (2014). Household practices of mothers regarding neonatal care in rural & urban settings of the capital district of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Rural Remote Health. 2014;14:2503. Epub 2014 Apr 5. PubMed PMID: 24702463

[9.] Hall, Carl T. (2002). "Study speeds up biological clocks / Fertility rates dip after women hit 27". The San Francisco Chronicle..

[10.] Lawn, J. M. Brian, and R. R. Susan (2001). The Healthy Newborn: A Reference Manual for Program Managers, CARE-CDC Health Initiative Atlanta, 2001.

[11.] Mahama, S. Mariam I. (2014). Patterns and Determinants of Essential Newborn Care Practices in Rural Areas of Northern Ghana. Hindawi Publishing Corporation International Journal of Population Research Volume 2014, Article ID 404387, 10 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/404387

[12.] Mangwi Ayiasi R, Kasasa S, Criel B, Garimoi Orach C, Kolsteren P. (2014). Is antenatal care preparing mothers to care for their newborns? A community-based cross-sectional study among lactating women in Masindi, Uganda. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2014 Mar 25;14:114. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-14-114. PubMed PMID: 24667001; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3987096.

[13.] Marah A. (2011). Assessing Household Practices That Influence Neonatal Survival in the Asante-Akim North District of Ashanti Region-Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, 2011.

[14.] Neupane S, Nwaru BI (2014). Impact of prenatal care utilization on infant care practices in Nepal: a national representative cross-sectional survey. Eur J Pediatr. 2014 Jan;173(1):99-109. doi: 10.1007/s00431-013-2136-y. Epub 2013 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 23942747

[15.] Under-Five Child Health Policy (2007-2015). Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana