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J Health Popul Nutr. 2012 Jun;30(2):213-25.

Early postpartum maternal morbidity among rural women of Rajasthan, India: a community-based study.

Author information

  • Action Research and Training for Health (ARTH), Udaipur, India. kirtiiyengar@gmail.com

Abstract

The first postpartum week is a high-risk period for mothers and newborns. Very few community-based studies have been conducted on patterns of maternal morbidity in resource-poor countries in that first week. An intervention on postpartum care for women within the first week after delivery was initiated in a rural area of Rajasthan, India. The intervention included a rigorous system of receiving reports of all deliveries in a defined population and providing home-level postpartum care to all women, irrespective of the place of delivery. Trained nurse-midwives used a structured checklist for detecting and managing maternal and neonatal conditions during postpartum-care visits. A total of 4,975 women, representing 87.1% of all expected deliveries in a population of 58,000, were examined in their first postpartum week during January 2007-December 2010. Haemoglobin was tested for 77.1% of women (n=3,836) who had a postnatal visit. The most common morbidity was postpartum anaemia--7.4% of women suffered from severe anaemia and 46% from moderate anaemia. Other common morbidities were fever (4%), breast conditions (4.9%), and perineal conditions (4.5%). Life-threatening postpartum morbidities were detected in 7.6% of women--9.7% among those who had deliveries at home and 6.6% among those who had institutional deliveries. None had a fistula. Severe anaemia had a strong correlation with perinatal death [p<0.000, adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32-2.99], delivery at home [p<0.000, AOR=1.64 (95% CI 1.27-2.15)], socioeconomically-underprivileged scheduled caste or tribe [p<0.000, AOR=2.47 (95% CI 1.83-3.33)], and parity of three or more [p<0.000, AOR=1.52 (95% CI 1.18-1.97)]. The correlation with antenatal care was not significant. Perineal conditions were more frequent among women who had institutional deliveries while breast conditions were more common among those who had a perinatal death. This study adds valuable knowledge on postpartum morbidity affecting women in the first few days after delivery in a low-resource setting. Health programmes should invest to ensure that all women receive early postpartum visits after delivery at home and after discharge from institution to detect and manage maternal morbidity. Further, health programmes should also ensure that women are properly screened for complications before their discharge from hospitals after delivery.

PMID:
22838163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3397332
Free PMC Article

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