Low birthweght babies: Socio-demographic and obstetric characteristics of adolescent mothers at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi

  • A. Wasunna
  • K. Mohammed


Objective: To compare some socio-demographic and obstetric factors between adolescent mothers (aged below 20 years) and older mothers of low birthweight (birthweight <2000gm) babies.
Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.
Setting: The Newborn Unit of the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Results: Sixty nine adolescent mothers and 73 older mothers were studied. Adolescent mothers were more likely to be unmarried (p = 0.0001) have less formal education (p<0.0001) be unemployed and be primigravida (76.5% compared to 36% of older mothers). Although the obstetric factors of antenatal clinic attendance, premature rupture of the membranes, pre-eclamptic toxaemia, infections and interventronal delivery tended to be more frequent among the adolescent mothers, non of these differences were significant probably due to the small numbers of patients studied.
Conclusion: This study does suggest mothers of very low birthweight babies tend to have unfavourable socio-demographic and obstetric factors like being single parents having less formal education, being unemployed and having obstetric risks for poor pregnancy outcome.

(East African Medical Journal: 2002 79(10): 543-546)

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