Effect of prolonged birth spacing on maternal and perinatal outcome
AbstractBackground: Researchers have held varied opinions on the effect of prolonged birth spacing on maternal and perinatal outcome.
Objectives: To determine the reasons for prolonged birth spacing and to compare the maternal and perinatal outcome compared to shorter normal birth spacing.
Design: Comparative case - controlled study between January 1st, 2001 to December 31st, 2002.
Setting: Obstetric Unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile- Ife, Nigeria.
Subjects: Fifty cases consisted of multiparae with prolonged birth spacing (³6 years) and controls consists of similar number of multiparae with shorter normal birth spacing (2 - 5 years) matched for age, parity and socio-economic status.
Main Outcome Measures: Labour outcome, Apgar scores, operative and vaginal delivery rates, perinatal and maternal outcome, reasons for prolonged birth spacing.
Results: There was no significant difference observed with respect to spontaneous onset of labour, induction or argumentation of labour, duration of labour, spontaneous vaginal delivery rates, Caesarean section rates, instrumental vaginal deliveries, analgesic requirement, postpartum haemorrhage, and Apgar scores in both groups. There were no perinatal or maternal deaths. The commonest reason adduced for prolonged birth spacing is failed contraception (56%), followed by secondary infertility (24%) and to a lesser extent re-marriage, improved income and sheer desire.
Conclusion: There was no significant difference in maternal and perinatal outcome in pregnancy between women with prolonged birth spacing and those with normal shorter birth spacing.
East African Medical Journal Vol.81(8) 2004: 388-391