Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Influence of Antenatal Care on the Haematocrit Value of Pregnant Nigerian Igbo Women

JI Brian-D Adinma, Joseph I Ikechebelu, UN Onyejimbe, G Amilo, Echendu Adinma


Context: Antenatal care is generally believed to influence the outcome of any pregnancy. Haematocrit values are important in the assessment of anaemia in pregnancy. A good antenatal care is expected to be associated with good haematocrit values, prevent anaemia in pregnancy, and result in an overall good pregnancy outcome.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy and the effect of antenatal care, especially iron and folate supplementation on the blood build-up in pregnancy.

Study Design, Setting and Subjects: Single arm clinical study of 186 consecutive booked pregnant women with singleton fetuses attending antenatal clinic at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi. The biosocial characteristics (age, parity and social class); gestational age at booking; and compliance with antenatal medication were obtained and analysed.

Results: At booking, 66(35.5%) of the women were anaemic, with haematocrit value being less than 30%. At the onset of labour, the number dropped to 32(17.2%) [p < 0.05] representing a 50% improvement in the proportion of anaemic women.

Conclusion: The results suggests that antenatal iron and folate supplementation and antenatal care in general promote blood build-up in the pregnant women, thereby reducing the incidence of anaemia before parturition.

Key Words: Antenatal Care, Haematinics, Iron, Folate, Anaemia.

[Trop J Obstet Gynaecol, 2002, 19: 68-70]

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