The Prevalence, Determinants and Outcome of Women with Unitended Pregnancies Delivering at the University Teaching Hospital

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Zyambo, Mutumbi
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Pregnancy intention at the time of conception has an impact on the wellbeing and health of the mother and newborn. A hospital-based study was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka to estimate the proportion of unplanned or unintended pregnancy among mothers who delivered at the referral hospital and to analyze their socio-demographic pattern and delivery outcomes. The study aimed to establish the prevalence, determinants and outcomes of women with unintended pregnancies. Methods Postpartum women (from delivery up to 48 hours) were systematically sampled and interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Mothers were asked whether the index pregnancy was unplanned or unintended or planned. The association between pregnancy intention and the determinants and outcomes of these pregnancies were analyzed using the SPSS version 11.Results A total of 290 were sampled. The prevalence of unintended pregnancies was 65% (n=290) of which 16.9% (n=49) were mistimed pregnancies and 47.9% (n=139) were unwanted. More of the women with unintended pregnancy were less than 19 years of age (34.2 vs. 9%), single (24.7 vs. 8%), and from high-density residential areas (72.1 vs. 53%). Of those with unintended pregnancies, 81.1% had not been on contraception. There was no significant difference in stillbirths, admission to neonatal intensive care or low birth weight. Conclusion Socio-demographic and economic status can influence a women’s pregnancy intention. Though this study did not show it, unintended pregnancies can affect a women’s health seeking behaviour and put her and her newborn child at increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
Pregnancy, labour and childbearing-Zambia