Maternal and child health has a long tradition in Europe, going back to the turn of the century when it was already becoming clear in several parts of Europe that to decrease infant mortality rates and maternal death it was necessary to add to sanitation more direct services reaching the mother in her home and educating her in baby care and nutrition as well as hygiene. Health progress in this field was more than consolidated with the advent of modern medicine and antibiotics.
AIM: To study morbidity during the first month of life affecting infants of mothers booked for birth centre care during pregnancy. METHODS: 3238 live single-born infants whose mothers were admitted to an in-hospital birth centre, located at South Hospital in Stockholm, between 1989 and 2000 were compared with 179,502 infants whose mothers received standard maternity care in the Stockholm region during the same period, and who fulfilled the same medical inclusion criteria as those of the birth centre group. Information on other exposures and outcomes was collected from the Swedish Medical Birth and Hospital Discharge Registers. Logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR), using 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: Compared with infants born in standard care, infants in the birth centre group had a higher risk of respiratory problems (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.14-1.69), a difference correlated to less serious respiratory diagnoses. However, the difference was not statistically significant if the birth centre group was compared only with infants born in standard care at South Hospital (OR 1.18; 95% CI 0.94-1.47). Birth centre care was associated with a lower risk of fractures (OR 0.40; 95% CI 0.25-0.63). CONCLUSION: Birth centre care was not associated with severe infant morbidity and even appeared to reduce the risk of birth trauma, such as clavicle and other fractures.
OBJECTIVE: The Maternity Experiences Survey (MES) is an initiative of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System. Its primary objective is to provide representative, pan-Canadian data on women's experiences during pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum period. METHODS: The development of the survey involved input from a multidisciplinary study group, an extensive consultation process and two pilot studies. TheMES population consisted of birth mothers 15 years of age and over who had a singleton live birth in Canada during a three-month period preceding the 2006 Canadian Census of Population and who lived with their infants at the time of data collection. Experiences of teenage, immigrant, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis mothers were of particular interest. The sample was drawn from the 2006 Canadian Census. A 45-minute interview was conducted at five to 14 months postpartum, primarily by telephone by female professional Statistics Canada interviewers. RESULTS: A response rate of 78% was achieved, corresponding to 6421 women who were weighted to represent an estimated 76508 women. The cooperation rate was 92% and the refusal rate was 1.0%. Item non-response was low, and few data errors were identified. The final MES sample was judged to be representative of the corresponding Census population for all characteristics investigated. CONCLUSION: The MES marks an important milestone in the availability of information on maternity experiences in Canada. For the first time, it is possible to provide high quality data at national, provincial, and territorial levels on a wide spectrum of maternity experiences as reported by women.