Deficiency of folic acid increases the risk for neural tube defects among newborn children and megaloblastic anaemia in the mother. The aim of this study was to make a survey of how midwives working in maternity health care, family planning guidance, and specialist prenatal care in a Swedish county inform women of childbearing age about folic acid. The questionnaire study showed that 79% of the midwives informed the women about folic acid. Usually, the women received information first when they asked for it and midwifes were less prone to inform young women about folic acid. 87% of the midwives felt that they did not know enough about folic acid. CONCLUSIONS: Midwives play an important role in information about the need of folic acid intake for women in childbearing age. Changes in local routines, guidelines and further education of midwifes would subsequently provide information about the importance of folic acid to women in childbearing age.
Children of drug-addicted mothers are at an increased risk of premature birth, neonatal complications, developmental delay, understimulation, deprivation, neglect, abuse and even premature death. Research results from four Danish centres are presented and discussed. The material covers the period from 1970-1983. The studies clearly show a need for more coordinated support and services for these families and their children in order to prevent a new generation of 'social losers'.
INTRODUCTION: Postnatal care of the healthy term newborn and the mother has, in modern times, taken place in the hospital setting. As a result of tightened hospital budgets as well as maternal preferences the duration of hospital stay has successively been shortened. Most women in Scandinavia today leave the hospital within four days after delivery. Postnatal care in a hotel like setting has emerged as an alternative to the well-baby nursery unless medical conditions makes this option inappropriate. MATERIAL AND METHODS: To evaluate the safety of postnatal care a study was undertaken to investigate whether correct criteria were being used for referral of the newborn to the hotel. We also wanted to document the duration of stay, unexpected medical complications, and weight development of the infants. Data from 865 infants were used for analysis. RESULTS: Ten (1.1%) newborns had to be readmitted to the hospital due to medical complications. 488 (56%) of the mothers went home within 96 hours, and only 23 (2.6%) stayed more than 120 hours. The weight of the infants reached a nadir on the fourth day post partum (-5.2% of birth weight). INTERPRETATION: The patient hotel is a medically safe alternative to the traditional well-baby nursery, provided that appropriate criteria for referral are used.