Socio-demographic characteristics and prenatal and childbirth care in southern Brazil

This study aimed to compare prenatal and childbirth care received by teenagers and older mothers in Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil. From January 1st to December 31st 2007, all mothers were interviewed with a standardized questionnaire on the care they received. The chi-square test was used to compare proportions between adolescent and non-adolescent mothers. One-fourth (516) of the infants were born to adolescent mothers. Compared to older mothers, teenagers showed lower rates of the following: completion of at least six prenatal visits (61% x 75%), initiation of prenatal care in the first trimester (58% x 77%), tetanus vaccination (81% x 85%), and completion of prenatal visits with the same health professional (70% x 78%). Meanwhile, teenage motherhood was associated with more: supplementation for iron deficiency (66% x 57%), use of forceps (11% x 6%), and episiotomy (86% x 66%). The findings show that teenage mothers received worse prenatal and childbirth care than older mothers.

Maternal and Child Health; Prenatal Care; Pregnancy; Adolescent

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