THE EFFECT OF UNINTENDED PREGNANCY ON MATERNAL AND NEONATAL OUTCOMES IN TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALS OF RAWALPINDI & ISLAMABAD: AN ANALYTICAL CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY

Main Article Content

Sundas Gul
Sadia Bibi
Sabiha Jamil
Nadia Khan Jawad
Syeda Seher Iqbal
Muhammad Wasil Rehman

Keywords

Family Planning, Maternal Outcomes, Neonatal Outcomes, Reproductive Health, Tertiary Care Hospitals, Unintended Pregnancy

Abstract

Background: Unintended pregnancies have been linked to adverse maternal and neonatal health outcomes, posing significant challenges to healthcare systems worldwide. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by investigating the association between unintended pregnancy and various health indicators among expectant women.


Methods: This analytical cross-sectional study recruited postpartum women from three tertiary care hospitals in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan, using convenience sampling. Inclusion criteria covered women in the postpartum period within five days, who delivered in specified hospitals, and of any age. Exclusion criteria excluded women with certain medical conditions, multiple pregnancies, or incomplete records. A total of 400 participants were planned for data collection using a structured questionnaire to assess pregnancy intention with the LMUP scale and gather maternal and neonatal outcomes data. Statistical analysis involved SPSS version 26, with descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests for comparison. Ethical approval and consent were obtained for the study.


Results: The study included 400 women with an average gestational age of 27 weeks. Of these, 162 (40.5%) reported unintended pregnancies, while 238 (59.5%) reported intended pregnancies. Only 69 (17%) of women reported actual contraceptive use, with low utilization rates for methods like oral contraceptives and condoms. Pregnancy intention was significantly associated with various maternal and neonatal health outcomes, including fetal distress, postpartum complications, prematurity, and neonatal resuscitation (p<0.05), emphasizing the impact of pregnancy planning on health outcomes.


Conclusion: Unintended pregnancies were associated with a range of adverse outcomes, including lower rates of prenatal care utilization, inadequate nutrition, increased risk of complications, and suboptimal birth outcomes. These findings stress the importance of tailored interventions to mitigate risks associated with unintended pregnancies, ultimately aiming to enhance the overall well-being of mothers and infants.

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