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Reassessing Pregnancy Intention and Its Relation to Maternal, Perinatal and Neonatal Outcomes in a Low-income Setting: a Cohort Study

Hall, JA; Barrett, G; Copas, A; Phiri, T; Malata, A; Stephenson, J; (2018) Reassessing Pregnancy Intention and Its Relation to Maternal, Perinatal and Neonatal Outcomes in a Low-income Setting: a Cohort Study. PLoS One , 13 (10) , Article e0205487. 10.1371/journal.pone.0205487. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether unintended pregnancies are associated with adverse outcomes. Data are predominantly from high-income countries and have methodological limitations, calling the findings into question. This research was designed to overcome these limitations and assess the relationships between pregnancy intention and miscarriage, stillbirth, low birthweight, neonatal death and postnatal depression in a low-income country. METHODS: The pregnancy intention of 4,244 pregnant women in Mchinji District, Malawi, was measured using the validated Chichewa version of the London Measure of Unplanned Pregnancy (LMUP). Women were re-interviewed postnatally to assess pregnancy outcome. Postnatal depression was assessed using the WHO's Self-Reporting Questionnaire. Multivariable regressions were conducted, with the choice of confounders informed by a pre-existing conceptual epidemiological hierarchy. RESULTS: Planned pregnancies are associated with a reduced risk of any (adjusted RR 0.90 [95%CI 0.86, 0.95]) or high symptoms of depression (adjusted RR 0.76 [95%CI 0.63, 0.91]) compared to unplanned pregnancies in rural Malawi. There was no relationship between pregnancy intention and the composite measure of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birthweight and neonatal death. There was some evidence that greater pregnancy intention was associated with reduced adjusted risk of stillbirth (0·93 [95%CI 0·87, 1·00]). CONCLUSION: Our study is the first to use a psychometrically valid measure of pregnancy intention, and to do so antenatally. As pregnancy intention increases, the risk of postnatal depression and, possibly, stillbirth decreases. This suggests a new, clinical use for the LMUP; identifying women antenatally who are at risk of these adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Type: Article
Title: Reassessing Pregnancy Intention and Its Relation to Maternal, Perinatal and Neonatal Outcomes in a Low-income Setting: a Cohort Study
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205487
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205487
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Reproductive Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059915
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