Mobile phone-based postnatal follow up and maternal health outcomes for low risk mothers
The immediate postnatal period poses challenges for maternal and newborn health. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of mobile phone-based postnatal follow up on maternal health outcomes among low risk mothers.
A quasi-experimental design was used to gather data from 70 mothers at a hospital in Egypt. Participants in the study group received information about postnatal self-care and three postnatal phone calls on day 3 (48–72 hours postpartum), between days 7 and 14 and 6 weeks after birth. Participants in the control group received standard care.
Significantly more mothers in the study group were lactating (P=0.01), exercising (P<0.001) and rated their health as very good (P=0.03) than in the control group. Furthermore, more mothers in the control group experienced breast engorgement (P=0.01) and constipation (P=0.002), and 40% were not using contraceptive methods at the end of the puerperium period.
The authors recommend healthcare providers use modern technologies to complement existing care strategies to improve maternal health and reduce risks in a cost-effective way.
The postpartum period is a physiologically, emotionally and socially critical period, when most maternal deaths and health issues occur (World Health Organization (WHO), 2015). Despite postpartum care programmes, mothers can experience significant complications or death after childbirth (VanderKruik et al, 2017; Ray et al, 2018; Sighaldeh et al, 2020) and most maternal and infant deaths occur in the first month after birth (WHO, 2019). Almost half of postnatal maternal deaths occur within the first 24 hours, and 66% occur during the first week (WHO, 2019). According to the World Bank (2019), the maternal mortality ratio was 37 per 100 000 live births in Egypt in 2017. Follow up during the postpartum period can help identify concerns and improve the health of mothers and their babies postpartum.
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