Improving Underweight Mothers' Essential Newborn Care During Early Infancy: A Single-Blinded, Parallel-Randomized, Controlled Trial

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of using a standardized Essential Newborn Care (ENC) module taught by pediatric residents on ENC skills and growth of offspring born to underweight primigravida mothers.

STUDY DESIGN: This facility-based, single-blinded, parallel, randomized controlled trial was conducted between May 2018 and March 2019. Eighty-eight underweight primigravida mothers and their vaginally delivered offspring were blindly allocated into the intervention group (IG) or control group (CG). The IG mothers received education on ENC through pictorial aids, demonstrations, and practice sessions. All mothers received information from ongoing public health programs. A trained hospital nurse, blinded to the study, assessed the mothers' neonatal care skills on the second postnatal day. The infants were followed until 6 months. Weight, length, and head circumference were measured at birth and age 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 14 weeks, and 6 months (±1 week).

RESULTS: Mothers in the IG had significantly better ENC skills in all domains (P < .001). Their infants had a statistically significant increase in weight (at 10 and 14 weeks and 6 months), length (at 14 weeks and 6 months), and head circumference (at 6 months). Infants' z-scores indicated significant improvements in anthropometry in the IG compared with the CG. At age 6 months, the number of infants with weight <3rd percentile decreased in the IG (from 20 of 44 to 5 of 41) and increased in the CG (from 17 of 44 to 22 of 42) compared with birth percentiles.

CONCLUSIONS: An educational intervention to strengthen maternal ENC knowledge and skills soon after delivery improved physical growth in infants born to underweight primigravida mothers.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trials Registry-India: CTRI/2018/04/013096.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78.e2
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume244
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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