Inter-Pregnancy Intervals and Maternal Morbidity: New Evidence from Rwanda

Ignace Habimana-Kabano, Annelet Broekhuis, Pieter Hooimeijer

Abstract

The effects of short and long pregnancy intervals on maternal morbidity have hardly been investigated. This research analyses these effects using logistic regression in two steps. First, data from the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2010 are used to study delivery referrals to District hospitals. Second, Kibagabaga District Hospital’s maternity records are used to study the effect of inter-pregnancy intervals on maternal morbidity. The results show that both short and long intervals lead to higher odds of being referred because of pregnancy or delivery complications. Once admitted, short intervals were not associated with higher levels of maternal morbidity. Long intervals are associated with higher risks of third trimester bleeding, premature rupture of membrane and lower limb edema, while a higher age at conception is associated with lower risks. Poor women from rural areas and with limited health insurance are less often admitted to a hospital, which might bias the results. (Afr J Reprod Health 2015; 19[3]: 77-86).

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