IMPACT OF BIOSOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MOTHER ON BIRTH WEIGHT OF THE NEWBORN
Objective: To find out the impact of biosocial characteristics of the mother on birth weight of the newborn. Study Setting: Three most busy hospitals of District Dehradun. Study Design: Cross sectional descriptive study. Study Period: One year (i.e. from May 2006 to April 2007. Study Population: Pregnant females delivering live infants in the study setting during the period of study. Material & Methods: The study group comprised of 1300 mothers from HIMS Jolly Grant, S.P.S.S. Government hospital Rishikesh and Doon Hospital Dehradun which contributed in equal proportions to the sample. Each hospital was visited for four days in a week till the sample for that hospital was complete and later shifted to the next to follow the same procedure. Interviewing and examination of the mother and the newborn were the main methodologies adopted for the present study. All the mothers who delivered live infants were interviewed within 24 hours after delivery on a pre-designed schedule, and this was followed by the examination of the mother and the new born. Data was collected on a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. Statistical analysis: Data was entered in SPSS (Version 10.0) & Microsoft Excel programme and were subjected for statistical significance. Results: The highest prevalence of LBW was found among mothers aged <18 years (72.2 percent). A decreasing trend in prevalence of LBW was reported with increasing hemoglobin level. Birth interval of <2 yrs was statistically associated with higher prevalence of LBW. There is a rise of LBW cases in parity of > 5. Conclusions: Mothers health and the biosocial factors significantly contribute to the prevalence of low birth weight among the newborns.