Effect of standard prenatal care protocol on the pregnancy outcome

N Roohparvarzadeh, Shahrzad Shahid


Introduction: The new maternal health care program has been designed in order to improve the numerous weaknesses of the current national program. Standard protocol along with the methods of physicians' and midwifes' intervention is clearly defined in this program. This pilot project started in Ardestan district since 2003 and will continue until the middle of 2005. This study was conducted to examine the efficacy and effectiveness of this program in terms of improving child birth and pregnancy indicators and related problems.

Methods: This was a historical cohort study. Two groups of mothers who gave birth to their children after starting the program entered the study. Mothers who received the current care and those who received care based on the new program were randomly selected. A checklist was completed for each subject using health profiles and hospital records. The aim of study was to examine the birth outcomes and relevant indicators. The collected data were analyzed by SPSS software.

Results: The results of this study showed that the frequencies of caesarian sections in the two groups were the same. The frequency of low birth weight in mothers who received new care services was lower than that in the other group. An improvement in the full-term pregnancy indicator in the first group was also observed. About one percent improvement was seen in stillbirth indicator in mothers who received new care services.

Discussion: High preterm birth indicator is one of the most common problems in Iran. It includes the number of preterm and full-term births with low birth weight, which impose high costs on the families and the government. It seems that providing appropriate services using the new guidelines can be effective in improving child birth indicators specially in form of reducing the number of preterm child birth and stillbirth cases.


Antenatal care, standards, pre-delivery care, pregnancy outcome,


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