Gestational age at antenatal booking and delivery outcome.


Antenatal care is a form of preventive medicine that pregnant women to allows maintain a state of good health throughout pregnancy, and to improve their chances of having a safe delivery of healthy infants. To achieve this aim, it is a widely held belief that pregnant women need to book early preferable before 14 weeks gestation. This is a retrospective study which reveals among others that late booking is still a common practice in the developing countries with average gestational age at booking being 23.59 (+/- 8.45) weeks, and only 14% of the women booked before the end of first trimester. Nulliparity or low parity was found to be the only factor that favoured early booking. However, gestational age at booking as a sole factor for predicting the pregnancy outcome was found to be insignificant as the outcome was same for early and late bookers. Unbooked pregnant women were found to be twice at risk of operative delivery, four times more likely to suffer delivery complications and twice likely to have low birthweight babies when compared to booked patients. In conclusion, findings of this study confirm the importance of antenatal care for better maternal and foetal outcome, however gestational age at booking as a sole factor is a poor predictor of pregnancy outcome. It is believed that this finding which is in tandem with the new WHO antenatal care protocol will generate divergent views among the health care givers and modify our current practice of Antenatal care to a more focused and effective risk assessment system.

Cite this paper

@article{Okunlola2008GestationalAA, title={Gestational age at antenatal booking and delivery outcome.}, author={Michael A Okunlola and Kola M. Owonikoko and Adeniran Olubukola Fawole and Adeyemi O. Adekunle}, journal={African journal of medicine and medical sciences}, year={2008}, volume={37 2}, pages={165-9} }