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Prenatal Care Inadequate for Moms With Child Taken Into Care

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 -- Mothers with a history of having a child taken into care by child protection services have an increased risk for inadequate prenatal care in a future pregnancy, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Elizabeth Wall-Wieler, Ph.D., from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues created a population-based cohort of women whose first two children were born in Manitoba, Canada, between April 1, 1998, and March 1, 2015. Level of prenatal care was measured using the Revised Graduated Prenatal Care Utilization Index.

The researchers found that 2.4 percent of the cohort of 52,438 mothers had their first child placed in out-of-home care before conception of their second child. Compared with mothers whose first child was not placed in care, those whose first child was placed in care had much higher rates of inadequate prenatal care during their pregnancy with their second child (33 versus 13.4 percent). Furthermore, mothers whose first child was placed in care had more than fourfold higher odds of having inadequate rather than adequate prenatal care (odds ratio, 4.29).

"Future research should also focus on the effectiveness of strategies for harm reduction for this group of women to ensure the best outcomes for mother and child," the authors write.

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Posted: February 2019

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