It is crucial for mothers who have just given birth to stay in the hospital long enough to ensure than no complications would arise, especially within 24 hours after delivery.
The length of stay in hospitals varies for women across the globe, from an average of a half-day in Egypt to 6.2 days in the Ukraine following vaginal births. Unfortunately, many mothers leave the hospital too soon.
Most of which are from middle and low-income countries.
“Data from the Demographic and Health Surveys used in the study showed that more than 20 percent of women living in 15 of the 30 low and middle-income countries analyzed stayed in the hospital for less than 24 hours,” said a report by Humanosphere.
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According to the World Health Organization, staying less than a day is too short a period for anyone in the world and it may give rise to complications for both mother and infant.
On the other hand, staying too long can also be dangerous because the hospital exposes them to infection and other illnesses.
Surprisingly, wealthier women stay in the hospital shorter than poorer women because they have other matters to attend to, such as attending to their other children and their professional lives.
“Ultimately, length of stay is an approximation of what we are really after, which is high-quality care for women and babies,” said Oona Campbell, professor of epidemiology and reproductive health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
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“It is crucial we make sure not only that childbirth facilities have skilled care attendants and effective monitoring and treatment, but also that women stay in hospital long enough so that they and their newborn babies can benefit from these.”
“But the key takeaway is that encouraging women to give birth in hospitals is not enough,” Humanosphere also said.
“Despite limitations to the data available, the research shows that women in all parts of the world are not staying in hospitals the optimal length of time after giving birth.
“For women living in countries where there are already greater risks, the time at the hospital matters.”
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