Maternal and Child's Health

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 16543

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
Interests: technology-based intervention; obesity; chronic illness; immigrant health; nursing intervention

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Maternal health is key to improving the health of children. Parents, especially mothers, play an important role in guiding children and adolescents towards utilizing healthcare services and improving health. Women have always been influential in their family's healthcare decisions. For example, over three-quarters of mothers are responsible for choosing their children's provider, taking their children to appointments, and consenting to receive recommended care (Kaiser, 2018). In contrast, only one-fifth of fathers have been reported to complete the same tasks (Kaiser, 2018).  Several studies have provided some insight  into the impact of maternal health on children. For instance, studies have found that maternal physical and psychological health issues are associated with a high risk of physical and behavioral health issues in children (Logan et al., 2016; Rahman et al., 1993; Totskka et al., 2013). Improving the well-being of mothers is an essential factor in healthy children and families. This Special Issue calls for papers examining women's health and interventions that include mothers.

The goal of this Special Issue is to discuss maternal health and any aspects of children's health influenced by the mother, who plays an essential role during the development of her children. We hope to enhance the global understanding of these conditions by sharing knowledge about controversial areas in this field that are thus far incompletely understood.

We invite all colleagues researching topics related to the health of mothers and children to participate in this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Jyu‐Lin Chen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • maternal and child health
  • maternal health
  • service and outcomes
  • physical health
  • behavior health
  • maternal-health-focused interventions
  • risk perceptions
  • child obesity
  • pregnancy
  • health promotion
  • disease prevention

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Childhood Asthma-Management Practices in Rural Nigeria: Exploring the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of Caregivers in Oyo State
by Oyindamola Akinso, Atin Adhikari, Jingjing Yin, Joanne Chopak-Foss and Gulzar Shah
Children 2023, 10(6), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10061043 - 11 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Background: Caregivers of asthmatic children have a poor knowledge of proper asthma-management practices in Nigeria. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors of caregivers in the management of asthma in children under 5 years of age in Oyo State, Nigeria. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Caregivers of asthmatic children have a poor knowledge of proper asthma-management practices in Nigeria. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors of caregivers in the management of asthma in children under 5 years of age in Oyo State, Nigeria. Methods: While a mixed method was used in the original research, this brief describes the quantitative method used in this study to evaluate caregivers’ asthma-management practices. A 55-item questionnaire on childhood asthma knowledge, attitude, and practice was administered during child welfare-clinic visits to 118 caregivers. Data were analyzed using the IBM SPSS Version 25.0. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 and 95% CI. Result: More than 70% of caregivers knew that asthma is associated with airway inflammation and about 90% knew that flu infections triggered asthma attacks in their children. Caregivers with a higher income (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.558–5.778; p = 0.001) were 3.0 times more likely to practice proper asthma-care behavior than those with a lesser income. Conclusions: Childhood asthma remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in Nigeria. An optimal public health approach is needed to identify and target underserved communities that suffer poorer asthma outcomes and to improve caregivers’ knowledge and practices of asthma management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
15 pages, 1110 KiB  
Article
Adolescence as the Context for Understanding Young Mothers’ Engagement with Health Promotion: A Phenomenological Exploration
by Catherine Ellis and Peter Sidebotham
Children 2023, 10(5), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10050904 - 20 May 2023
Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Background: The current social construction of young mothers is generally negative, pointing to a lack of engagement with universal services and poor outcomes for their infants and children. However, qualitative studies offer an alternative, more positive construct of young motherhood. Understanding the context [...] Read more.
Background: The current social construction of young mothers is generally negative, pointing to a lack of engagement with universal services and poor outcomes for their infants and children. However, qualitative studies offer an alternative, more positive construct of young motherhood. Understanding the context of young motherhood can improve the relevance and efficacy of health promotion directed to this group of high-risk mothers. Aim: To explore the lived experience of young women transitioning to motherhood to better understand their experiences and perspective; and what influences their engagement with health promotion aimed to support safer parenting practices and whether their behaviour changes over time with exposure to parenting health promotion. Method: Longitudinal Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used with five first-time mothers identified with characteristics known to influence poorer outcomes for infants and children such as low educational achievement and economic disadvantage. Participants aged 16 to 19 years were recruited antenatally. Serial in-depth interviews were conducted at three time points during the ante- and post-natal periods. Interviews were transcribed and data were analysed inductively following the prescribed method of double hermeneutic analysis for IPA. Finding: Three themes were identified from the full study: Transition, Information, and Fractured application; the focus of this paper is Transition. Transition revealed that becoming mothers impacted key adolescent developmental tasks; their identity and relationships were significantly affected, both positively and negatively and adolescent brain development influenced behaviour and decision making capability. Adolescence influenced how these young mothers engaged with and interpreted parenting health promotion messages. Conclusions: Young mothers in this study operate within the context of adolescence. Adolescence impacts participants’ decision making activity and early parenting behaviours which informs the debate on why young mothers may fail to reduce risks for their infants. This insight can contribute to the development of more effective health promotion/educational strategies, and support professionals to better engage with this high-risk group to improve early parenting behaviour and subsequently improve outcomes for their infants and children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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13 pages, 1771 KiB  
Article
The Benefit of a Retrospective Pregnancy Anamnesis in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The Reliability of Maternal Self-Report during Childhood Development
by Stefan Mestermann, Peter A. Fasching, Matthias W. Beckmann, Jennifer Gerlach, Oliver Kratz, Gunther H. Moll, Johannes Kornhuber, Anna Eichler and the IMAC-Mind-Consortium
Children 2023, 10(5), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10050866 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1392
Abstract
Pregnancy anamnesis is a crucial part of child and adolescent psychiatry diagnostics. In previous works, the reliability of retrospective maternal self-report on perinatal characteristics was heterogeneous. This prospective longitudinal study aimed to evaluate women’s recall of prenatal events in a within-subject design. A [...] Read more.
Pregnancy anamnesis is a crucial part of child and adolescent psychiatry diagnostics. In previous works, the reliability of retrospective maternal self-report on perinatal characteristics was heterogeneous. This prospective longitudinal study aimed to evaluate women’s recall of prenatal events in a within-subject design. A sample of 241 women gave a self-report on prenatal alcohol, smoking, partnership quality, pregnancy satisfaction, and obstetric complications during the 3rd trimester (t0), childhood (t1, 6–10 y), and adolescence (t2, 12–14 y). The intra-individual agreement was examined. The t0–t1–(t2) agreement was poor to substantial; this was highest for smoking and worst for obstetric complications, followed by alcohol (Fleiss’ κ = 0.719 to −0.051). There were significant t0–t1–(t2) differences for all pregnancy variables (p < 0.017), except for 3rd trimester satisfaction (p = 0.256). For alcohol (t0 25.8%, t1 17.4%, t2 41.0%) and smoking (t0 11.9%, t1 16.4%, t2 22.6%), the highest self-reported rates were found during adolescence. During childhood, fewer obstetric complications (t0 84.9%, t1 42.2%) and worse partnerships were reported (t0 M = 8.86, t1 M = 7.89). Thought to be due to social stigmata and memory effects, pregnancy self-reports cannot be precisely reproduced. Creating a respectful and trusting atmosphere is essential for mothers to give honest self-reports that are in the best interest of their children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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15 pages, 497 KiB  
Article
Antenatal Care and Health Behavior of Pregnant Women—An Evaluation of the Survey of Neonates in Pomerania
by Anja Erika Lange, Janine Mahlo-Nguyen, Guillermo Pierdant, Heike Allenberg, Matthias Heckmann and Till Ittermann
Children 2023, 10(4), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10040678 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Background. The German maternity guidelines require regular medical checkup (MC) during pregnancy as a measure of prevention. Socioeconomic factors such as education, profession, income and origin, but also age and parity may influence the preventive and health behavior of pregnant women. The aim [...] Read more.
Background. The German maternity guidelines require regular medical checkup (MC) during pregnancy as a measure of prevention. Socioeconomic factors such as education, profession, income and origin, but also age and parity may influence the preventive and health behavior of pregnant women. The aim was to investigate the influence of these factors on the participation rate in MC of pregnant women. Method. The current analysis is based on the prospective population-based birth cohort study Survey of Neonates in Pomerania, which was conducted in Western Pomerania, Germany. The data of 4092 pregnant women from 2004 to 2008 were analyzed regarding the antenatal care and health behavior. Up to 12 MC were regularly offered; participation in 10 MC is defined as standard screening according to maternity guidelines. Results. Women participated in the first preventive MC on average in the 10th (±3.8 SD) week of pregnancy. 1343 (34.2%) women participated in standard screening and 2039 (51.9%) took a screening above standard. 547 (13.92%) women participated in less than the 10 standard MCs. In addition, about one-third of the pregnancies investigated in this study were unplanned. Bivariate analyses showed an association between better antenatal care behavior and higher maternal age, stabile partnerships and mother born in Germany, p < 0.05. On the contrary antenatal care below standard were more often found by women with unplanned pregnancies, less educational women and women with lower equivalent income, p < 0.001. Health behaviors also influenced antenatal care. Whereas the risk of antenatal care below standard increased by smoking during pregnancy (RRR 1.64; 95% CI 1.25, 2.14) and alcohol consumption (RRR 1.31; 95% CI 1.01, 1.69), supplementation intake was associated with decreased risk (iodine—RRR 0.66; 95% CI 0.53, 0.81; folic acid—RRR 0.56; 95% CI 0.44, 0.72). The health behavior of pregnant women also differs according to their social status. Higher maternal income was negatively correlated with smoking during pregnancy (OR 0.2; 95% CI 0.15, 0.24), but positively associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy (OR 1.3; 95% CI 1.15, 1.48) and lower pre-pregnancy BMI (Coef. = 0.083, p < 0.001). Lower maternal education was positively correlated with smoking during pregnancy (OR 59.0; 95% CI 28.68, 121.23). Conclusions. Prenatal care according to maternity guidelines is well established with a high participation rate in MC during pregnancy of more than 85%. However, targeted preventive measures may address younger age, socioeconomic status and health-damaging behaviors (smoking, drinking) of the pregnant women because these factors were associated with antenatal care below standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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16 pages, 530 KiB  
Article
Lessons Learned with a Triad of Stakeholder Advisory Boards: Working with Adolescents, Mothers, and Clinicians to Design the TRUST Study
by Alexis Richards, Marissa Raymond-Flesch, Shana D. Hughes, Yinglan Zhou and Kimberly A. Koester
Children 2023, 10(3), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030483 - 01 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
Optimal care for pediatric and adolescent patients is carried out under a triadic engagement model, whereby the patient, caregiver, and clinician work in collaboration. Seeking input from all triad members in the development and implementation of clinical trials and interventions may improve health [...] Read more.
Optimal care for pediatric and adolescent patients is carried out under a triadic engagement model, whereby the patient, caregiver, and clinician work in collaboration. Seeking input from all triad members in the development and implementation of clinical trials and interventions may improve health outcomes for children and adolescents. Sufficient evidence demonstrating how to effectively engage stakeholders from all branches of this triadic model is lacking. We address this gap by describing the successes and challenges our team has encountered while convening advisory groups with adolescent patients, parent stakeholders, and their clinicians to assist in the development and deployment of a technology-based intervention to promote the utilization of sexual and reproductive health services by increasing adolescent–clinician alone-time. Each stakeholder group contributed in unique and complementary ways. Working with advisors, our team aligned the priorities of each group with the goals of the research team. The results were improvements made in the content, design, and delivery of the TRUST intervention. While we were largely successful in the recruitment and engagement of adolescent patients and clinicians, we had less success with parents. Future research will need to explore additional strategies for recruitment and engagement of parents, particularly in rural, minority, and underserved communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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13 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Levels and Determinants of Antenatal Breastfeeding Attitudes among Pregnant Women: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Li Liu, Gui Xiao, Tingting Zhang, Mengjia Zhou, Xingxing Li, Yu Zhang, Theresah Owusua, Yang Chen and Chunxiang Qin
Children 2023, 10(2), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10020275 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1263
Abstract
Breastfeeding attitudes are strong predictors of breastfeeding behavior. Gaining a deeper understanding on the levels and determinants of antenatal breastfeeding attitudes is crucial. This cross-sectional study involved 124 pregnant women at a tertiary hospital in Hunan, China. A self-administered questionnaire, the Iowa Infant [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding attitudes are strong predictors of breastfeeding behavior. Gaining a deeper understanding on the levels and determinants of antenatal breastfeeding attitudes is crucial. This cross-sectional study involved 124 pregnant women at a tertiary hospital in Hunan, China. A self-administered questionnaire, the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Pregnancy Stress Rating Scale, the Childbirth Attitude Questionnaire, the Perceived Social Support Scale, and the Breastfeeding Knowledge Questionnaire were assessed during their first-trimester, second-trimester, and third-trimester hospital visit. Multiple linear regression was conducted to identify the determinants of breastfeeding attitudes. The participants reported neutral (56.39 ± 5.69) levels of breastfeeding attitudes. The determinants of antenatal breastfeeding attitudes were other family members’ support for exclusive breastfeeding: moderate (β = 0.278, p < 0.05), depressive symptoms (β = −0.191, p < 0.05), and breastfeeding knowledge (β = 0.434, p < 0.001). The variables explained 33.9% (adjusted R2) of the total variation in breastfeeding attitudes scores (F = 4.507, p < 0.001). Namely, other family members’ support for EBF was a negative influence on positive breastfeeding attitudes. The women whose other family members were moderate of EBF had more positive attitudes toward breastfeeding compared to those whose other family members were very supportive of EBF. The depressive symptoms were negatively associated with positive breastfeeding attitudes, and lower levels of depressive symptoms were associated with higher levels of positive breastfeeding attitudes among pregnant women. Additionally, breastfeeding knowledge was positively associated with positive breastfeeding attitudes. The more knowledgeable about breastfeeding, the more positive the attitude towards breastfeeding. Health professionals should identify these modifiable factors that may contribute to poorer breastfeeding attitudes, which is useful in targeting promotions of breastfeeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
25 pages, 1197 KiB  
Article
Learning from the Implementation of the Child Nutrition Program: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of Process
by Emily DeLacey, Cally Tann, Tracey Smythe, Nora Groce, Michael Quiring, Elizabeth Allen, Maijargal Gombo, Merzel Demasu-ay, Batbayar Ochirbat and Marko Kerac
Children 2022, 9(12), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121965 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2312
Abstract
Nutrition and feeding interventions are important for children’s growth and development. Holt International’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) is a child nutrition and feeding intervention. This study aims to describe and explore the implementation of CNP in Mongolia and the Philippines using mixed methods [...] Read more.
Nutrition and feeding interventions are important for children’s growth and development. Holt International’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) is a child nutrition and feeding intervention. This study aims to describe and explore the implementation of CNP in Mongolia and the Philippines using mixed methods including qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The analysis framework was guided by the WHO’s Monitoring the Building Blocks of Health Systems. Key informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted, transcribed, translated and coded. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Surveys (KAPS) and pre-/post-tests from routine program audit data were analyzed. Analysis of nutrition (Mongolia: 95% CI: 7.5-16.6 (p = < 0.0001), Philippines: 95% CI: 7.6-15.7 (p= < 0.0001)) and feeding (Mongolia: 95% CI: 11.7-23.9 (p = < 0.0001), Philippines: 95% CI: 6.6-16.9 (p = < 0.0001)) tests indicate improvement post-training in both countries. KAPS indicate changes in desired practices from pre-training to post-training. Thematic analysis of KIIs highlight essential components for program implementation and effectiveness, including strong leadership, buy-in, secure funding, reliable supply chains, training and adequate staffing. This evaluation of program implementation highlights successful strategies and challenges in implementing CNP to improve the health of children in Mongolia and the Philippines. Lessons learned from the implementation of CNP can inform growth of the program, scaling strategies and provide insights for similar interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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11 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Mothers about Support and Self-Efficacy in Breastfeeding: A Qualitative Study
by Esther Gálvez-Adalia, Raquel Bartolomé-Gutiérrez, Carlos Berlanga-Macías, Beatriz Rodríguez-Martín, Irene Marcilla-Toribio and María Martínez-Andrés
Children 2022, 9(12), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121920 - 08 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1669
Abstract
Breastfeeding is a complex process influenced by different personal and social factors which will determine both the initiation and the resilience for its maintenance. The aim is to identify the beliefs and expectations of mothers concerning breastfeeding to determine the perception of their [...] Read more.
Breastfeeding is a complex process influenced by different personal and social factors which will determine both the initiation and the resilience for its maintenance. The aim is to identify the beliefs and expectations of mothers concerning breastfeeding to determine the perception of their self-efficacy and the influence on the management of their babies’ feeding. A qualitative study through semi-structured interviews was carried out. The sample size was defined by the saturation criteria. Twenty-two women participated, eleven were from an urban environment and eleven were from a rural environment. Mothers’ knowledge of breastfeeding, their expectations of that process, their experience, and their strategies for overcoming problems associated with initiating, establishing, and continuing breastfeeding were influenced by the role of nurses and midwives in supporting their perception of self-efficacy. Likewise, maternity policies are important for the continuance of exclusive breastfeeding. This study shows the complexity of the initiation and establishment of breastfeeding and the existence of several social factors surrounding these moments. Furthermore, it demonstrates the importance and reference of nurses and midwives and the role of State maternity policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
17 pages, 906 KiB  
Article
Maternal Nutrition, Body Composition and Gestational Weight Gain on Low Birth Weight and Small for Gestational Age—A Cohort Study in an Indian Urban Slum
by Raja Sriswan Mamidi, Santosh Kumar Banjara, Sridevi Manchala, Ch Khadar Babu, J. J. Babu Geddam, Naveen Kumar Boiroju, Bhaskar Varanasi, G. Neeraja, G. Venkat Raji Reddy, B. A. Ramalakshmi, R. Hemalatha and Gargi Meur
Children 2022, 9(10), 1460; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101460 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Maternal nutritional status and care during pregnancy are essential for adequate birth weight. In this prospective cohort study (N = 1061) in an urban slum, we investigated the association of maternal anthropometry, body composition, gestational weight gain and dietary intakes with low birthweight [...] Read more.
Maternal nutritional status and care during pregnancy are essential for adequate birth weight. In this prospective cohort study (N = 1061) in an urban slum, we investigated the association of maternal anthropometry, body composition, gestational weight gain and dietary intakes with low birthweight (LBW, <2.5 kg). About one-third of the women were short (<150 cm), 35% were underweight (<45 kg), 23% suffered from chronic energy deficiency (CED, BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and another 30% were overweight/obese. The mean age and BMI were 23 years and 21.7 kg/m2, respectively, and haemoglobin was 10.73 g/dL. The mean birthweight (N = 605) was 2.81 ± 0.5 kg, and the average gestational age was 38 ± 2 weeks. About 15% of infants had LBW, and 48% were small for gestational age (SGA). Maternal body composition was assessed by skinfold thickness (SFT) in all trimesters. In the first trimester (N = 762), we found that mean fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass (FM) and body fat percentage (% BF) were 38.86 kg, 11.43 kg and 21.55%, respectively. Low birthweight was significantly associated with preterm deliveries (p < 0.001) and less fat free mass (p = 0.02) in the third trimester. Among other factors were age (p = 0.017), maternal anthropometry (height: p = 0.031; weight: p = 0.059) and fewer antenatal check-ups (p = 0.037). Small size (SGA) was consistently associated with maternal bodyweight at all trimesters (term I, p = 0.013, term II, p = 0.003 and term III, p < 0.001), fat mass in the third trimester (p < 0.001) and maternal height (p = 0.003). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child's Health)
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