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Obstetric Correlates of Maternal Falls in Southern Nigeria.

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Falls during pregnancy can be associated with serious obstetric complications. Apart from sparse data highlighting traumatic outcomes, there are no studies identifying the obstetric correlates of maternal falls in Nigeria. A cross-sectional cohort survey of 1,175 women in five public health facilities in Ado-Ekiti was conducted to address this need. Fall rate was 25%; mothers who fell during pregnancy were significantly older, of higher parity, and with unintended/unwanted pregnancies than those who did not fall. Most of the reported falls occurred in the third trimester, with about 10% of the women falling at least thrice during the course of the pregnancy. More than half of the reported falls occurred while engaging in household chores and carrying child/object with compromised visibility of the feet and floor. Uterine contractions/abdominal pain was the commonest; 29 (76.3%), obstetric event attributed to the falls. Antepartum haemorrhage, 4 (10.5%), and ruptured membranes, 2 (5.3%), also occurred after falls, although it was rare and occurred with the same frequency as in the general population. Maternal age ≥ 30 years (odds ratio: 1.36; 95% C.I. 1.03 - 1.80, p = 0.031), multiparity (odds ratio: 1.54; 95% C.I. 1.15 - 2.07, p = 0.004), unintended pregnancy (odds ratio: 1.48; 95% C.I. 1.02 - 2.15, p = 0.037), and delivery age ≤ 40 weeks (odds ratio: 1.71; 95% C.I. 1.07 - 2.75, p = 0.026) were found to be independent risk factors for falls during pregnancy. Fall awareness campaigns and fall-preventing safety tips are advocated in women's clinics. Improving contraceptive uptake will reduce unintended pregnancies and the risk of pregnancy-related fall/injuries.

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