Discordance in postnatal care between mothers and newborns: Measurement artifact or missed opportunity?

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Postnatal care (PNC) for mothers and newborns is essential to monitor risks of morbidity and adverse conditions following delivery. Current estimates of the coverage of PNC show substantial discordance between mothers and newborns. We investigate the sources of this discordance in Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).


We used DHS data from 48 countries collected since 2011, spanning phases 6 and 7 of the survey program with 32 and 16 surveys, respectively, analyzed. We assessed the distribution of the reported timing of PNC and conducted a sensitivity analysis that excludes/includes PNC reported within 0-1 hour or PNC in the day 2. Agreement in PNC reporting considered four groups: (1) Concordance, neither mother nor newborn received PNC; (2) Concordance, mother and newborn pair received PNC; (3) Discordance, mother received PNC and newborn did not; of (4) Discordance, mother did not receive PNC but the newborn did. We carried out logistic regressions to understand correlates of PNC discordance. All analyses distinguished phase 6 surveys from phase 7.

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